Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GrandLife NYC

Go East, GrandLife NYC proclaims in their East Village roundup. And we heartily agree. Especially because they included both Butcher Bay and Tonda in the article:

There is a feel for the New England coastline at four-month old Butcher Bay. With its cheery red façade and intimate, honey colored wood dining room, you’ll swear you’re at a high-end clam shack on the Cape. The artfully tattooed Chef Eric Simpson (formerly of Jean George Vongerichten’s Perry St presides over an open kitchen that churns out a limited but well-executed menu that includes lobster rolls, fish and chips and even a barbecued tofu option. The staff is more than eager to help pair your oysters or lobster B.L.T. with one of their artisanal beers on tap. Unfortunately, zoning regulations keeps the large backyard off limits to patrons

One of Butcher Bay’s partners, restaurateur and filmmaker Bob Giraldi, has slung his dough into the pizzeria ring and opened up Tonda a block away in the large space that once held E.U. The restaurant’s outdoor patio makes it the perfect spot to people watch while enjoying the crusty yet chewy Neapolitan-style pizza. Inside, a wood fired oven has a rotating stone so that each side of the pie gets equal exposure to the fire emanating from the center of the 900-degree plus oven.

Photos by Alia Mansoori

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meditteranean Specials

Tonda is not just about pizza. We do pizza well, don't get us wrong. But we've also always given special care to our less doughy friends. Tonda has a number of new specials on the menu that are perfect for summer. For nibbling, there's Marinated Olives and Baccala Fritters. Refreshing and healthy salads like the Octopus, Tomato, Potato & Olive Salad and the Watercress Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Avocado & Toasted Walnuts. And for dinner, we're pan searing a Sockeye Salmon with a Roast Parsnip Mash. But one of our very favorites is one of the simplest: Asparagus wrapped in Speck (pictured left), a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New York Times

Frank Bruni from the New York Times gave Tonda a shout-out in his New York pizza round up today, noting us for our "attractive setting, attentive service and side notes like respectable salads and snacks. Such niceties matter...".

Monday, June 29, 2009


The New York Press, one of our favorite free publications, has taken notice of Tonda in a big way. Beverly Barnes gave Tonda a long and lengthy review, highlighting some of our very favorites. "A pizza with tuna, capers and olives ($13) may sound like a stretch, but it actually makes for a satisfying and delicious meal since all of the potent flavors manage to soothe one another and create a sharp—but not overly briny—harmony." And she loved the deserts, especially "Tonda’s Nutella pizza ($5), which is especially tasty when paired with a simple, sweet bowl of pineapple ($5)."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Buona Società

Time Out New York gave us a great, great shout out in this weeks issue, and took some beautifulphotos, like the one pictured to the right. Just as flattering, they put is in company with some of our favorite pizza places in New York (yes, we can enjoy other people's pies!). We've posted our favorite part of the review, and make sure to pick up this week's copy of TONY:

The man guarding this inferno is Michele Sceral, a graduate of the venerable Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani. Ever the apt pupil, Sceral displays a slavish attention to detail: The tomatoes are San Marzano specimens; the cheese is a milky, low-water Italian import (buffalo is available for an additional $5). Even the H20 used in the dough has been considered—Sceral uses filtered water, which he says helps control overbubbling of the crust.

The pies, if not your sweat glands, are the better for all that heat. They emerge from their turns in the oven (each pie makes two to three 30-second rotations) with a crisp yet elastic crust. The low moisture of the mozzarella keeps the cheese from pooling, and the sauce expertly balances sugar and acid. Sceral is a hard-line traditionalist, so take your cues from him and stick to the classics when ordering. The Margherita pie is exemplary...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Amateur photographer Jacob Donaldson was so impressed with his Brunch pizza last Saturday, he sent us in this delicious looking photo. If the pie doesn't look all too familiar to you Tonda-goers, its because its a bit of a custom job. Jacob is a vegetarian, but loves the Roasted Egg, Asparagus, and Cherry Tomato brunch pizza. Since it usually comes topped with piles of Speck, Jacob asks, and recieves, something a little special. And here's the result:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Guida di Estate

The New York Press, a paper we've long admired for thinking outside the book, has included us in their Summer Guide to Food & Drink. And after soaking up the sun at Tonda's brunch on Saturday, we'd have to agree that Tonda is the perfect place to spend the summer, especially with one of their oh-so-refreshing Frappes. We've also included in the post one of our favorite photos of Tonda, by photographer Robert Goethals. The light through the windows speaks to just how bright and sunny this summer promises to be.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Arte e Cibo

