Friday, November 18, 2011

Rizzuto's in Stamford, CT

I recently had the pleasure of trying Rizzuto's, a brand new restaurant in Stamford, CT. The Rizzuto's name has been around awhile with location sprinkled all over Connecticut, but the Stamford location just opened about a week ago. I took my good friend Katelyn there for dinner for her birthday since she lives in Stamford and I have to say, we had a truly wonderful experience there that I want to tell you about.
I made a reservation on one of my favorite websites, OpenTable, for 6:45pm and called the restaurant ahead of time to ask them to bring a slice of cake with a candle out for Katelyn after dinner. The host on the phone was SO nice and helpful, I knew our dinner was going to be great. Kate picked me up at the Stamford train station and we arrived right on time for our reservation. The host, who I assumed was the one I had spoken to on the phone, said "Rachel, Party of 2?" and then gave me a "this must be the birthday girl" wink.

We were shown to a table for 2 and I took in the fun decor of the restaurant. Cozy and inviting, I was already loving it before we even had our first bite of food. Our waiter, Mike, came over to greet us and take our drink order and he was energetic, friendly and warm. He talked to us about it being the first week that the restaurant was open and made us feel so welcome. 

Kate and I decided to share the Meatballs, Cesar salad and Eggplant Rollatini to start, then I had the Cavatelli & Sausage and Kate had the Rigatoni. We also shared a bottle of Pinot Noir. I didn't take pictures of any of the food, but everything was truly delicious. I was super impressed especially with the meatballs. I have had too many bad meatballs in my day and know how easy they are to screw up, but these were awesome.

Our waiter Mike was one of the sweetest waiters I have ever had in my life. You could tell he loved his job and we thought he was wonderful. Then I noticed him lighting Katelyn's cake behind her back and looking to me for the nod of approval to bring the cake to the table. I found this SO sweet and Katelyn was totally surprised!

Here is our adorable waiter singing Happy Birthday to Katelyn:

By the end of the meal we were completely stuffed and happy. We sat talking for over an hour after we had finished our meal and not once did they rush us out of make us feel unwelcome. The owner of the restaurant, Mr. Rizzuto himself, came over to as us how our meal was and we told him the truth. It was absolutely wonderful!

How important is good service to you in the grand scheme of your meal? Would bad service ruin a wonderful meal? Would amazing service save terrible food? Let me know!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strip House Steak Rivals Luger

I know the title of this post is just ridiculous. A better steak than my out-of-body experience at Peter Luger last winter? Could it be? Maybe. All I know is that Jill, Lauren and I had been dying to try Strip House in the Village for months and we finally snagged a 9:30pm reservation last Saturday night.

Since I usually do write about the full experience, I will get out my complaint that our table wasn't ready on time and we had to sit and wait a full 25-30 minutes before we were seated at a table smack in the middle of the crowded bar. But whatever disappointment this caused quickly melted away as soon as we started eating.
 (photo courtesy of - this was our exact table!)

 For our appetizer, the 3 of us split the New England Sea Scallops with edamame succotash, black truffle butter and corn broth and the Caesar Salad with hearts of romaine, paprika croutons and shaved parmesan. Both were very yummy and we were all so starving that the food was gone before I could even think to take a picture. Oh well, sometimes you really just have to live in the moment.

Something I may have mentioned about my dear friend Jill in the past (sorry Jill) is that we like our meat cooked a bit... differently. I mean this in the most loving way possible, but my friend really likes to make sure that cow is dead. Not me. It could be mooing and I'd likely still eat it. Medium rare is how I like mine cooked, the bloodier the better. Gross to some, yes, but not to Lauren. This is why the two of us decided to split the 40 oz. Classic Porterhouse for two. Lauren had to be talked into this cut, but I'm pretty sure she was very happy with our decision.

For our sides, we chose the Black Truffle Creamed Spinach, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Sautéed Green Beans With Garlic.
Yum! While I only took a small taste of the spinach to save my stomach, all 3 of these were absolutely perfect. The green beans were crisp, the spinach creamy and the mushrooms earthy. Wonderful compliments to our unbelievable steak, my plate was truly a work of art.
I know a lot of people would be turned off by how rare my steak was, but this was an utterly perfect piece of meat. Since Lauren loves Filet Mignon and I love NY Strip, the waiter gave her more of the Filet and me more of the Strip. Amazing. Fantastic. Incredible. I can't use enough words to describe how phenomenal this steak was. Was this better than Luger? I don't know if I can actually make that call, but this was pretty darn close.

We didn't leave any room for dessert (big surprise for me) and overcame our food coma with espressos and capuccinos for the table. Then we strapped on our dancing shoes, headed out in Meatpacking and had a great night. I'm curious though, how do you like your steak cooked? Do you think medium rare is too bloody? Do you agree with me that medium well is a waste of a perfectly good piece of meat? Well, I say, to each their own, just don't overcook MY steak.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie