Tag Archives: raspberry sorbet

Madonia Will Have You Shouting Madonna Mia Like a True Italian! Madonia: Stamford, CT

20 Nov

Tuna Tartare FTW

Just a little bit north off of exit 34 on the Merrit, Madonia is seemingly all by itself on Long Ridge Road.  Which makes it the perfect place to go to escape the hectic Stamford downtown scene without sacrificing quality.

We have been wanting to try Madonia for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until we were invited to our very first press dinner that we finally got ourselves out there.  We were super excited about it. Excited to meet other writers, excited to try the much talked about Madonia, and excited for a great meal.  Except that, well, I’m an idiot and got the dates mixed up.  The press dinner was next Wednesday.  Doah! But no worries, when we got in we were greeted by the owner and chef, Enzo Bruno.  He just so happened to have the menu on hand from last night’s press dinner, so he treated us to this complimentary tour of his culinary genius. How nice!

At first, we noticed there was a large dining room with a table in the middle that had grated cheese, quality olive oil, crushed red pepper, and other essential goodies to have at an Italian restaurant.  What followed was one of the best Italian meals that we have had in Fairfield County.  Our guide, Enzo, is a true Italian, coming over from Calabria, Italy 16 years ago.  He opened up Madonia just a few years ago and has brought it to new heights with his culinary expertise.  He also works as the sommelier for the restaurant because he feels that you need to understand your food to understand how to pair it.  He’s the DaVinci of Italian food, we swear.  So, signore e signori,  come along on our viaggio through Madonia. That’s ladies and gentleman, take a voyage with us, for you non-paesans.

1st Course:  Tuna Tartare

Fresh and tasty.  The corn really brings nice texture contrast to the tuna and the creaminess of the avocado.  Add the contrast of the sweet and spicy mango-wasabi drizzle and all the flavor spots will be happy.  Enzo paired this with a dry and crisp Prosecco from Villa Sandi, which was a genius pairing. Not too sweet, nice and dry to compliment this complex dish.

2nd Course: Autumn Salad

The vinaigrette was one of the best we’ve had. It was a bit tangy with lots of hints of spices such as ground mustard seed and rosemary.  The Autumn Salad had field greens, roasted beets and pears, figs, and some feta.  All the flavors jived well together and it was another great pairing with a Torrontes 2010 from Tierra de Luna.  Kristien totally nailed it when she described it as minerally and soft… a little like a steel aged chardonnay, but not quite. You should’ve seen her face light up when she saw this wine was a Chardonnay blend. She loves when she gets a wine right!

3rd Course:  Sole Riviera

A beautifully cooked and delicate Sole fillet with charred peppers, peas, aceto di moscato, and fresh mozz all atop of Sardinian couscous.  Sardinian couscous.  We had no idea there was such thing, but there is.  Just imagine bigger pearls of couscous.  The couscous itself was cooked nicely with an earthy taste to it from the mushrooms.  That added a nice balance to the fish.  You come out with sweet and sour flavors bouncing you around.  We wanted to have more tomatoes to give more contrast with the acids in the dish to contrast the heaviness of the couscous.  Enzo gave us a 2009 Falanghina from Terredora that was slightly citrusy and matched nicely with the sole and the earthiness of the broth and mushroom couscous.

Palate Cleanser:  Raspberry Sorbet

Yummy!   Full of raspberry flavor that burst onto your palate.  Whenever we hear palate cleanser, we think of Web Soup’s special part of the show after you are assaulted with “Things You Can’t Unsee.”

4th Course:  Homemade gnocchi

Melt-in-your-mouth-awesomey-goodness!  The sauce was tangy and tomatoes, not too sweet, just right.  The gnocchi light and fluffy like it’s made in Italy:  a real treat if you’re a gnocchi lover and you’ve never had it freshly made.  Tip:  when Enzo or your server asks if you’d like pepper or cheese, add some crushed red pepper for a kick and some freshly shaved park for bite.  The 2008 Barbera d’Alba from Batasiolo Sovrana had a medium body and was fruit forward which cut nicely into the sauce and starch from the gnocchi.

5th Course:  5 hour short ribs

Delicate short ribs that flake at the smallest touch of your fork covered in a rich chianti glaze.  OMG.  It was served atop a helping of horseradish mashed potatoes and some cabbage.  This was killer enough, but Enzo put a homemade onion ring battered with Peroni Italian beer.  Yeah, just a ridiculously good dish.  We were given a 2006 Super Tuscan from Coronoto to pair up with the short ribs that was jammy and had nice depth. A smart pairing for this rich dish.