The next time you eat at Tonda, your waiter might not just be the one serving you pizza. He might have made me the art on the walls. Cacho Falcon is the waiter, artist, and wonderkid on display at Tonda right now, and his art is getting as many accolades as our cuisine. Because it's never enough for us to just bring you the Neapolitan food we love, we'd like Tonda to be an experience. Why is why we're planning special Sunday brunches with DJs and Monday night events throughout the summer and into the fall. We'll keep you posted on all of this right here on the blog. Oh, and because we're loving the whole internet/restaurant world, we've gone and made ourselves a Facebook. Just one more way for Tonda to be a part of the community.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Behind the Scenes

We know Bob Giraldi, the Renaissance man/owner of Tonda, quite well. In fact, we get to see him almost every day. But not everyone does. And while he'll be at Butcher Bay, and would love to say hello to loyal patrons, Black Book Magazine gets us up close & personal with Bob for their column "Industry Insiders". Its a long, hefty interview, fitting a resume as long as Bob's, and writer Nadeska Alexis covers everything from food to film shoots, and even sneaks a Michael Jackson reference into the intro. Just as important, they used one of our favorite photographs, taken by Daniel Krieger at Tonda!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quite Presidential

We usually turn to Time Magazine for the latest news about Barack Obama. But now we've got another excuse to pick up this weeks issue: Tonda, and owner Bob Giraldi, are featured in a story called "Posh Slice: Pizza, a Budget Staple, Goes Upscale". We're in good culinary company in the article, not to mention writer David Kaufman calls out one of our favorite dishes, the Pesto Pizza. Since Time is so political, we just hope someone at the White House happens to catch the article. Michelle and Barack, we'd love to have you next time you're in town.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Superiore Chef

We watch Top Chef as much as any culinary-minded New Yorker, so we were pretty thrilled when Season Four contestant, Spike Mendehlson, who knows a thing or two about pizza, told New York Magazine he was including us in his self-described "New York pizza binge". Next time, Spike, say hello when you come to visit, and we might even throw you an apron and put you to work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cucina di Estate

We love pizza in the summer as much as anyone. In fact, so much is pizza associated with our youthful school vacation daliances that we can hardly separate the two. Little league pizza parties, anyone? But we're adults now, we've experienced New York City in balmy Augusts, and sometimes the heat leaves us wanting something a bit lighter for our plates. So we thought we'd remind everyone that while we'd never stop serving up our pizzas for kids at heart, of any age, we have some lighter fare for those upcoming summer heat waves.

First up is our Seafood Salad. Nothing satisfies us quicker on a scorching day than seafood:

Next is a salad of a different sort. Less seafood, more mixed greens, black olives, and cherry tomatos. But because Mediteraneans have learned over centuries that a little sea food goes a long, refreshing way, we top of the Haricots Verts with Italian Tuna:

You still need a morning cup, even in the summer, so why not a Brunch-time cappucino mixed with cooling Greek Yogurt and Granola:

And lastly, here's something that requires no appetite at all. Our Frappes, like this Mixed Berry version, are cold enough to stop the heat:

These choices, our variety of beers (try the Lucky Beer in the green Buddha bottles), white wines, and proseccos, and our wide open, airy windows, we hope to keep you cool summer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Paninos for Brunch

Yesterdays post about brunch just wasn't enough. We can't just tell you about our daytime cuisine, we've got to show you our delicious creations. And so we picked what we're hungry for this very moment: a Panino with Proscuitto and Egg, on crispy, hearty bread, with a refreshing pear salad. The exact thing we'd want to be eating al fresco in the sun. We'll have to wait for the weekend to come to indulge, but for now, this fantastic picture will suffice.

Ready For Our Close-Up

One of the pros of being a restaurateur/filmmaker, like Tonda's illustrious owner Bob Giraldi, are the beautiful cross art and genre possibilities. Tonda is one of many amazing pieces in Bob's repertoire. Which brings us to the premiere of "Leaving Naples", a short cinematic ode to Neapolitan Tonda chef Michele Sceral and the restaurant that he helms. Enjoy the film:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Manic Monday

Ok, so its Monday. And a Brunch-filled weekend seems a million miles away. But we want to give you a whole week to prepare: Tonda is now open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. New York Magazine was excited enough about it to post the announcment on their site. We're glad they put the Brunch Menu up as well so you'll have a whole week to pick out exactly what you'd like to eat, and which of our freshly made, all natural Frappe's to pair it with (The Mixed Berry Frappe goes fantastically with the Spinach, Pear, and Fennell Salad). This weekend will arrive quicker than the time it takes to say "Buon Appetito"!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Il Ristorante della Settimana

