Amore Cucina & Bar, located in Stamford, CT, was recently re-opened by 6-Time World Pizza Champion Bruno DiFabio, featuring Italian comfort food, fresh pasta, and wood-fired pizza.
921 Hope Street, Stamford, CT
We had the opportunity to attend a media dinner at Amore Cucino and Bar where we were treated to a sampling of the menu and some of the cocktails as well.
Owner Bruno DiFabio shared his long-time experience with Amore Cucina. As a teenager he worked for the original owners and this was the place where he made his first pizza dough. Several years later, he jumped at the opportunity to become a partner in the restaurant.
As usual, we started our dinner with cocktails. We tried a variety including the Mimosa, French Quarter, City of Love, and the Lemon Drop. The French Quarter blends Blackwell’s rum with grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and ginger water. The City of Love consists of Dimmi liquor, lemon juice, and prosecco presented in a champagne flute. The Lemon Drop was a lemony mixture of Berkshire mountain vodka and house-made limoncello finished with a lemon sugar rim.
Pizza was next up on the menu. Armore Cucina serves both round and square pizzas. We learned how the special crust is prepared and the passion Bruno has that ensures it is made correctly using wild yeast that he gathered by hand from the Dolomite Mountains in northeastern Italy. No commercial yeast is used at Armore Cucina.
The charred Neo-Neapolitan Round, as Bruno calls it, comes hot from the 900 degree wood-fired pizza oven located at the end of the bar. The dough for the round pizza is “in giornata”, meaning the dough is prepared and used in the same day, mixed, cut, balled, and matured during an eight hour fermentation process in Neapolitan wooden dough boxes.
Whereas the square pie uses the “Poolish” dough method of a 72 hour fermentation process, then cooked in a gas-fired brick floor oven.
From their round pie offerings, we sampled the New Haven White – chopped littleneck clams, Amore bacon, house mozzarella, and smoked lemon juice; the For The Queen – San Marzano tomatoes, Flor di Latte mozzarella, pecorino romamno, basil, and local egg; and the Holy Cheesus – house mozzarello, parmigiano reggiano, pecorino romano, fontina, and burrata.
For square pies, we had Pitt Master – pulled pork, red onion, mozzarella, bbq sauce and agave nectar and the Juliet – house mozzarella, gorgonzola doice, fig jam, prosciutto, and agrodolce.
Moving on, Chef Jared Falco, who recently came from Washington Prime in South Norwalk, presented us with several of his creations for our sampling.
Some menu items he offered up for us to try included: Pork Osso Bucco: a perfectly cooked double pork chop resting on gravy accompanied by a warm potato salad and pancetta all topped with shavings of parmigiano reggiano; Chef Jared’s version of Linguine and Clams: house made pasta with Norms little neck clams, pancetta, sliced gralic, green onion, dehydrated bacon, and lemon zest; and the nicely prepared Octopus Puttanesca featured n’duja sausage, tomato, Sicily olives, and capers. On the lighter side, we sampled the Beet & Rucula Salad; where a mount of arugula sit atop braised red beet puree topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts.
We finished the evening with Fried Oreos with shots of pretzel milk and Waffle & Nutella topped with tomato jam and whipped cream.
The rustic and cozy Amore is a nice place to go and enjoy a drink accompanied by a good pizza. If you are looking for sometime other than pizza, try Chef Jarod’s Pork Osso Bucco or one of his “dry” pasta dishes that are not heavy laden with sauce.