Overall Impressions

Madonia won’t disappoint.  Whether you go for their Tuesday-Thursday 3 course dinner at a mere $25, for a brunch with half off bottles of wine and live jazz, or you just want some great, authentic Italian food made with love…well, this is your spot.  We plan to be back, take Kristien’s parents, and to recommend Madonia to people who are looking for Italian restaurants that rise above the rest in Fairfield County.

Noms: 4.25

Cost: $$$

Madonia Restaurant & Bar

Address: 1297 Long Ridge Road

Stamford, CT 06903

Phone: (203) 322-8870

Site: http://www.madoniarestaurant.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/madoniarestaurant

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/madoniastamford
Madonia Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

The Missing Link in Downtown Stamford: Gelato, Crepes, and Awesomeness. Volta Gelateria Creperia- Stamford, CT

19 Jun

Coppe of banana, cioccolato, and caffe

After many visits, we finally wrote up a review…and it’s with Alex from Sunday Diners.  Check it out.  

The Missing Link

Downtown Stamford has bars, Italian spots, Chinese spots, burger spots, and McDonald’s, but I don’t think Stamfordites realized what was missing until Volta showed up.  Downtown Stamford has always needed a nice, chill, hip spot for people to sit, relax, and surf on the net while eating.  Downtown Stamford has needed a change for a while, and Volta will bring it with its crepes, salads, drinks, gelato and great service.  Here’s the skinny (well, maybe slightly plump) on Volta and all they have to offer.

A Tour of Volta

Doesn’t that just call out, “summer”?

To start, it’s amazing to see how packed Volta was before it was even technically opened.  We stopped by on two of their soft opening days and the dining room was packed as was the outdoor seating. It seemed though, that the energetic and knowledgable staff moved things along nicely.  Giovanni, one of the owners of Capriccio Café, took us on a tour of his baby.  First stop:  Laboratorio del Gelato.  Seriously, that’s the name of the room.  Packages of fresh fruit are waiting there to be transformed into gelato and sorbet.  All the equipment was imported from Italy and you can see the pride on Giovanni’s face as he talks about how their gelato is made.  Fresh ingredients, made right, made the Italian way, made right at Volta!

Only a small section of their gelato choices

He showed us his gelato, 20 flavors in all, served the old-fashioned Italian way:  rather than scoop it up, they take two spatulas and form the scoops.  Volta is all about doing things right and staying true to Italian roots.  We felt like we were back in Italy for a few hours, roaming the streets of Rome-no pun intended, but certainly hilarious of course.

Gelato Paradise

First of all, just like Italy’s gelato shops, here you pay first, then you select your gelato.  Don’t be the dummy to mess things up, listen to our advice.  Give ’em your order, paesanos:  piccola ($4); media ($5.50); grande ($7); or a Coppe Speciali.  Step over to the gelato counter and drop your jaw in awe of the beauty of what is set before you.  They also have Coppe Speciali (special cups) that look sinfully good such as Coppa Romana:  gelato al fior di latte, hot chocolate, whipped creamed, and biscotto.  Well, we’ve been naughty and have come here two nights in a row so we’ve had 6 of their flavors.  Let’s give you a sampling of what they have:

Some of the amazing Coppe Speciali

What We Tried

Raspberry sorbet and gianduia in background at Volta

Cioccolato:  Holy chocolate batman, dark, strong, and so damn good

Gianduia:  A light chocolate flavor with great hints of hazelnut

Coconut:  Fresh coconut taste with flakes mixed in, delicious.

Banana:  Tasted like smashed up bananas in creamy goodness. Wow.

Caffe:  Good and medium flavored coffee taste, would get again

Raspberry sorbert:  Bright, summery flavors, seeds mixed in for a fresh taste.

What We STILL Hafta Try!

Stracciatella, Hazelnut, Bacio, Vanilla, Strawberry, Pistachio, Chocolate Mint, Biscotto, Nutella, Cream Caramel, Nocciola

Sorbets:  lemon, orange,

Holy Creperia!

Serving up classic Illy espresso!

Yes, Volta’s not just about gelato, they have sweet and savory crepes, salads, desserts, waffles, fresh squeezed juice, drinks, and that cool Italian cafe experience.  There’s free wi-fi and it’s just oh so chill.   We haven’t had a chance to try their food yet, but we’ll be sure to write up a post for our Omnomivores so you get the downlow on this new Stamford hotspot.  As for the Noms, if we based it solely on gelato, we’d give it a 4.5, but until we try their other goodies, we’ll have to hold off.  Ciao, buona notte.

Noms:  3.7

Cost:  $$

Volta Gelateria Creperia
Address: 30 Spring Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Phone: 203-883-8841
Website: http://volta.us/

Volta Gelateria Creperia on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: