May 18, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 17 June 2010 10:46
Before opening his first restaurant, Matt Stanczak, chef/owner of the new Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza in Danbury, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He toured Europe in 2006 observing wood fired brick oven pizzaiolo experts at work in Italy, collected recipes, and worked as a personal chef for a Greenwich family.
The name of the restaurant, “Stanziato” is a blend of the young chef’s name, Stanczak and of his fiancée, Lisa Annunziato.Having selected a well traveled location for his restaurant near the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University, the ambitious chef and his well-trained staff are preparing a variety of pizza styles non-stop, available in 12-inch sizes only, priced from $5.95 to $11.95. Adjust your pizza craving to a lunch schedule, and you can order any pizza on the menu for $7 from 12 to 4. Add a small salad, and the combo is $11, available daily.
There’s also a variety of soups ($4 cup) made with chicken or vegetable stock with no cream or butter added.
Another temptation are the wood-fired chicken wings baked, not fried, next to the wood fire, a method that produces crisp, juicy and completely meaty morsels.
Except for a Build Your Own Pasta special, with a choice of linguine, rigatoni or cavatelli (half, $6, or full, $13) with a choice of sauce — sausage Bolognese, basil pesto and vodka — there are no entrees on the menu.
Sandwiches — meatball parmigiano, wood-roasted chicken, or ham ($5.50 to $6.50) — are available at lunch only, from 12 to 4.
My daughter and I enjoyed market chopped salad made with local greens, herbs, vegetables, aged Vermont cheddar with white balsamic-shallot vinaigrette, a great start. We ordered two pizzas, chopped spinach, white with no tomato sauce, made with goat cheese, garlic, and fresh mozzarella, and housemade mini-meatballs with crushed tomatoes, basil and fresh milky mozzarella, and both were delicious.
On future visits, we will try “shrooms” with cremini mushrooms; bambino, a kid’s pizza with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, $5.95; buffalo chicken; sausage; and the traditional marinara pizza accented with dried Sicilian oregano.
During the summer, Chef Stanczak will have express outdoor pizza and ice cream counters featuring Mr. Shane’s of Ridgefield famous ice cream flavors.
In addition to a variety of pizzas, Chef Stanczak features wholesome and generous salads made from produce from local farms, farm fresh eggs, milk, herbs and vegetables, and he favors fresh mozzarella from upstate New York.
With a large amount of wall space, area artists are encouraged to hang their art for rotational exhibits.
Pizzas are the “stars” of this new restaurant. It seems like the old days again when pizzas looked and tasted like pizzas instead of a dinner entrée.
35 Lake Avenue Ext.
Serving hours: 12 to 8:30, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 12 to 9:30, Friday and Saturday; 3 to 9, Sunday; closed Monday.
Reservations for large parties; handicap accessible; child friendly; major credit cards accepted; wine, by the glass, $7 to $10; bottle, $18 to $24, and beer; wood-fired pizza favorites; several pasta dishes, no entrees; featuring Mr. Shane’s ice cream; take out; no delivery; private functions; parking adjacent to the restaurant.
Specializing in hearty pub fare, executive chef Matt Stein and his wife Susan are the owners of the new Greenwoods Grille and Ale House, formerly Greenwood’s Restaurant, located at 186 Greenwood Avenue at the Bethel Opera House. Chef Stein was in charge of several kitchens in New York City restaurants and assisted in the opening of both The Broadway Diners.
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