New Italian spot offers inventive menu – Tappo, Stamford

7 Nov

Ah, to try new restaurants, in hopes that you might find the one that becomes your favorite, that jewel to place in your proverbial crown (or something like that).  Tappo, only opened a few weeks ago, and based on our friend Dave’s recommendation, we were really wishing this would be true.  When we arrived, we were struck by how nicely the dining room was decorated.  The space is small, with a limited amount of tables.  We checked in with reservations, but still had to wait, though the hostess was very friendly about it.

To start, we ordered the Insalata di Rucola con Pomodorini e Scaglie:  arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaved grana.  The lemony/acidic hints of the dressing were cut nicely by the earthy and sharp taste of the grana cheese.  By itself this was a very good salad, but we added the softest, most delicate Prosciutto di San Daniele from their nice menu of Italian meats.  Making this combination ourselves was good and made up for a limited amount of salads to choose from.

For my main dish, I didn’t have much trouble deciding on the Guanciale pizza.  This dish really had everything that I love in the world on it:  browned fingerling potatoes, cured Italian bacon, white cheese sauce, and a sprinkle of truffle oil.  Start with a light, fluffy crust that isn’t too thick or too thin.  It reminded me of the consistency and taste of a zeppole.  All the tastes together synced so well and were amazing.  The only thing that I wished was different was varying textures because everything was soft/chewy.  The Italian bacon was in strips and few parts were crunchy.  If the chunks were smaller and crisped up a little before putting on the pizza, I think this would be a killer dish.  It was a bit hard to swallow when you were down to the last slice, so this is a dish that would be better to be shared.

Ending off the meal, I had a nice thick and strong duo shot of espresso and had two scoops of gelato:  chocolate/hazelnut and olive oil.  The scoop of chocolate/hazelnut was definitely strong and had a nice light hazelnut taste, though there was quite a strong after taste of cinnamon that I didn’t particularly enjoy.  I was left with that “gritty,” “drying” taste that cinnamon can often have.  On the other hand, the olive oil gelato was creamy, fresh, and had that nutty, fruity taste of olive oil.  It was surprisingly good and left me wanting more.

In all, this restaurant has a unique and creative view on Italian food.  The food was great, but the wine was overpriced as compared to the price of the average dish.  We ended up paying $45 for a bottle that would probably cost $15 at a wine shop, and should cost $30 for a restaurant like this.  There was only a handful of wines under $50, the lowest being $35.  The dishes were reasonably priced, though, which brings us to a rating of $$$ out of 5.  Nomability?  We’ve got to give this new Italian a very respectable 3.5 Noms out of 5.  Ciao!

 Also, check out our review on their San Danielle pizza, featured on CBS Connecticut.
Noms:  3.5
Cost:  $$$
Address:  51 Bank Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Phone:  (203) 588-9870

Tappo on Urbanspoon

10 Responses to “New Italian spot offers inventive menu – Tappo, Stamford”

  1. Kristien Del Ferraro November 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    We definitely had a nice experience at Tappo! I subtracted only a few points based mostly on the wine. First, as Danny mentioned, the wine prices were pretty darn over-inflated. Second, our waiter didn’t know anything about the two wines I asked him about. This is kind of a pet-peeve of mine. How can you sell a product you know nothing about? Yep, that’s my ugly marketing side coming out.

    But ultimately, he redeemed himself by recommending a fantastic bottle, a 2007 Secco Bertani Ripasso. Dark garnet in color, this delicious Ripasso packed a dark berry and cherry punch with a nice spicy/nutty finish. This soft and full wine was the perfect compliment to our simple salad and my meal, the Tagliatelle Ragu, Pesto e Ricotta Salata.

    The Tagliatelle was cooked perfectly (a little Al Dente, just like us Italians like it)! And the hearty ragu was mixed with a flavorful pesto, which is quite a unique combination you don’t usually find! And to top it all off, one of the most fantastic soft, mild, yet tasty cheeses in the world, ricotta salata. A pretty delicious dish, only perhaps missing something to give it a little acidity or punch… all the tastes were kind of in the same flavor range.

    Last but SO ABSOLUTELY not least was my dessert, Frutti di Bosco con Zabaione Freddo al Prosecco. Or, for the non paisanos out there, mixed berries in a FANTASTIC Prosecco cream, sprinkled with cocoa powder. You MUST try it, ’nuff said!

    Overall, I wouldn’t say this will become our go-to favorite restaurant (there is not a big enough selection of wine under $50) but it is a GOOD, solid, Italian spot to visit from time to time for sure!

    Oh, and reservations are highly recommended, at least for now until the buzz of a new restaurant wears off. Mangia!



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