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Romantic Italian in Fairfield?

c
CTLamb Feb 3, 2010 02:16 PM

Any suggestions for a place in Fairfield (or Westport or Wilton) for a romantic date? Would prefer Italian but open to anything. It's a special date night so cozy & intimate are a bit more important than excellent food (though of course we'd like that too!) ANY suggestions GREATLY appreciated!

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  1. g
    GatorMan Feb 3, 2010 03:27 PM

    You could try Cinzano's on the Black Rock Turnpike and ask for a quiet table. We've always had good meals there.

    1. i
      Ima Foodie Feb 4, 2010 08:18 AM

      for intimate Italian that's also great food, I'd try Liana's (Fairfield). In particular, I love the airy gnocchi as well as the pasta puttanesca. People love Paci (Southport)- I've only been once but thought the food was overrated. The atmosphere was nice, though.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ima Foodie
        foleyd7 Feb 4, 2010 03:13 PM

        Definitely Liana's or Paci for atmosphere and food (though i will admit that I haven't been to Paci since the changed chefs almost a year ago so I can't attest if they are as good as they used to be).
        If you do Liania's don't miss the gnocchi as Ima_Foodie recommended.
        I'd avoid Cinzano's. Not sure you'll find cozy there and you won't find excellent trattoria food there - - - it's more American-Italian of the thick, abundant red sauce variety.
        In Westport you can check out Finalmente which is a very cozy place.

        1. re: foleyd7
          s
          sibeats Feb 4, 2010 03:56 PM

          I agree about avoiding Cinzano's...it's on par with Olive Garden in my opinion.

          We went to Liana's once and were not overly impressed, but I do hear many good things from other people. It is nice and cozy as well.

          We do like Paci. They have not changed chefs though. One of them left for a little bit last year but has been back for months. While he was out, another chef who had been there for years came back, so it's the same 3 guys who have been there for a very long time. I will say that I think the food has slipped a little bit lately. A bit more uneven. Used to be that any pasta you ordered was amazing...lately the sauces have been just a little watery, a little less flavorful. I think they've been trying to break out of their comfort zone a bit and change things up...in my opinion they should stick to what they've done best for so many years.

          Went to Finalmente once, did not enjoy the food at all.

          1. re: sibeats
            g
            GatorMan Feb 4, 2010 04:16 PM

            There is also a very small, cozy Italian place on Tunxis Hill...I think it's called Bella Sera. I've never been, so I can't vouch for the food, but they do have a website. Not sure if anyone else can weigh in

            1. re: sibeats
              foleyd7 Feb 4, 2010 04:56 PM

              Curious... when did you go to Finalmente?
              I went about a year ago. Since then the chef has left and works at a new place in Stratford called Assaggio. So I'm curious if your dinner came form the old chef or the new chef. I have not eaten there under the new chef, but I thought the location was very "cozy".
              I have eaten at Bella Sera twice - - - about 2+ years ago (I think that was when they first opened). The first time was decent and resulted in a 2nd visit. The 2nd visit was very unmemorable and ordinary, so I have not been back. Not sure how they have been received over the last 2 years.

              1. re: foleyd7
                s
                sibeats Feb 4, 2010 07:25 PM

                It was at least a year ago that we went to Finalmente, so the old chef was there. I just thought it was very average across the board. The kind of place where every entree comes with the same potato and veg.
                It was very very small...we were crammed in a table by the window. To me it seemed very popular with the "blue hair" set...no offense intended!!!

                1. re: sibeats
                  foleyd7 Feb 5, 2010 04:48 AM

                  Funny that you mention the blue hair set.... I didn't get that vibe at all. (Maybe they were already home in bed during the hours we were there (between 8 – 10 pm). Here is what I wrote when we went last year.

                  It’s hard for me to grade a place with just 1 visit, but I would put them in the A- to B range; a 2nd visit will help me come to a final decision if they are closer to an “A-” than a “B”.
                  Some of the Pros & Cons:
                  Menu had a lot of interesting selections on it – I had a lamb scaloppini with prosciutto and goat cheese (which was a great, very well prepared dish).
                  They make homemade pasta’s, but not for all dishes. We wanted to split a pasta dish for an appetizer; it was wild boar ragu over fresh made linguine. However, we were told that the fresh pasta’s are pre-proportioned, so they couldn’t split them. The server did come back to us and let us know we could get the ragu over a non-fresh pasta (which we did – over a basic spaghetti. The sauce was the drawing point and it was very good). I will have to go back and see how their fresh pastas are.
                  Liz’s gnocchi was a bit over-sauced. However, on the plus side, the sauce was very good and fresh, and the fresh mozzarella and basil that topped it off were of quality ingredients, so overall it was still a winner.
                  Their tartufo dessert was really good and made onsite; If you are familiar with tartufo, many places purchase it and don’t attempt to make it. instead of being covered in a hard chocolate shell, the ice cream was rolled in cocoa.
                  The place was busy all night. We got there for our 8 pm reservation on Saturday and it was full - - - and it was still full when we left at 10 pm.
                  The wine list was on the small size and the lower priced bottles were really marked up (I spotted some $12 retail bottles that were on the wine list for $30+). Also, the red wine was served say too warm - - - mostly due to the fact that they have display racks all around their bar which is right next to the (hot) kitchen.

                  PS: We still haven't made it back there for a 2nd visit.

        2. p
          plien69 Feb 4, 2010 05:08 PM

          How about Osianna?

          2 Replies
          1. re: plien69
            foleyd7 Feb 4, 2010 05:20 PM

            Love Osianna. It's more Medit/Greek than Italian.
            Here is a thread on them where I posted previously: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415286

            1. re: plien69
              i
              Ima Foodie Feb 6, 2010 03:39 PM

              Osianna is great, but not Italian. While I like the atmosphere, not sure if I'd call it intimate - may be a bit too bright and airy. One of my favorites, though.

            2. i
              ipo Feb 7, 2010 06:25 AM

              I always enjoy 55 Degrees for a nice cozy and comfortable atmosphere. The tables are larger, it is more quiet than some other restaurants and the food is great.

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