Tag Archives: stracciatella

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

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
Site:  www.zazagastrobar.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001854911680 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/zazagastrobar 

ZAZA Italian Gastrobar on Urbanspoon

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