Paper Magazine bestowed their highest culinary honor upon us recently, "Restaurant of the Week", and we're proud to accept. It puts us in pretty good company, like our sister restaurant Lulu, which was similarly honored last year. Maybe they were bowled over by the Scagliuzzoli (pictured left), Neapolitan fried polenta balls, filled with cheese.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dopo la cena

When you open a Neapolitan pizzeria in the heart of New York City, most of the attention is, of course, on the pizza. Which is perfectly and understandably fine, except that we'd think it a shame if people missed out on dessert & coffee. So let us remind you to order dessert and coffee (like the Tiramisu, to the left, which is as light as a feather). We had a decaf cappucino last night that relocated us right to Italy. And that might be because all of Tonda's coffee, even the dainty cups that its served in, come straight from Segafredo Zanetti, the leading Espresso producer in Italy. Its so good, Tonda could stand alone as a cafe. That doesn't mean we'll stop serving pizza, it just means you have more options.

Monday, April 6, 2009


It might not mean as much to you, the faithful Tonda diner, but to us, recognition from Zagat, a guide we follow all around the world, is serious business. So today when they put our listing up, and some amazing pictures on their site, we were pretty pleased. We also wanted an excuse to post the amazing picture to the left for you all to see. On a rainy day like today, the light shining through the windows in the picture looks especially inviting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


New York Magazine's Melissa Hom took some beautiful photos of Tonda for their First Look feature that ran on the site last week. And, they were kind enough to let us show you some on the blog.




That last amazing picture is of our Shrimp, Arugula, and Parmigiano Pizza. Thanks to New York Magazine, and go here to see the rest of Melissa's wonderful pictures.

Monday, March 30, 2009

L'uomo dietro la pizza

We've spent so much time talking about the pizza, that we've barely given a shout to the man behind Tonda, Bob Giraldi. bobBob is the renaissance man of the New York restaurant world. A Pratt graduate, a "Mad Men" ad-exec in the 60's, a professor at SVA, a commercial and music video director (Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battefield" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It", heard of either of those?), and now, one of the most prolific restaurateurs in New York. With Jo-Jo, Jean-Georges, Vong (and its London and Hong Kong outposts), Patria, BREADTribeca and Diablo Royale on his resume, New York just wouldn't taste the same without him. His expansive creativity allows him to not only provide the best food, but the best visuals as well. Bob directed a commercial for Tonda last night himself. Look out for it on NBC LXTV (and a video of it here on the blog). There were over a hundred people there to join the celebration.

Photo by Daniel Krieger

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


We opened last night to three cheers and lots of good people. And everything went off without Tondaa hitch. We even noticed Luigi grabbing pizzas from the oven himself to drop off at tables, and it looked like a lot of fun. And yes, we got a chance to take a break from all the action and grab a bite at the bar (in case you were wondering, we had the Pesto pizza and a glass of red). Eater got a chance to come in yesterday right before we opened and Amanda and their crew took some really beautiful photos for Eater Inside. The New York Times showed us a little love too. It seems people are taking notice, we hope you will too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Il giorno

Well, today's the day. Tonda is open. Its still cold out, still just the promise of warm weather, and a great day to shareTonda a pizza (like the Margherita Pizza, shown to the right) and a bottle of wine. We invite you to do that at Tonda. We're open promptly at 5:30, perfect for you 9-5ers, and we'll be serving until midnight, suitable for the many all-nighters of the East Village. We look forward to seeing you.

Some New York Love

Urban Daddy, one of our favorite sources for restaurant news on the web, showed us some serious love yesterday to gear up for our opening. In addition to the beautiful photos they took, which we've included in this post, they had these wonderful things to say about us:

"...We'd love to stand by our on-the-record statement that booze is better than pizza, but at that point we hadn't tried the authentic Neapolitan pies from Tonda. And we're here to report that they're cooking up something special in the East Village. Below, our first look inside the new pizza hotness, opening tomorrow for dinner and in the coming week for take-out and delivery.

With a slew of recent pizza openings, and a neighborhood chock full of chesty pie-slingers (Una Pizza Napoletana, Artichoke, Luzzo's), you know that the folks behind Tonda (a partnership between the Bread and Mercer Kitchen honchos) had to do something big to bring the heat… so they literally brought the heat.

