These Guys Can Cook

2 Guys Pies Italian Eatery saves our dinner hour for the first of many nights.

As we rushed out of the house yesterday, my daughter dropped a drinking glass on our ceramic floor. It promptly exploded into a thousand shards, which I took it as a clear sign that we should eat out.

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Two Guys Pies Italian Eatery, formerly Hartford Pizza on Route 5, is in its second week of operation. I despaired when the shop suddenly closed a couple of years ago with an ominous sign on the door citing a break for “renovations.” We walked there in the summer at least once a week. Who would save me with quick take-out on the nights I didn’t feel like cooking? Which, to review, is all of the nights?

The building languished for a long time and then went up for auction last year. At some point last fall, I did a triple-take at the sight of a ladder and construction supplies sitting on the front porch. Signs of life, at last!

The interior is almost the same, so much that I felt a pang of nostalgia for the days when I had to crowd in the bathroom with both kids because they were too scared to go alone (it passed quickly. Some things you just don't miss). The first thing I blurted at the counter was, “Are there really two guys making the pies?” Because I am a word nerd. But yes, there are two owner-guys named C.J. Radicioni and Wally Radicioni, lll, both of whom hail from an experienced restaurant family in Sharon, VT.

The key difference at 2 Guys – the most important one – is the food.

The homemade marinara alone is worth the trip. Thick with fresh hunks of tomato, onion, and garlic, a tiny bit sweet, perfect for sopping up with bread or stealing by the spoonful off your daughter’s plate because you cannot believe how good it is. It tastes like a recipe loved and perfected over time by generations of Italian grandmas.

Spaghetti and chicken tenders kid's meal. Or, steal bites until it becomes an adult's meal.

We paired the sauce with an order of mozzarella sticks, hot and crispy with a crust that melted in our mouths instead of making us chew on loose breadcrumbs (which seemed to be the case with Hartford Pizza). We rounded out the meal with a steak and cheese grinder and two thick-crust pizzas, all of which tasted like two guys had just picked the ingredients right out of their garden.

It all came at an affordable price for a party of four, with leftovers to nosh on the following day. Best of all, we can still walk there, and will be going back as soon as we finish picking these bits of glass out of our socks. See you there, Hartford.


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