3869 Lyell Road, Gates
Visited July 19, 2011
Written by Tyler
Believe me, we are well aware that just about every restaurant we visit falls in the ‘B’ grade range. One evening, Drew and I set out to find a bad restaurant.
We couldn’t find a place that looked comfortably sketchy enough (if that makes sense) in Gates, so we settled for what we figured would be a decent meal at DiRosato’s, on the corner of Lyell and Elmgrove roads.
I hadn’t been to DiRosato’s in about eight years, and noticed a lot of changes to the inside of the restaurant since. It no longer had sort of a sports-bar feel it had last time I visited, but now seemed like a typical dine-in pizza place with some semblance of a bar on the other half, as well as some outdoor seating.
We walked in expecting to order at the counter like at a normal pizza place, but it turns out this is supposed to be a sit-down restaurant with table service, so we took a seat to be waited on.
After perusing the extensive menu, I decided on a Buffalo chicken sandwich and a slice of pizza, while Drew opted for a grilled chicken calzone with a side of potato wedges. Much to Drew’s dismay, they were out of potato wedges and he had to settle for curly fries.
My slice and his fries were first to arrive. I was impressed by the pizza’s appearance, and it had a decent crust-cheese-sauce ratio. The cheese was alright, and the sauce didn’t really have any kick to it. The combination of those two was decent, but the crust was the best part.
It was thick and doughy in most spots, but had a nice crisp on the bottom and on the edge. Overall it wasn’t spectacular, but it was good and I’d definitely stop by and order it again.
Drew’s fries were predictably generic and seemed to have more batter than potato. He was also disappointed that the waitress never brought out his ketchup until he was almost done.
Which brings up my next point, the service was kind of awkward. Like I said, we walked in not expecting to be seated and waited on, and when we were it was a bit slow considering there were only two other tables occupied. To the staff’s credit it was friendly and helpful, just a little slow.
Anyway, I was impressed by my sandwich when it came out. It was the perfect size and came on Martusciello’s bread, which always equals bonus points. The chicken tasted good and looked like some effort went in to preparing it. The sandwich tasted good overall, but was maybe just a tad dry for my liking.
I thought Drew’s calzone looked really good – with a doughy exterior – but he said he’s had better. It had a lot more cheese (mozzarella and ricotta) than chicken, and was pretty dark – almost burnt in a few spots – on the bottom.
Drew said the chicken was nice and juicy, but he wasn’t thrilled about the dark bottom crust. He also wanted a mild Buffalo sauce with the chicken, but it instead came on the side. I got to sample some of the crust and thought it was good, but the calzone could have used more chicken and less cheese.
Drew took a huge peanut butter cookie for the road and enjoyed it, saying it was very soft and filling. I didn’t try any, but it looked really good – as did the few other cookies at the register.
Overall DiRosato’s fell in the ‘B’ range, as expected. It could have been better, if not for the awkward service, atmosphere and a few flaws with our orders.
It’s hard to tell what type of restaurant DiRosato’s is trying to be. On one hand it looks like a typical pizza place, but it’s also working on becoming sort of a bar and a family restaurant at the same time – adding to the overall awkwardness.
However, the food was pretty good. The sandwich, pizza and calzone all had features that made them somewhat unique from similar items at comparable restaurants.
DiRosato’s also offers several pastas, plus typical grilled and fried items, subs, wings, wraps, salads and tacos.
While we wouldn’t make a trip out to Gates (or the supposed second location in Greece) specifically for DiRoasto’s, we would definitely stop by if we’re in the area.
Food: I really liked the crust on the pizza and calzone, enjoyed my sandwich and thought there were a lot of intriguing choices on the menu.
Value: I don’t have the prices of the top of my head, but they were very reasonable and the portions were decent.
Overall: The restaurant seems to be in some sort of identity crisis, and the service and atmosphere are kind of awkward. A few things held DiRosato’s from meeting its potential, but as it is the food is good and comes at a good value.