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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

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