NORWALK, Conn. --- It’s a simple question: “What’s the most DVlicious Italian restaurant in the county?”
What's the Best Italian Restaurant In Fairfield County?
Arezzo Ristorante, Westport
Bar Sugo, Norwalk
Cotto Wine Bar, Stamford
Osteria Romana, Norwalk
Sounds straightforward, right? But with a dizzying array of options – everything from old-school red sauce joints to modern takes on Grandma’s homemade cooking to trattorias with gourmet pizzas -- the answer can be hard to answer.
We asked for your favorites; five have been narrowed down as part of our contest and those finalists are being profiled this week.
Voting continues until 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28. You can vote multiple times, albeit once per day.
Grab a fork, read on, and let your fingers do the clicking. The winner will receive a framed DVlicious certificate as well as the pride in knowing it offers a taste of Italy close to home.
What Makes It Pasta Perfect: Everything is fresh and sourced from local producers, which, the eatery says, allows it to produce dishes such as homemade baked mozzarella with prosciutto, arugula and cherry tomatoes, little-neck clams with “grandma-style breadcrumbs” and Pappardella alla Bolognese with chunky home-style meat sauce.
On the fancier side of the menu is Cavatelli al Tartufo, small pasta shells tossed with cognac, wild mushrooms and finished with truffle oil. Tops on the list of Yelp reviewers’ yummiest desserts list are its ricotta cheesecake, puff pastry filled with Nutella (hazel-cocoa spread) and zabaglione (eggs, sugar, sweet wine), and homemade apple tart with vanilla gelato and caramel syrup.
Even the craft cocktails have that special Roman touch. The Italian Mule's kick comes from vodka, herbal liquor, ginger beer and lime juice, while the Margarita Italia incorporates the restaurant's house-made limoncello with jalapeno-infused and aged tequila and orange liquor.
Worth Special Mention: Don’t let the strip-mall location deter you; the restaurant is owned by brothers Graziano and Maurizio Ricci who hail from Rome where they honed their culinary skills and ran restaurants with their parents and other relatives. The Riccis also own the more casual Romanacci Café right next door, where they serve up wood-fired pizza, espresso and lighter Italian bites such as rice balls, mini meatballs, potato croquettes, salami and cheese, and crepes. In 2015, the cafe was named as one of the "Top Things to Do" in Norwalk by vacationidea.com.
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