Eat Street: Local Restaurants
Local Stamford Restaurants
Photograph: Andrew Sullivan
Keeping it Simple
When Adam Truelove became Napa & Co’s new executive chef last April, he didn’t add a signature dish. His own style—simple and bright flavors, clean and elegant plating, and seasonal approach—fit Napa’s simple, West-coast, wine-centric menu, which adapts daily to what’s available. “Mary Schaffer and Charles Morgan give me freedom to be always changing,” he says. Napa’s guests are forefront in the chef’s mind. During the week the dining room fills with business people. “I want them to feel comfortable,” Truelove says. “The food can’t be too complicated.” The graduate of the French Culinary Institute previously cheffed at Solé and Pine Social in New Canaan, and eleven 14 Kitchen in Greenwich, where he mastered the art of cooking fish. A must-taste: his red snapper, which he pairs with purée of smoked eggplant and fingerling potatoes.
The old Dragonfly has returned to its Irish roots. Renovated from its Gothic interiors to look like an Irish palace, Castle Bar & Grill specializes in martinis, with a bar devoted to the potent libations on the lower level, while the main floor offers traditional beer and bar food, like fish and chips, crab cakes and Reubens “with a European flair.”
Pie, Oh My!
The only nontraditional thing about Pizza Luca is its home in a 1952 blue Chevy truck with a wood-fired oven firing up blistered-crust Napoletana pies that transport people to Naples. The pizzaiolo, as it’s called in Neopolitan dialect, is Dean Medico, and he follows the guidelines for the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana in equipment, technique and ingredients. Aromatic hard woods heat the oven to 900 degrees and the pizzas—with doughs stretched by hand and topped with D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes, Caputo 00 flour, buffalo milk mozzarella from Campania, and Sicilian sea salt—have raised charred edges and thin centers. Pizza Luca has won Slow Food’s “Snail of Approval” award. To find the truck, go to pizzaluca.com. Though it stays close to home in Westchester (road trip!), it was spotted in Stamford last fall, and Medico says he’s considering adding a truck for Fairfield County jaunts. Can’t wait.