STAMFORD, Conn. — Feeling his food had become too “Americanized,” Stamford chef and restaurant owner Luciano Magliulo returned to his native Italy for a year and a half to find new ideas to bring back to the United States.
He found that Italian food was much simpler and made with fresher, higher-quality ingredients than “Americanized” food. He added that many dishes in America try to “do everything in one dish.”
“If you have the right ingredients, and the right products, the people will love it,” he said of what he tries to do at Piatto Osteria Italiano, which he opened in September after returning to the country.
The restaurant offers authentic Italian dishes as well as seasonal specials that represent different regions of Italy, depending on when ingredients are the freshest. His method is working, drawing customers who keep returning to Piatto Osteria Italiano, he said. “They come back, and come back, and come back.”
In addition to allowing Magliulo to return to his Italian roots, the restaurant also allows the family to work together. His wife, Annarella, adds her own Sardinian dishes to the menu, and his daughter, Michela, a recent graduate of the Connecticut Culinary Institute, is the pastry chef. One of Michela’s specialties is a ricotta cheesecake, which Magliulo’s grandmother taught him how to make and passed it down to her.
Magliulo first came to the U.S. in 1976, and worked in numerous restaurants in New York City and Stamford, including Mona Lisa Ristorante, which he owned in downtown Stamford for about 17 years. It was after he closed Mona Lisa Ristorante that he decided to go to Italy.
Piatto Osteria Italiano is located at 245 Hope St. and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and for lunch Monday through Friday, the restaurant’s website said. Take out and reservations are possible, as well as private parties for 10 to 40 people.