Tastemakers

All about our favorite local restaurant's chefs and owners



Gino Riccio

Photographs: Quis Courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant; Schaffer and Monte by Andrew Sullivan; Riccio by Tom Mcgovern

We only see them at work, preparing the meals we enjoy every time we visit their restaurants. So we got to thinking. What do they do when they’re not behind the stove? We asked, and here’s what we found out.

Gino Riccio

Co-owner, Quattro Pazzi and Boca Mezze Eatery

When I’m not working…
I usually go out to eat in New York City, at Milos, a Greek Mediterranean restaurant off 56th street.

After work I like to pour myself…
I don’t have a drink. I go home.

For the holidays…
We’re especially busy around Thanksgiving and Christmas [at Quattro Pazzi] but at home I don’t cook on Christmas. Either my mother-in-law or my father cooks. She’s Greek, so she makes fish and salads. My father is Italian. He makes fish, pastas, lots of different appetizers, like broccoli rabe and sausage.

I food shop at… 
Health food stores for organic vegetables. I shop at Whole Foods and Mrs. Green’s Natural Market.


Scott Quis

Chef, Barcelona

When I’m not working…
I eat at Piccolo and Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York.

After work I like to pour myself…
A cold beer.

For the holidays…
My wife and I are hosting twenty-five people for the first time. We will first visit my family in New York, then my wife’s side will meet us in Connecticut when we return. Dining during the holidays is an all-day affair. It’ll definitely be a sit-down dinner with several courses and I will most likely braise or roast a meat and create a few sides with seasonal vegetables.

I food shop…
In my personal garden, where I grow heirloom tomatoes, several types of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce and cabbage. If I go to a market, I shop at Fairway.


Chef Scott Quis


Mary Schaffer

Co-owner, Napa & Co

When I’m not working…
I always like to try the new restaurants. I’ve enjoyed the food trucks popping up, and recently enjoyed Bartaco and Terrain in Westport. My kids love The Original Pappas Pizza! The coolest find this year was a tiny place in Rhinebeck, New York called The Fork in the Road.

For the holidays I like to serve…
A traditional meal at home: oven-roasted turkey with a pancetta-sausage-mushroom stuffing, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and my favorite childhood memory: sweet potatoes with maple syrup and marshmallows. For dessert, pecan pie, always!

I food shop at…
The weekend farmer’s market on Bedford Street, Fairway as a terrific one-stop shop for hard-to-find items, and my neighborhood Grade A.


Mary Schaffer


Eric Monte

Co-owner, The Fez

When I’m not working…
I love to eat French food, and when I can get to New York City, I go to Raoul’s in SoHo. In Stamford my two favorites are Italian. There’s Cotto Winebar & Pizzeria on Bank Street; the food has an upscale polish. And Sunny & Frankie’s: real comforting Southern Italian.

After work I like to pour myself…
An old world Bordeaux. I have a passion for wine.

For the holidays…
We’re open Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do turkey with a twist, rubbed with seven Middle Eastern spices and stuffed with couscous and dried fruit.

I food shop at…
Fairway. I’m very pleased with the selection; they have many oils, special olives and cheeses.


Eric Monte

Stamford Agenda

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    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

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    2014.09.23

    For children ages 6 months - 2 years and their parents or caregivers. Celebrate a whole year of holidays with the JCC Sara Walker Nursery School...

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    2014.08.11

    Registration for the 2014/15 school Our Nursery School programs are designed to help children learn in an interactive and playful way while...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

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    2014.09.20

    September 20 through November 4, 9am – 5pm The Way We Worked is a fun and nostalgic look back at the history of working people in...

  • NFL Specials

    2014.09.17

    Are you ready to spend Football Sunday and Mondays with us at the Whale? Join us for $4 Bud Light Drafts, $8 Signature Bloody Mary’s and...

  • College Football Specials

    2014.09.17

    Calling all College Football fans! Watch your favorite college football team score a touchdown at Sign of the Whale. Drink specials include $4...

  • FAll 2014 Semester beginning - Ballet School of Stamford

    2014.09.15

    Our Fall semester begins on September 15th in our beautiful studios at Old Town Hall in Stamford. We offer classes for children age 3 to 18. Our...

  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center Facility Use

    2014.09.01

    September 1 – December 31, After 5pm For a truly unique and memorable venue, host your event or meeting on the picturesque 118-acre...

  • BU8: DJ Trivia | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Come test your Wit and skills with TRIVIA. The top 3 teams claim prizes. Great specials and a great time for those who...

  • FALL BREAK OUT DAY: Get to Work!

    2014.09.25

    No school? No problem! Join us for a day of special programs and self-guided activities for all ages. Join SM&NC Educational and Curatorial...

  • Let’s Talk

    2014.09.04

    Thursdays, Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 23, Oct. 30, 1 – 2 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet new people or...

  • ASTRONOMY NIGHTS: Fall Constellations

    2014.09.26

    Head to the Observatory for a real treat to explore the night sky, planets, stars, and more! Start by enjoying a presentation on the Fall...

  • Neshama Yoga

    2014.09.12

    Fridays Sept. 12 – Dec. 19 (No class Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Nov. 28), 9 – 10:30 am Neshama Yoga is a fusion of Kundalini...

  • Mile of Pink

    2014.09.27

    Join Stamford Mayor David Martin and show your support for local breast cancer survivors. Gather in the Park and literally “Paint the Town...

  • Endless Summer Saturday, September 27th

    2014.09.27

    Join us for Sign of the Whale’s first end of the summer rooftop party! From 11:30am to 8pm, enjoy $4 Summer Beers, $5 Hot Dogs and...

  • French Market (Farmers’ Market)

    2014.06.14

    Visit our farmers’ market with vendors offering the freshest fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods and more! Straight from the farm and...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Market Madness Sundays

    2014.09.07

    Sundays, September 7 – October 5, 10 am – 3:30 pm Support local farmers and explore the SM&NC through hands-on activities...

  • Restaurant: Family Night | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Every Sunday evening from 5:30PM - 8:30PM Bring the kids to enjoy our Magician, special kids menu, fun for the entire family!


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