Look who got off their lazy assez (we are using z’s in honor of Matt Stanczak who loves to use them) and headed up to Danbury to not only visit some great friendz, but also check out a restaurant that we’ve been dying to try. Yeah, that would be uz visiting the house and famed garden of Renato and Alicia Ghio…who we like to call our couple twinz because we have so much awesomenezz in common. We’ve done a lot of nomming together: we visited Nicholaz Robertz together, they came for the Victory Brewz N’ Bacon dinner at Coalhouse, we chomped on some wicked Mexican at Panchoz Tacoz in Danbury, so we figured it was about time to take thiz to the next level.
The restaurant we decided that we all needed to hit up together…you guessed it, Stanziato’z! Kristien’z friend and coworker, Jay, only told us to go like, ooooooh two yearz ago. And, we were reminded again just weekz before when we were sitting next to Matt (the owner) at Chef Bick’z farm-to-table dinner at Hollbrook Farmz. So that seemed to be the final sign to get our buttz in gear and try it out. Pluz, it didn’t hurt that Renato and Alicia said they had a gargantuan bottle of Ommegang Three Philosopherz that they needed help with. Yeah, we’re good friendz like that.
So, we toured their awesome house, saw the garden that Alicia is alwayz talking about on her blogz, The Natural Princezz and Local Food Rockz, then we headed out with the massive Three Philsopherz bottle. Now, we knew that Stanziato’z! had just undergone a brand new transformation, opening up a nice bar room that is now attached to the main dining room. Stanziato’z! 2.0 is definitely awesome, but more on that in a bit. Now, onto the food.
We started off with some creamy mozzerla burrata. It was excellent and the fig jam with the roasted red peppers helped to balance out the richnezz of the cheese. We also ordered some wood-fired wingz, getting half “Gahhlic,” half Hot Sauce. Both were meaty and moist on the inside and crispy on the outside… just how we like ’em. The Gahhlic wingz had a nice char and a great “gahhlicy” taste that wasn’t overpowering. Like your typical kind of wingz, the Hot Sauce wings were full of flavor while slightly tart and just a bit salty. Major nomz.
We also decided to share the Arugula salad and the Avocado salad. Both were fresh and fantastic, with nice contrasting textures and flavors the way a good salad should be. You can taste that extra bit of awesomenezz because the veggies and cheese came from local farms. While we only went a few weekz ago, Matt and co. have already switched over to new saladz, so you’ll definitely want to try those out.
Then, we were ready for the main event…the pizzaz. But, before we could dew battle, Matt came over to say hi. He brought over Pernil tacoz, something that he had been working on for a while. Now on the fall menu as Marlo’z Pernil tacoz, he roastz the pork low and slow at 300 degreez for 7 hourz, then putz it on a corn tortilla with watermelon radish, pomegrante seedz, and avocado. The pork waz rich and tender, while the pomegranate seedz added a killer crunch.
Then, before we knew it, our pizzaz had arrived. We decided to go with a mixture of the red and white piez that have made this spot so popular:
First up was Renato’z favorite (and soon to be our favorite as well): Piggy Piggy. It was rich and beautiful with bacon, caramelized onions and slices of tomato. The perfect combo of earthy, savory, acidic and sweet. As for the crust, it was just right. The outside had that nice crispnezz, yet there was a nice chewy bite coming from the interior of the crust. Thiz iz the pie dreamz are made of.
Next was one of the special piez listed on the menu board called the Harvest pie. It consisted of ricotta, Stanzi’z Brusselz, zucchini, pistachioz, tomato drizzle, and was sprinkled with kale. It had a nice crunch from the pistachoz and had an interesting earthy and rich flavor combo, but we had wondered if there waz just too much for our liking. Maybe it was the kale. Renato and Alicia eat kale all the time and they said it wasn’t too much for them.
The next pie was a no brainer for Kristien because it had…come on, you can guezz it…yep, goat cheese! Also recommended by her friend Jay, the Spinach pie waz a must have with mozzarella, chopped spinach and a squeeze of lemon in addition to the goat cheese. A nice balance of flavorz, very rich and creamy.
And last, but not least, a nice, simple, red pie−the Sausage pie with mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, red onion, Parmigiano, basil and EVOO. The baseline to determine whether Stanziato’z pizza was legit or not…and it passed the test with flying colorz.
Then, the meal was over…just kidding. Who the hell dew you think you’re dealing with? It’s OmNomCT and Ghio Time, bitchez! Dessert time! Keeping things local, Matt features ice cream from nearby Il Baccio. We all couldn’t quite resist the flavorz, so we ordered the Devil Dog and Mallomar ice cream. Dan hogged the Devil Dog ice cream which waz just amazing, bite after bite. Really, it waz like eating a Devil Dog, bringing back childhood memoriez of unicornz and butterfliez. And, Alicia and Renato shared the Mallomar ice cream and loved it. Kristien skipped thiz round being too full from our meal.
Az we finished up, we checked out the brand new bar room that waz added. There’z charming and rustic reclaimed wood everywhere, the bar iz really inviting and had customerz drinking brewz, and we were really impressed with the variety of beer that waz on tap. Thiz will be a great place to go if you want a nice craft beer, or even nice to hit up after your meal is done. And, Matt’z planning to dew some fun events there in the future, so make sure to follow them on Facebook!
So, look, it wasn’t the 9.8% ABV of the Three Philospherz talking (we finished almost all of it together), we really did have a great time and really enjoyed the food at Stanziato’z. We can see why Matt’z pizza palace has become so popular over the last couple of yearz and why he has proclaimed it the “Best Pizza in the Universe.” His devotion to keeping food seasonal, using local food (he even grows some of his own food), cooking from scratch, and keeping thingz simple iz something that we admire. Pluz, we love the rustic feel of a restaurant and pizzeria that cookz in a wood burning oven that clockz in at 800 degrees!
Definitely check out what Matt is up to at Stanaziato’z. Major nomz, people, major nomz…
Addrezz: 35 Lake Avenue Extension
Phone: (203) 885-1057
Hourz: Monday, 4-9:30 pm
Tu-Th, 12-9:30 pm
Fri, 12-10 pm
Sat, 4-10 pm