For Italian tapas in Stamford, Zaza takes the canoli! Zaza Italian Gastrobar- Downtown Stamford, CT

6 Jun

The Bar (and the vino of course)

• The place was hopping, so we had to saddle up to the bar for some wine while we waited. Chris, the bartender, was excellent. We were able to order a bottle at the bar to take to our table and luckily Chris had a good knowledge of wine to help us choose. He suggested the Apothic Red, a complex and lovely Zin, Syrah, Merlot blend off their “Interesting Reds” list.  Wow, this wine rocked with dark red fruit flavors and a hint of dark chocolate. YUM!

The Mozz

• They have a nice selection of fresh mozzerela here:  bufala, Wisconsin, burrata,  affumicata, and stracciatella. We went with the burrata and we were damn happy about that.  The inside was creamy and melted away the second it touched your tounge, while the outside of the burrata was softer and denser–but not too dense.  All mozza is served with fresh and delicate prosciuto, eggplant, roasted peppers, and olives (and of course the bread you get before the meal).

The Small Plates

• We started with the fried ricotta cakes.  The breading was crispy, seasoned well, and coated the filling well.  Oh, and the filling.  Ricotta was mixed in with some sauce, giving it a pink color.  It had a similar taste to ala vodka sauce, but the ricotta kicked it up and brought a much creamier taste.  It did come out kinda luke warm, not hot, but this was still only their third night of service.  The greens that came with it were starting to brown over so they weren’t the freshest, but the tomato sauce for dipping was good and added another great contrast.

• Creamy lobster polenta!  Seriously, folks…this is a must try if you love seafood and polenta.  The lobster was in nice, big tender chunks cooked perfectly. The polenta was creamy and so flavorful.  Even better?  Nice, creamy, melty mozzarela pooled in the middle!  Dip the polenta into the mozz here and there for the win.

Osso bucco with a vegetable ragu sauce.  The osso bucco here falls off the bone, so no knife is needed.  The sauce is earthy, but also tangy from the tomatoes in the sauce.  A nice balance to the lobster polenta. 

Spicy calamari with white beans and roasted tomatoes.  The flavors in here were a nice mix, the calamari was cooked perfectly, and the white beans added some texture contrast to the calamari.  We spoke to Nick Jr. about this after our meal and we said we really liked this dish, but wished it was spicier.  He said that next time we should ask for it cooked in the hot oil.  Tip for Omnomavores: hot oil.

Potato gnocchi in a butternut squash cream sauce.  Our absolute favorite here. And while the gnocchi wasn’t handmade fresh like we prefer it, it was still one of the best gnocchi dishes ever tasted by OmNomCT in the states.  The dish, at first, looks like mac & cheese, but as you dig in you get butternutafied.  The sauce is buttery, sweet and creamy coating the hearty gnocchi.  Think of how comforting and tasty Thanksgiving is and you understand 10% of the gnocchi’s awesomeness.  Kristien swears she could eat a vat of this dish if Zaza could provide it.  I’d have to help her with that, if she doesn’t bite my fingers off.

The Dessert

• Canoli dip.  We saw a person eating a canoli and we knew what we had to do.  The plan changed, though, when we saw canoli dip on the menu.  Our waitress brought a bowl of smooth and creamy canoli filling with bits of canoli crust to dip into.  This was a fun dessert to end with and wasn’t too heavy at all. 

The Final Verdict on Zaza Italian Gastrobar

As we waited for Bar Rosso and Zaza to open up in Stamford, we honestly thought that Bar Rosso would have an advantage over Zaza.  Well, we were wrong when we tried Bar Rosso and had the Racanelli’s new restaurant to compare it to.  Zaza is clearly beating Bar Rosso so far with the flavors, seasonings, and service.  We realize that Zaza is another iteration of Molto in Fairfield, but that has only seemed to make Zaza stronger.  Italian spots in Stamford, take notice:  Zaza‘s in town. ;)

Also, check out our post on brick oven pizza in Stamford, featuring Zaza.

Noms: 4

Cost: $$$

Zaza Italian Gastrobar

Address:  122 Broad Street
Stamford, CT
Phone:  (203) 348-2300

ZAZA Italian Gastrobar on Urbanspoon

31 Responses to “For Italian tapas in Stamford, Zaza takes the canoli! Zaza Italian Gastrobar- Downtown Stamford, CT”

  1. elizabeth June 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    I think it’s a testament to the sheer breadth of items on their menu that two couples can go to this restaurant within a few weeks of each other, order a bunch of small plates and not one of them overlaps. We live right by this place and gave it a try a few weeks ago. It’s good (the meatballs especially) and I love the Fellini playing in the background, but it’s a bit on the pricey side to go to regularly.

