Food Porn: DiTondo’s Tavern

If Alli and I are driving down Seneca Street for Italian, it’s always been to visit Chef’s. We’ve heard about DiTondo’s for a while but the main problem was their limited hours (dinner service only on Friday nights from what I understand). But on a Friday night when we couldn’t think of a place to go, we decided to finally try DiTondo’s and see if they could offer some type of unique spin on ‘red sauce Italian’.

The building’s interior (specifically their bar) is almost exactly what I thought it would be, dated in a way that felt nostalgic instead of sad. The bar (surprisingly) had a couple of local micro brews on tap and there appeared to be a collection of regulars having dinner. DiTondo’s has a pretty strong following and you could tell many of the diners ate there on a very regular basis and the waitress’ seemed to know everyone’s names. It was nice outside so Alli and I decided to wait a couple minutes for seats on the patio, which is gigantic. Honestly, we both assumed that the patio would be a couple tables under an tent but DiTondo’s has a very large, grassy back yard with a large awning and even a gazebo. There were a couple interesting lawn decorations but overall it was a nice backdrop for our meal; sitting behind the restaurant you’d never expect you were in downtown Buffalo.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual, Bar
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Prices: ~Everything is under $10
  • Location: Downtown

The dinner menu (and even lunch menu) for DiTondo’s is small, Alli and I looked over their one page menu and selection of 4-5 specials for the night. The restaurant was busy even for a Friday night and the service was a little chaotic, we had to wait a while for our waitress to take our order and again to bring the check. I ordered the Chicken Parm while Alli ordered the special of Ravioli Parm with a couple meatballs.

Like many local red sauce restaurants, we ordered “small” orders of each entree but were delivered gigantic servings of food; you definitely get your moneys worth. The Chicken Parm (above, top) had two large pieces of crispy cooked chicken that was piled with a large amount of mozzarella cheese that was still soft and gooey when brought to the table. The sweet red sauce was similar to other restaurants but had an extra tangy flavor that Alli was trying to put her finger on. Alli’s Ravioli Parm (above, bottom) was equally as intimidating when placed in front of us, a large plate of cheese filled ravioli’s covered in mozzarella with a couple meatballs.

Overall, it was a surprisingly nice experience, I had assumed we’d be eating in a small divey Italian restaurant but DiTondo’s probably has one of the most underrated patios in the city. Unfortunately, with their restrictive hours, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop by that often. Maybe if I have a day off from work or wanted to stop by before a Sabres game, I’ll be able to dine there again. The service definitely wasn’t impressive but when you have a restaurant with such a strong following, you can get away with that kind of thing. Considering I’m not a big fan of Chef’s because of it’s touristy atmosphere (Alli disagrees), I’d rather go to dinner at DiTondo’s any day of the week. Food wise, I think they are pretty comparable, although the menu at Chefs is much larger.

Photo Gallery:

DiTondo's Tavern on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Food Porn: DiTondo’s Tavern

  1. sharon

    Ali, …next to Mulberry’s, (or maybe sorta kindof) LaBella’s…Ditondos is about as “close” to our Great Grandma’s sauce as you are going to get –
    Although if you take a ride to the southern tier (Frewsburg) try the Nic-L-Inn, more or less a steak house- but the Lasagna /sauce is delicious…defintely worth the drive!

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