FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Cavalli family has been a staple in the Fairfield pizza scene since 1975 when they opened Luigi’s on the Post Road. Now, Paolo Cavalli is setting up shop in the same space as Ponte Vecchio in the Brick Walk with Brick + Wood.
It took about six months for Cavalli and his wife, Clara, to put together the whole concept for the new restaurant. They began construction in early July with hopes of opening a new restaurant with classic wood-fired pizza and Neapolitan street food.
“We love the concept of freshness,” Paolo said.
That concept will be evident, they said, from the mozzarella they will make on site to the freshly sliced prosciutto and the dough they use for the pizza to the unique array of 38 wines they will serve on tap.
“Every glass will taste like the first from the bottle,” Clara said.
On the menu will be freshly cooked pizza, made to order burrata and mozzarella, stuffed and fried risotto balls, Panini, salads and seafood.
This isn’t the first time Cavalli has tried this concept for a pizza restaurant. In Texas, he and his wife opened two locations of Cavalli Pizzeria Napoletana, which took off, earning them accolades across the pizza-making world.
Each of their pizza makers, or Pizzaioli, is trained and certified by the Associazone Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, an association formed in Naples by pizza makers to preserve the authentic Neapolitan pizza values.
“A representative from APN in New York will do the training in the restaurant,” Paolo said. “The key is to make sure that we’re providing consistent product.”
Part of ensuring that the pizza will be the same whether you get it in Texas or in Fairfield, they said, will be getting the best ingredients from Italy and the freshest vegetables from area farms.
The couple hasn’t given up on Texas, though, Paolo says. He goes back every few weeks to check in at the restaurants, but they both grew up in Fairfield and wanted to return to be closer to family.
The Cavalli family, Paolo says, is thrilled not only with their return home but also with the renovations and reimagining of one of the family restaurants.
The goal is to open in early September, Paolo said. But “we don’t want to hurry up and open,” he said. First, they want to ensure that everything will be perfect.