    I’m so glad my coworker forwarded me your blog–you guys are so descriptive in your reviews, which is very helpful.


    • Dan Del Ferraro June 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      Yeah, that menu is so extensive…it kind of makes me nervous. But, Nick’s a smart guy. He knows that people will want to try everything on there. :) We’ve yet to have the meatballs, but will need to now, thanks for the tip. We went there a couple of weeks ago and got the Burrata Margherita pizza. It was just plain killer. I know you like pizza from your blog (so freaking awesome, wow) so I wonder what you’d think of it.

      Also, thanks so much for those nice words. We always start our posts saying, “We’re going to make this one nice and simple and not explain too much,” but you get into it, describing the flavors, describing your experience, and giving tips…then, all of a sudden, you’ve got a big (but bangin’) post. :) Also, thank your co-worker for us. ;)



  1. Sizzling Deals @ Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks 2015 | OmNomCT - August 17, 2015

    […] Aug Doesn’t that just call out, “summer”? La Dolce Vita The three bbq sauces at Bar Q […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Celebrate National Pizza Day @ These Fairfield County Pizza Joints | OmNomCT - February 9, 2015

    […] Zaza Gastrobar, […]


  3. CT Food News, Vol. 10: Summer Fun, Wine, Beer, FIFA, Openings + Major Props | OmNomCT - June 26, 2014

    […] exhibits, and then hit up some of our favorite restaurants like Cask Republic, The Fez, Capriccio, Zaza, Lorca, and […]


  4. Jonesing for burritos? Hit up Tomatillo Taco Joint, now in Stamford | OmNomCT - December 9, 2013

    […] at 114 Broad Street, where Morelli’s Pizza/Morelli’s Double Burger used to be, right by Zaza.  This is now their third location (they are also in New Haven) and here’s why you should […]


  5. Half Full Brewery Expands Brews, Staff, Events, and Market Reach | OmNomCT - September 5, 2013

    […] Pumpkin Ale, either.  It’s super killer, especially with a sugared rim like we had at Zaza in Stamford.  Truly, one of the best pumpkin ales that we’ve ever tasted.  Plus, […]


  6. Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks Goes Local w/ Farm Fare | OmNomCT - August 7, 2013

    […] ZAZA Italian Gastrobar […]


  7. La Dolce Vita of Carlo Fuda: chef, baker, blogger, e molto Italiano | OmNomCT - June 7, 2013

    […] County.  I lived on Oak in Stamford, would walk down the street, and then I was at Bar Rosso, Zaza, and Capriccio.  When I’d go to any of those places, it’d really make me think that I […]


  8. Stamford Restaurants Paired with Acts from Alive @ Five 2013 | OmNomCT - April 23, 2013

    […] June 20, The Wallflowers paired with Zaza Italian Gastrobar […]


  9. The Best Warm Weather Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Fairfield County | OmNomCT - April 10, 2013

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar: (Open air, outdoor sidewalk, and outdoor patio) […]


  10. The Best Warm Weather Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Fairfield County | OmNomCT - April 10, 2013

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar: (Open air, outdoor sidewalk, and outdoor patio) […]


  11. 9 Restaurants to Dump Your Date at this Valentine’s Day…You’re Welcome « OmNomCT - February 8, 2013

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar, Stamford:  as you take each bite, go a little Harry Met Sally on your date and moan loud enough so everybody turns their heads in disapproval.  Your date will ask you to stop, but you’ll need to persist and keep moaning louder.  Eventually, your date will ditch you for good, allowing you the luxury of hitting up the bar and being a part of the scene here. […]


  12. 27 Restaurants Participate in 2013 Stamford Restaurant Weeks, Yes Weeks « OmNomCT - February 5, 2013

    […] ZAZA Italian Gastrobar (4 Noms) […]


  13. 2nd Annual OmNomys Celebrates 2012′s Best Food in Fairfield County « OmNomCT - December 30, 2012

    […] and sexy red leather (like Zaza) can be found throughout Dolce Cubano, one of Stamford’s newest hot spots.  Combine that […]


