Dining in Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield
First of all, has anyone been to the new Buffalo Wild Wings in Stamford?
Are these places generally great or is it just mass-market garbage?
Never been, but based on their TV adds I would venture a guess their food options and quality are on par with a Hooters.
If you are looking for fine dining in those areas I've got a few for you (mostly Italian though):
Pasta Nostra (So Norwalk) - Italian
Liana's Tratoria (Fairfield) - Italian
Ossiana (Fairfield) - Mediteranean
Napa & Company (Stamford) - I guess you would call this American but it's really good and upscale
Columbus Park Tratoria (Stamford) - Italian
Mona Lisa (Stamford) - Italian
Wilson's BBQ (Fairfield) - great pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket, etc
Super Duper Wienie (Fairfield ) - hotdogs and the best cheese steak around
Archie Moores (Fairfield + few other locations) - Bar food, great wings.
Fat Cat Pie Co (Norwalk) - fancy pizza, cheese bar, great wine
Paci (Southport) - Italian
Liana's is a tiny little place in Fairfield (less than 20 tables) and is off the main streets, so it is only attended by the locals who know about it, not people just driving down Rte 1 or the Black Rock Tpke.
The menu is small, too but in my opinion that is better to allow the chef to focus on proper quality and preparation.
They make a house made ricotta gnocchi that is out of this world - - light as a cloud. They make them each day so if you go too late they might be sold out for the day. I think you can have it 4 ways there (plain red sauce, meat sauce, gorgonzola sauce, sage & butter sauce). Because they are so light I wouldn't recomend the meat sauce, but the others are all good.
My other favorite is their linguine and calamari. I've never had calamari so tender before - - - it is perfectly done.
They make a great veal milanese, too.
Awesome all-Italian wine list with very good values on it.
PS: Liana is the owner, not the chef. She is always there walking the floor and making sure everything is going smoothly, which is a nice touch.
As for Paci, they are one of my favorite "special occasion" places; prices are steep, so we can't eat there every day. They make great homemade pasta while also having great meat dishes and their daily specials are usually the best part. It is in Southport (which is a little extention of Fairfield) and is also off the beaten path... it is in an old (but complety renovated) train station which is cool, too. They do have a website so you can check out their stuff:
The winelist is big and amazing, too.
In my opinion, the food at Paci is much better than Liana's. Liana actually used to be a waitress at Paci, and she made some of their desserts. She then opened her own place. We only went to Liana's once, but were underwhelmed with the food.
If you are looking for other places, Osianna in Fairfield has very nice mediterranean food. We always order the small plates. Very fresh ingredients, interesting preparations.
I agree that Paci is better than Liana's and that Osianna is also a very nice stop, but I still think her place is very good, especially for the dishes I mentioned. And her all Italian, well detailed, wine list is my 2nd favorite, only behind Pasta Nostra's (which by the way, Bruno from Pasta Nostra helps Liana construct her wine list.) Just curious, what did you happen to have and what were your reservations? I would suggest a return visit for a 2nd chance.
Jfood wouldguess the demographics are <25, guys, beer, ball games, hollerin'. Probably competing with the Brewery across the street.
And jfood would not characterize eating Wings as dining, more like face stuffing. Great when he was younger but sorta lost the thrill in 1990.
Jfood hopes it makes it. It would be great for the 20-somethings and little jfood lives in the 'hood.
Thank you all my friends for your thoughful responses.
CT burgerlover...Where ARE the best burgers 'round these parts?
Have any of you been to Mama Mina, fairfield?
Room not much to look at but VERY good AND inexpensive very traditional 50's style Italian. Nothing fancy, just very tasty and very consistent.
I've been to the one in the Milford mall once. It was absolutely terrible, I woud never go back & wouldn't reccomend anyone going there to eat. Maybe for a beer to watch a game, but not to eat. The chicken was sawdust like dry you couldn't eat it. The service sucked. Brutal. 0 out of 5 stars
Paci's is GREAT for special occasion. A bit noisy but really really good food. Get the veal milanese - before they run out of it during the dinner rush.