We were first introduced to Rizzuto’s way back in April at Fairfield County Eats, an awesome event where you can sample some of the awesome food that Fairfield County has to offer while helping to raise money for the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. When we came to Rizzuto’s table we were all over their nice spread of antipasto and various other delectable treats. It definitely made us want to get out to Westport to try more. Well, we didn’t ever get out there, but we were excited to find out that Rizzuto’s would open up shop in our stomping grounds where Route 22 used to be. Ever the rabid restaurant seekers and food mongers, we drove on down and checked things out after just their second day in business. These are our stories…dong dong.
The Look and Service
There’s lots of exposed brick all around with a TON of room to move around and for tables. If you’re looking for a place to have a party or a family get together, or just a casual Italian food run, this is your spot. It’s huge and totally laid back, but a nice step up from an eat-in pizza joint. Also, there’s a nice, huge wood fired brick oven in the middle cooking up pizzay-goodness.
We really loved the selection of antipasto that’s available here at Rizzuto’s. One of the best selections in our area for sure! You can select from cured meats, artisan cheeses, or vegetables. Mere amateurs only get prosciutto di parma, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, or roasted frying peppers. If you’re a Level 20 Eater, you’d select one of their sharing platters: Rizzuto’s Antipasto Platter, Cured Meat and Cheese Board, or Cheese and Vegetable Platter. Not wanting to feel super guilty, we got the Antipasto Platter. We got Prosciutto di Parma, Soppressata Calabrese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pistachio crusted goat cheese, Mediterranean olives, and roasted frying peppers. This heavenly platter came with honey, a sinfully awesome cranberry mustard, and a well-balanced apricot jam. The meats were fresh, the cheeses flavorful, the olives had an orange zesty taste, and the peppers were roasted to softness and went nicely with the provolone. If you don’t have a piece of the fig bread in your platter, be sure to ask if there is some in the kitchen. It’s just re-freaking-donkulous! The best antipasto platter we’ve had in Fairfield County!
I’m a sucker for rich pizzas. I had to get the guanciale and potato pizza at Tappo when I saw it, then regretted how heavy it was 3/4 of the way in. Well, a stubborn Italian doesn’t learn his lesson because the lure of potato and sausage on a pie is just too much for me to handle. So, I got the sausage and potato pizza that had broccoli rate, roasted garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano with it. The crust was light and fluffy, similar to the consistency of zeppole. The sausage was great and had a great fennel taste to it, the potatoes were crispy and golden, but the broccoli rabe was a bit overcooked and was bitter. The pie comes with hot oil on the side…hell yeah. It’s not that hot, though, don’t worry. This was a very rich pie, but it was still good. Like I said with Tappo’s pie, I’d share this with another person.
Kristien ordered Sunday Gravy: housemade braised veal braciole, meatballs, sausage, all over fettuccine. The braciole was delicate, fell apart with light pulling, and was cooked well. The meatballs, on the other hand, were too meaty and solid for Kristien’s taste. She wasn’t into it. She prefers lighter, less condensed meatballs…like her grandma’s or Michael Psilakis’s or Bacchus’s. The sausage was spicy and full of flavor. In terms of the pasta, it was served perfectly al dente. The sauce that held this all together was average, but nothing amazing. It held its own, though, and held the dish together.
Are you like us and throughout the meal you say, “No, no…we’re not going to have dessert. We’ve already eaten so much.” Yeah, that never works. We gave in when we saw the apple and dried cherry crostata with dulce de leche gelato. The filling was great and tasted like a burst of fall. There was an overwhelmingly beautiful cinnamon smell wafting through the air. The dough, though, could have used a bit more cooking. It was a bit raw.
Rizzuto’s in Stamford has the potential to be a main stay of families and casual dinners, although it runs a little expensive for a go-to spot. There’s plenty of seating, especially for big parties, the service is extremely warm and friendly, and the antipasti is killer here. Some of the best moments of any meal are spent just omnoming here and there on some meats or cheeses and catching up on life. In terms of the meals, they are good, but have some room to grow. We (and our readers) need to remember, though, that this was just their second day in business. So, cheers to Rizzuto’s. Many happy years ahead.
Address: 1980 West Main Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 324-5900