DiTondo’s, an Italian favorite, reopens with new name and menu

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Italian food is once again being cooked up in DiTondo’s storied Seneca Street kitchen. But as the restaurant reopens after a three-year hiatus, it has a new name, new owners and a new vision.

Rita DiTondo, a great-granddaughter of original owner Sebastiano DiTondo, and her father, John, bought the restaurant from John’s cousins in 2019. She and her husband Fabio Consonni, an Italian-born chef, reopened in a renovated building Wednesday as “DiTondo,” without the S.

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The restaurant is currently open for lunch Monday through Friday, noon to 2:30 p.m., and features 60 seats indoors plus 30 more outside on a covered patio. But gone are staples like spaghetti parm, meatballs and Italian sausage. The new menu, which will rotate on a seasonal basis, is currently limited to a handful main dishes, two sides and dessert.

“The restaurant’s new lunch menu evokes feelings of comfort, family and nostalgia, sentiments that have been associated with DiTondo for decades,” the restaurant said in a press release. “The menu focuses on regional Italian cuisine, pulling inspiration from Italy’s 20 diverse regions and Fabio’s experiences working in kitchens in both Europe and the United States. The wine list has been curated by Rita (a trained sommelier) and will highlight Italian wines from small family-run wineries, with a focus on sustainability.”

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Main dishes include:

Lasagne: Lasagna with bolognese meat ragu ($16)Crespelle: Crepes with mushrooms and fontina cheese ($14)Trofie: Trofie pasta, pesto, potatoes and green beans ($14)Parmigiana: Eggplant parm ($12)Involtini di vitello: Stuffed veal rolls, olives and tomato sauce ($16)Zuppa: Fall soup: Beans, squash, kale and pecorino ($12)

Sides are focaccia pugliese (flatbread with cherry tomatoes and olives, $8) and insalata (seasonal salad greens with nutritional yeast, $6). For dessert, panna cotta and honey ($7) and tiramisu ($7).

The restaurant’s original facade was recreated during renovations and dropped ceilings were removed, allowing for sunlight. The original bar is still intact near the entrance. Parking is available in the restaurant’s usual corner lot. (Restaurant at 370 Seneca St., lot at Seneca and Cedar.)

DiTondo is planning to add dinner hours in the coming months.

“We are honored to carry on the legacy of the DiTondo family and reintroduce this beloved Buffalo restaurant, which has been a treasured and familiar place for family, friends and colleagues for more than one hundred years” said co-founder Rita DiTondo. “We are embracing the old and the new, and decades of DiTondo tradition are guiding this next chapter for the restaurant. We welcome back the people who have dined and made memories here for generations and we invite anyone who would like to experience all that is happening in downtown Buffalo, in the Larkin District and in between — along Seneca Street.”

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.

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