Not long ago, I reported on Proietti’s in Webster, an Italian restaurant/pizzeria with a history going back some 40-plus years. Under owner/chef Whitey Proietti, the son of founder Pat Proietti, they’re still turning out some very well-made pizza, which I imagine tastes much the same as it did back in the ’60s.
Recently I learned that another branch of the Proietti family tree has borne fruit, pizzawise, in Irondequoit. Earlier this year, Whitey’s nephew Tony Proietti opened his own place, “2 Ton Tony’s,” in the Titus Mall, near the corner of Titus and Hudson avenues. Though a completely separate enterprise from his uncle’s restaurant, 2 Ton Tony’s bills itself as “continuing the Proietti’s Pizza family tradition.” This obviously demanded investigation, so I got myself up there for a pie last week.
"2 Ton Tony" sounds like a nickname for a boxer, which is appropriate, because Tony's got some heavyweight competition in the area. Within little more than a stone's throw away you'll find at least five other pizzerias: Mark’s, Little Caesar, Cam’s, Bay Goodman, and Pudgie’s, not to mention Wegmans. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s always room for another pizzeria, as long as the pizza’s good, and if there’s not room, well, then may the best pizza win.
And 2 Ton Tony’s pizza is good. I’m not going to try to compare it to its nearby competitors or, for that matter, with the pizza I got at Proietti’s in Webster, although it does share some obvious similarities with the latter. I’ll try instead to describe and judge it on its own terms.
My large pie had a crust that was on the thick side of medium. The screen-baked underside was dark brown, and firm, though not really crisp. The crust had good flavor, but was not particularly chewy or bready.
This was a fairly saucy pizza, which was fine considering the thickness of the crust. The sauce had a tangy, tomatoey flavor. Some dried herbs were visible, but this wasn’t really an “herbal” tasting sauce or pizza. The cheese was moderately applied and lightly browned. The fresh onions and sweet pepper slices were quite generously applied on their half of the pie.
While I was picking up the pizza, I noticed that 2 Ton Tony’s also had slices available, which looked thinner, and more or less resembled New York style slices. So on a different day I headed back to try those too.
Not surprisingly, the slices turned out not to be NY-style, but simply a thinner version of the pie I had earlier. They weren’t super thin, more in the thin-to-medium range, about a quarter of an inch thick. Like the pie, they were screen baked, with a dry, non-greasy underside that was medium brown in hue.
Also like the pie, the slices were saucy, with a pronounced tomatoey flavor. The cheese was again a bit browned, and this time I detected a certain salty sharpness to it. They were just a little oily/greasy on top. The slices were foldable, and more firm than crisp, though they did have a little crunch along the edge. The edge was formed into a very narrow lip, so there was sauce and cheese right up until virtually the last bite.
2 Ton Tony’s offers 15 pizza toppings, though they don’t appear to have any specialty pizzas. At this point at least, the rest of the menu is fairly limited, with wings, Friday fish fry, the “2 Ton Plate,” and various, mostly deep-fried sides, including “macaroni & cheese wedges.” I’m not sure if those sound good to me, exactly, but I may just have to try them sometime. There are a few tables, but seating is rather limited, making this mostly a pickup and delivery spot.
As for the pizza, I liked it. Reflecting its heritage, it fits broadly within what I think of as Rochester style, with its somewhat thicker crust, ample toppings, and square cut. My one quibble might’ve been with the underside, which was pleasingly firm and non-greasy, but which was missing that little bit of crunch or crispness that I look for in my pizza. That aside, though, the pizza was well made, making 2 Ton Tony’s a worthy contender in the crowded pizza field in this particular corner of Irondequoit. I’ll give it a solid B.
2 Ton Tony’s, 545 Titus Ave. 266-TONY (8669)
Mon. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sat. noon - 10 p.m., Sun. noon - 9 p.m.