Good food + good wine + good friends… now that’s amore.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of dining out at the newly re-opened Amore Cucina & Bar in Stamford, CT. Amore Cucina & Bar is owned by six-time Wold Pizza Champion/Restaurateur/Food Network Judge Bruno DiFabio. Bruno actually started his pizza career in this little Italian Restaurant in the Springdale area of Stamford when he was a teen. Lucky for us, he has come home to re-open it once again!
Joined by Chef Jared Falco (formerly the Chef at Washington Prime in SoNo), Jared & Bruno bring this restaurants brings new, big flavors and fantastic cocktails. Jared isn’t scared to push the boundaries and update classic Italian favorites and Jared’s personality totally comes through with every bite.
You know what else they bring??… PASSION.
We arrived to Amore on a cold Wednesday night and headed to the bar for some cocktails.
After hanging out the bar and mingling, we headed into the dining room. It was PACKED!
Bruno sat down with us and explained what made the pizza so delicious and so unique. It’s not the sauce, not the toppings. Not how thin or thick it is. Not the crust. Well.. kinda the crust. It’s the yeast that’s used to make the dough. Bruno actually foraged for his yeast in the Dolomites in Italy and brought it home to harvest. Yes. That’s how passionate this guy is about his food.
Science experiment or delicious pizza? Both. And it’s damn good.
So out came the pizzas. We started with a few different pies from round pies to square pies. Each were incredibly different. I especially enjoyed the New Haven White and For The Queen. I also really loved the Juliet, not surprising as figs are one of my favorite foods. That fig jam is crazy good!
Next came the meatballs, made with egg, cheese, Liuzzi burrata, sugo, local egg, and agrodolce (an Italian version of sweet & sour sauce). These meatballs were made with primarily lamb … they were so meaty and delicious. Plus a cracked egg AND burrata in the same dish. Yes, please.
And we were extra excited to support our buds over at Liuzzi 🙂
Then came out our favorite dish of the night … the Octopus Puttanesca. If you like octopus, you MUST try this. Made with tomatoes, Sicilian olives, garlic, n’duja sausage, and capers, this octopus was different from any other octopus I’ve had before. And since we went to Portugal on our honeymoon, believe us when we say we have eaten a LOT of octopus!
Now for the Tuna Crudo. We love raw tuna, but it can certainly be pretty boring. This tuna was everything but boring. The Calabrian chiles (they are HOT!), toasted pumpkin seeds, red onion, and torn parsley took the dish to a crazy new level.
Like shrimp & grits? Try the shrimp & polenta. This is the Italian cousin of shrimp & grits. Made with the same type of ingredients as traditional shrimp & grits, this is certainly a fun spin on it. Our only feedback was on the shrimp – the texture was a bit off, but the flavors were rockin’.
Last, but certainly not least, was the chicken scarpariello. This is a hard dish for Jeff and I to eat because we make it so amazing at home that we don’t want to order it out. But it was nice to try someone else’s chicken scarpariello for once – it was totally different from ours – made with house sausage, peppadew, garlic, Italian polenta, and green shallots.
Dessert. I don’t know how we managed to fit it in, but once it was presented in front of us, we all couldn’t say no. Called the Budino & Fat Pizzelle, this dessert was like a massive pizzelle with a dollop of butterscotch creme on top. Made with butterscotch, whipped cream, and a berry reduction, it was the perfect way to end the meal.
Overall, we absolutely loved Amore Cucina & Bar. It was a refreshing take on Italian food and we’ll definitely be back for more!
Amore Cucina & Bar
Address: 921 Hope Street, Stamford, CT
Phone: (203) 357-1066
Do they take reservations? Call ahead
Vibe: Comfortable, but also energetic
Outdoor Seating? No
FRI & SAT 11:30AM-2AM