The glorious centerpiece of the whole operation is their $30,000 slow-rotating 1,000-degree wood-burning pizza oven, sitting in full view of your table. And naturally, the Naples native (say hi to Michele when you drop by) they shipped in to tame the flames.

What that means for you is piping hot thin crust masterpieces (your first move should be the pesto/potato/string bean or the beef carpaccio/arugula/shaved parmigiano), washed down with a little Brunelli, all taken in a rustic room reminiscent of a modern farmhouse with whitewashed brick walls, black and white photos and a skylight above to keep things on the airy side..."

Thanks Urban Daddy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Apertura Grande

Sorry we've been M.I.A. recently, but things have been pretty busy trying to get Tonda open and ready to serve. Well, it's finally here. Tonda will open tomorrow, March 24, 2009, at 5 PM SHARP. We've tried everything on the menu, had as many red wines as white, and we're ready to go. Bring an appetite, and watch Maestro Michele Sceral artfully whip your Neapolitan pizza into the oven, and even more importantly, onto your table.

To the right you'll see the art work that we just put on the walls, from artist Alberto Guglielmi, because as much time as we spent on all the delicious food, we also paid careful attention to the decor (note the beautiful Fornasetti stencils on the wall). We hope you're as impressed with how we look as you are with the food we serve.

We'll look forward to welcoming you to the table and you welcoming us to the neighborhood. The welcomes have started already, too, with Time Out New York giving us kudos and New York even running a beautiful picture in their Openings section (article pictured left).

Thanks all, and we hope to see you very, very soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We know the East Village has most everything you need in life, but, at times, there is incentive to trek elsewhere sometimes. Case in point, the first restaurant that Bob Giraldi collaborated on with the boys from Bread, Luigi Comandatore and Dario Milanin, BREADTribeca. Located on Church Street, right off of 6th Avenue, BREADTribeca opened in 2003 as the older brother to the original Spring St. outpost, Bread. Its the restaurant where the three guys first merged their culinary and aesthetic tastes, a mix of old world and brand new, BREADTribeca might serve as a nice appetizer for those who just can't wait for Tonda to open in March. Not to mention that Frommer's took notice of the "wood-burning oven [that] turns out excellent thin-crust pizzas and roasted meats". Wait until they see what kind of pizza oven we've got cooked up for Tonda.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Il forno

Today we're going to show you the first image (click to enlarge) from that grand, fantastic oven we're building for Tonda. tonda pizzeriaThe centerpiece of TONDA will be an 8 foot wide fire-burning oven at the entrance, in which the majority of the menu offerings will be baked and grilled on a rotating stone pivot. Crusts will be consistently thin and crisp-charred given the 600 plus degree temperature of the oven. There's only a few other ovens like this in the United States, and this will be the first of its kind in New York City.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

La Prima Fotografia

We don't want to give too much away, but we scored a few photographs from the construction process of Tonda that we'll be unveiling over the next couple days, thanks to our resident photog Joe Graham. We know its just a photo of plateware, but pretty soon those plates will be piled with food, so you'll have to excuse our pre-opening excitement. Check back in the next couple of days for more photos.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Ta-da: It's Tonda"

One of our favorite New York blogs, EV Grieve gave us a little welcome to their neighborhood, the East Village, the other day, and even snapped a sleuth-y pic of the temporary signage we have up at the site. Go read their announcement and start getting excited.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bon Appetito

Welcome to the blog home of the Tonda, the soon-to-be-open pizzeria in New York City's exciting East Village. Opening in March of 2009 at 235 E. 4th Street, Tonda promises to be a tasty addition to the neighborhood's scene - a neighborhood which has become NYC's destination for culinary treats and libations. With thin, crisp pizza from baked on a rotating stove pivot at 1000 degrees as the centerpiece of Tonda's kitchen, we promise to satisfy those proud, plentiful New York pizza lovers - the royalty of American pizza aficianados - with quality, nutrition, and value. Ours will be a place that warrants eating, lingering, and repeat visits.

There's truly nothing more exciting than opening a brand new restaurant, especially in New York City, the restaurant capital. But it also takes determination and dedication, which we'll document on the blog. On our blog, we will keep you up to date on everything that goes on with the opening, cooking, and enjoying of a New York City restaurant, from construction reports, early reviews, and opening celebrations, we hope to complement the quality of Tonda's cuisine with a helpful and entertaining blog. There will be comprehensive menus, sneak-peek pictures, staff interviews, and much, much more. We hope you check back to the blog as regularly as you will the restaurant. Bon Appetito