One of the best pies that you can find in Fairfield County is being baked, pie after delicious pie, at ReNapoli in Greenwich. There, at the always packed Old Greenwich BYOB, you can often find Bruno DiFabio, manning the peel, or helping things to run smoothly. If that name sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that: he’s won the World Pizza Championship six times in a row, has been a judge on Chopped, and has other restaurants in the area like Pinocchio Pizza (love it here, btw) in New Canaan and Norwalk, Amore Pizza in Scarsdale, NY, Stefano’s Pizza in Wilton, and Marco Polo Pizza in New Haven. Well, add one more to that list: Amore Cucina & Bar in Stamford (site under construction).
But, this opening doesn’t come without some pain and heartbreak. Amore, run by Al Carozza, was a Stamford favorite and had a cult-like following. Invariably, if you asked a Stamfordite where to get a good slice of pie, they’d tell you to check out Amore. And, if you asked where to get some good, classic Italian: Amore. So, people were understandably upset when Carozza announced that he was closing the restaurant. But, who should swoop in and make things better but Bruno DiFabio, who actually started making pizza at Amore, thus completing a full circle as owner and Executive Chef/Pizzaiolo.
In terms of food, you can expect plenty of classic Italian dishes like Amore served such lasagna with a base of slow cooked Bolognese, wood-fired meatballs, and Chicken Scarp prepared in the restaurant’s brick oven. There will also be more creative and modern Italian dishes like prosciutto wrapped jumbo prawns with a pesto broth and a decadent fried spaghetti cake featuring Bolognese, peas, mooz, marinara, and garlic cream. Also, be prepared to devour a mooz and prosciutto “sandwich” made with anchovy sauce, long bone veal chops, and one of our faves: wood-fired Bronzino.
And, yes, there will be pizza . . . wouldn’t that be a crime if a World Pizza Champion didn’t serve pizza? First up is Bruno’s Pizza Romana pies which are actually square pies using dough that he ferments for 72 hours. These are cooked up in the gas-fired brick oven floor to get that distinct flavor and texture. Some of the pies that you can expect are:
West Side – spicy salami, green olives, tomato, mozzarella and passata (Winner Best Traditional, Las Vegas Pizza Expo)
Grandma- marinated tomato, extra virgin olive oil, grated pecorino romano, parsley, sicilian oregano and seasoned bread crumbs
The Pitt Master – pulled pork, red onion, mozzarella, bbq sauce and agave nectar (Grand Champion, Hudson Valley Food Challenge)
And, Bruno will also be serving up Pizza Napoletana from his wood-fired oven. The dough is made fresh each day and is stored in special Neapolitan wooden dough boxes. You’ll get your pie, quick, too, because the 900° Cirigliano oven cooks the pies in 60 seconds and leaves those distinct and nummy nummy blister marks. Here are some of the pies that Amore will open with:
The Fabio – zucchini, cherry tomatoes, pork belly, mozzarella, fava bean and mint salsa (Winner World Pizza Championships Italy)
Bronx House – natural cased pepperoni, fresh pinched sausage, passata, shaved parmigiano, Sicilian oregano and mozzarella
New Haven White – chopped cherry stone clams, bacon, garlic, mozzarella, flat leaf parsley and fresh clam au jus
Thankfully, Stamfordites and Springdalers won’t have to wait much longer for the opening. A soft opening of Bruno’s newest spot is planned for the week of January 26, so keep up with their website, stop by, or give ’em a call if you need some killer pies and food STAT. When you get there, you’ll notice the bar is expanded with enough room for 30 people now that will feature an Italian-focused wine list, cocktails, and brews. There’s also enough room for 60 people in the dining room, so it’s definitely bigger than ReNapoli and some of his other spots. Plus, you’ll want to stop by and check out the terrace that can fit 40 people.
Look . . . all we’re saying is Give Pizza chance.
Amore Cucina & Bar
921 HOPE STREET
STAMFORD, CT 06907
203 357 1066