There’s a new kid in town, Stamford that is, and its name is Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria. Husband and wife Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi have teamed with Chef Kevin Kraklio to create a traditional Italian menu (with a few exceptions) that includes a wide variety of Tapas, entrée-sized dishes and pizzas. Located in the space that formerly housed Tappo, the trio first transformed the interior into a sleeker space, with a front-to-back Italian marble topped bar along the right wall, black-and-white photos adorning the left wall (many of Silvy's mom when she was an actress pictured with Marcello Mastroianni, Brigitte Bardot and David Niven), a curved wood-planked ceiling and an enormous gas fired pizza oven in full view in the rear. Raised in Rome, Cotto represents Claudio and Silvy’s first restaurant in the United States, while Chef Kraklio takes the helm of the kitchen after attending the French Culinary Institute and working at restaurants throughout Italy.
After seeing the menu on-line, my curiosity got the better of me so I stopped for a quick lunch and I am incredibly glad that I did. I ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese and it was divine. The pasta was perfectly cooked to al dente and the beef and veal based sauce was rich, creamy, deep flavored, and was perfectly proportioned to the pasta. Other than a smattering of sautéed mushrooms, it was a traditional preparation with just a touch of cream and butter added at the end to highlight the flavors plus a sprinkling of crushed red pepper to add a little spice.
As I was speaking with the owners, they offered a thin-crust dessert pizza, made with focaccia dough and covered with Nutella, Rice Crispies and powdered sugar. I have always struggled with calling this combination a “pizza,” but regardless of the name the combination of the chocolaty sweetness, the nuttiness and the Rice Crispies was a great way to end the meal.
In addition, the restaurant currently offers 200 labels on its enormous wine list.
If my first meal is any indication of the food at Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria, it will be a go-to spot in Stamford. Stay tuned as CTbites revisits in a few weeks for a full review of this newest addition to Stamford.
Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria 51 Bank Street - Stamford, CT 06901 – 203.914.1400