We went to one of our favorite places in the world during our honeymoon: Italy. It’s where our ancestors are from and it’s the one place where we’ve both always dreamed of visiting. To be honest, we didn’t know if we were more excited to visit for the food, the sites, or the culture. Well, turns out we loved every little thing about Italy, but one of our favorite things was our long, expansive, wine-filled meals. See, over there, you could sit for hours while you eat and drink to your heart’s content. Believe it or not, sometimes a bottle of water cost more than a nice local wine. Yeah, our kind of place, how about you?
So, we get nostalgic from time to time when we think of our waiter in Venezia (Venice) who looked a lot like Stephen Colbert and who eagerly invited us back the next day after we had way over-tipped…stupid Americans. Or, when we think of walking home bloated and full on Chianti, strolling through the streets of Firenze. That’s Florence to you noobs. So, yes, we get nostalgic for how great our trip was and how amazing the food was. You best believe that when we find a great Italian restaurant, we hold onto it for dear life. See, unfortunately every Italian spot we eat at now has to be measured in our minds against the places that we ate at in Italy.
Lucky for us and for local eaters that we’ve got some authentic Italian that’s hitting up Downtown Stamford with a grand opening on 11/30. Yes, right where Tappo used to be on Bank Street you’ll find Cotto Wine Bar + Pizzeria. What’s interesting about Cotto is that they will be serving up dishes from different Italian regions, rather than focusing in on just one. They have cold tapas, hot tapas, different kinds of mozzarella, other cheeses, meats, sandwiches, pasta, salad, pizza, express lunches, and entrees. More on that in a second, but you’ll want to know about the new interior of Cotto. Things have changed up since Tappo thanks to a well renown design studio from Florence in the Tuscany region. Think charming, rustic wood paired with bright and warm copper. The brick oven remains, though, and that will pump out some great pies.
Now, onto the food and wine here at Cotto…
First of all, you’ll find a great variety of wine by the glass and bottle here. We’re talking over 200 labels. While a large majority of the wines are from Italy, there are still other wines to explore and try out. The food, also, will make Cotto a great place to stop in for a snack, a quick bite, or a full out Italian meal. Some of the things that are exciting us:
- Four types of mozzarella including mozzarella di bufala, scamorza, burrata, and house-made!
- Cheese and meat choices to start off your meal or to snack on
- Five kinds of arancini (fried rice balls): smoked tomato, goat, gorgonzola, truffle, 4 cheese
- Um, did you hear us? Five kinds!
- Seriously, if you’ve never had one, have one.
- Um, did you hear us? Five kinds!
- Cold tapas such as candied marcona almonds with whipped ricotta and honey, a roasted beet and goat cheese terrine, or olives with orange zest, oregano, and olive oil.Hot tapas such as special fried pizzelle, San Marzano meatballs, crispy polenta bruschetta, and lamb sliders.
- Pastas like rigatoni alla Bolognese, housemade potato gnocchi, and lamb maltagliata.
- Brick oven pizzas such as the classic Napoletana, the Capriccioasa (sauce, mozz, mushroom, half boiled egg, prosciutto cotto, black olives), and Nutella: a white pizza focaccia that’s topped with nutella, Rice Krispies, and powdered sugar.
We’ll definitely be trying out Cotto soon over the next few weeks. The lure of a great Italian experience is enough to draw us in and keep us coming back. Here’s to years of success, Cotto!
Cotto Wine Bar + Pizzeria
Address: 51 Bank Street
Phone: (203) 588-9870