  14. 22 Dishes to Try in Fairfield County before the End of the World. Thanks Mayans. « OmNomCT - December 10, 2012

    […] 19) Fresh burrata from Zaza Italian Gastrobar […]


  15. Fairfield County Restaurants Raise a Ton of $, one Beer at a Time to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief « OmNomCT - December 3, 2012

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar […]


  16. Join Us in Helping Fairfield County Restaurants Give Back: A Buck for a Beer to Support Hurricane Sandy Relief « OmNomCT - November 6, 2012

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar of Stamford:  Half Full Bright Ale […]


  17. Where to eat and charge up in Lo. Fairfield County after Sandy « OmNomCT - November 1, 2012

    […] Zaza Gastrobar […]


  18. New and Old Faves @ Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks 2012 « OmNomCT - July 30, 2012

    […] Zaza Italian Gastrobar OmNom about this:DiggEmail Pin ItShare on TumblrPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]


  19. Dolce Cubano Rum Bar & Restaurant to Spice up Stamford Waterfront « OmNomCT - April 12, 2012

    […] from Nick Racanelli Sr. & Jr., owners of the beloved Pizzeria Molto Wine Bar in Fairfield and Zaza Italian Gastrobar in Stamford. Danny checks out the bar, soon to be fitted with carrera […]


  20. ~(‾▿‾)~ Eggcellent Easter Brunch Spots in CT, 2012 (=^_^=) « OmNomCT - April 2, 2012

    […] Zaza Gastrobar-Stamford, CT (Saturday-Sunday, all summer) OmNom about this:DiggEmail Pin ItShare on TumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


  21. Stamford Downtown Winter Restaurant Weeks 2012 Heats Things Up « OmNomCT - February 17, 2012

    […] Grand Burger, Lola’s, SBC, Bar Rosso (when it first opened), napa & co, Tappo, and Zaza Gastrobar, but we’ve been to most of these spots.  We’d love to try out Aria and […]


  22. Stamford, Connecticut to Get Its Own Foursquare Badge! #thecitythatchecksin « OmNomCT - February 8, 2012

    […] five brand new city based badges.  Yup, rolling out pretty soon, after your checkin to Casa Villa, Zaza, Napa & Co, Coalhouse Pizza, Colony Grill, Columbus Park, Madonia, or Vinny’s Backyard, […]


  23. The First Annual OmNomys: Celebrating 2011′s Best Food in Lower Fairfield County! « OmNomCT - December 15, 2011

    […] Small Plates:  Zaza Gastrobar, […]


  24. Does Rico’s pwn Colony or are they just n00bs? Rico’s Pizza – Stamford, CT « OmNomCT - August 14, 2011

    […] go by stopping by and getting a pie right out of the oven, but for now we’d rather head to ZAZA, Remo’s, Capriccio, Colony, Tappo, or Coalhouse […]


  25. Omnomivore’s Guide to Stamford Summer Restaurant Week 2011 – Stamford, CT « OmNomCT - August 14, 2011

    […]     * ZAZA Italian Gastrobar (Excludes Fridays & Saturdays)            […]


  26. Support the Arts in Stamford, Bid on Stuff, Get Stuffed! A Grand Summer Night – Stamford, CT « OmNomCT - July 26, 2011

    […] 5:30:  Hors d’ ouvres and cocktails from:  Acqua Panna/San Pellegrino, Black Bear Saloon, Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café, DiMare Pastry Shop, Kujaku Japanese Restaurant, Market Restaurant, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Morton’s The Steakhouse, SBC Restaurant & Brewery, Stamford Wine & Liquor, and ZAZA Italian Gastrobar. […]


  27. Battle of the Brick Ovens, Stamford « Our 1st Post for CBS Connecticut « OmNomCT - July 21, 2011

    […] goodness, then head straight to one of the spots we talked about–well, maybe most of them. Zaza, Tappo, Remo’s, Nonna’s, and Southport Brewing Co. are in the spotlight.   If you […]


  28. An Italian Gastronomic and Wine Lovers Wonderland. ZAZA, Stamford « OmNomCT - June 6, 2011

    […] For Italian tapas in Stamford, Zaza takes the canoli! Zaza Italian Gastrobar- Downtown Stamford, CT … – June 6, 2011 […]


  29. Going gaga over Zaza: A sneak peek! Zaza Italian Gastrobar-Stamford, CT « OmNomCT - June 6, 2011

    […] Update:  Zaza is now open and here’s our review! […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: