Stamford, CT - Six-time World Pizza Champion / Restaurateur / Food Network Judge Bruno DiFabio is coming home- home to Amore Restaurant. As a teen, Bruno made his first pizza dough in this little Italian restaurant in the Springdale neighborhood of Stamford. Numerous awards, 11 restaurants and several Food Network gigs later, Bruno is preparing to re-open Amore Restaurant as Amore Cucina & Bar.
“My dad and prior Amore owner Al Carozza were best friends and both are from Abruzzo Italy, “says Bruno, “When I opened my first restaurant in 1993 I asked Al’s permission to name it after his Amore Restaurant. He granted me the permission and Amore Pizza remains a Westchester County favorite to this day. Now, re-opening the original Amore Restaurant as my own is surreal. ”
For Bruno’s newest venture the responsibility that comes with continuing the tradition of the second oldest restaurant in Stamford (Pellicci’s Ristornate is the oldest) is a welcome challenge for this fearless and seasoned restaurateur and his Executive Chef Art Michaelsen . While a fresher and more hip incarnation is at play, Amore Cucina & Bar will pay homage to its predecessors by offering classic Italian fare including; Lasagna layered with slow cooked ragu Bolognese, ricotta, parmigiano and mozzarella cheese; Wood-fired Meatballs in a simple tomato marinara; and Chicken Scarpariello prepared with brick oven chicken, tangy white wine and garlic reduction, roasted potatoes and consultationrevslidefennel sausage.
Contemporary and more vibrant interpretations of some of Bruno’s favorite dishes include; Prosciutto Wrapped Jumbo Prawns with pesto broth; Fried Spaghetti Cake with Bolognese ragu, peas, mozzarella, tomato marinara and garlic cream; Fried Mozzarella and Prosciutto “Sandwich” with anchovy sauce; Long Bone Veal Chop with prosciutto, fontina, wild mushroom marsala wine reduction and arugula smashed potato cake; and Wood-fired Bronzino prepared with tomatoes, olives, avocado, lemon, EVOO and toasted faro.
Amore Cucina & Bar will feature Bruno’s popular Pizza Romana, a square pie that uses the “Poolish” dough method of a 72 hour fermentation process and is cooked in a gas-fired brick floor oven. Varieties include; West Side - spicy salami, green olives, tomato, mozzarella and passata (Winner Best Traditional, Las Vegas Pizza Expo); Grandma- marinated tomato, extra virgin olive oil, grated pecorino romano, parsley, sicilian oregano and doughbgseasoned bread crumbs: and the Pitt Master - pulled pork, red onion, mozzarella, bbq sauce and agave nectar (Grand Champion, Hudson Valley Food Challenge).
From the wood-fired pizza oven comes Pizza Napoletana, the style of pizza that first won DiFabio The World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy in 2008. The dough method is "in giornata", which means it’s made and used in the same day, mixed, cut, balled, and matured during an eight hour fermentation process at room temperature in Neapolitan wooden dough boxes. The pie is blistered / charred by the 900 degree Cirigliano wood burning oven, which gives it its great flavor, and a sixty second cook time leaves the integrity, chewy texture and essence of the ingredients intact. Signature pies include; The Fabio PizzaTraining-SlideBG- zucchini, cherry tomatoes, pork belly, mozzarella, fava bean and mint salsa (Winner World Pizza Championships Italy); Bronx House - natural cased pepperoni, fresh pinched sausage, passata, shaved parmigiano, Sicilian oregano and mozzarella; and the New Haven White - chopped cherry stone clams, bacon, garlic, mozzarella, flat leaf parsley and fresh clam au jus.
Amore Cucina & Bar has been tastefully redesigned, utilizing a rustic palette of exposed brick and distressed wood. A large bar area now accommodates 30 people and features a well thought out wine list with a concentration on Italian varietals, creative cocktails and domestic and imported beer. Dining capacity for up to 60 is set amid a casual trattoria style interior of wood furnishings, subdue lighting and a sociable communal farm table. A large patio during the warmer months welcomes over 40 customers.
He’s been called a “Pizza Geek”, “Dough Boy” and “The Fastest Pizza Maker in the World”, but ultimately Bruno DiFabio is a leading pizza authority who continues hone his craft. Bruno has been coaching chefs from around the world in the art of pizza making for over 10 years, focusing on pizza technique, the scientific principles of dough making, theory, and the history of pizza. Bruno is the owner of The Academy of Pizza Science, which focuses on empowering and providing the tools needed for new and burgeoning pizza restaurant owners to thrive in what was a $38 billion dollar industry in 2014 (reported by the National Restaurant Association). The Academy of Pizza Science is dedicated to the advancement of independent pizza makers worldwide. Bruno’s mission within the pizza industry is the same which applies to his growing restaurant empire; to continue to learn and be impassioned by the many nuances which make pizza one of the most popular food choices across the globe.
“In Pizza, I realize I have thirty years in and thirty more to go, further dedicating myself completely to the study of this great craft.”
Amore Cucina & Bar is planning a soft opening the week of January 26th.
921 HOPE STREET, STAMFORD, CT 06907
203 357 1066
WWW.AMORESTAMFORD.COM (under construction)
**Locally, customers may be familiar with a few of Bruno’s pizzerias including ReNapoli in Old Greenwich and Pinocchio Pizza locations in New Canaan and Wilton and his debut spot, Amore Pizza, in Scarsdale, N.Y.)