Bar Rosso: New management, new menu, all Italian

ABOVE: Giovanni Gentile, right, and Rosario Procino

UPDATE: You can check out the new menu here.

Giovanni Gentille jokingly calls his new venture “The Italian Job.”

If you don’t know Giovanni personally, you have undoubtedly seen him. As the owner of Capriccio Café and newcomer Volta Gelateria, Giovanni is the unofficial mayor of downtown Stamford. And now he has added Bar Rosso to his lineup.

Opened last year by the owners of Napa & Co. — widely considered to be one of Stamford’s finest restaurants — Giovanni is taking over this popular Spring Street destination. First and foremost, he is eager to point out, is that they are now 100% Italian. Gentile, a native of Bari is joined by Rosario Procino, of Naples, who just left the much lauded Kesté Pizza & Vino in New York’s West Village and chef Pasquale Sorangelo.

Bar Rosso is rolling out its new menu tonight, and while I have taken a peek, the only thing I can actually report on at this point is the pizza…which will blow you away. True, I waxed poetically about Tappo when the opened (and have been back many times since), but this is on a whole other plane.

The four or five times I’ve been to Bar Rosso have been pretty enjoyable. I liked the pasta, I loved the burger and the small plates were very good and inventive. The big disappointment was the pizza. I kept trying it, thinking that maybe I just had just visited on a bad night, however, the crust was always too heavy and too chewy.

The reinvented pizza at Bar Rosso features a spectacularly light and delicate crust, an amazingly simple sauce and top-notch ingredients. You owe it to yourself to try this.

This afternoon, Bar Rosso was busily preparing for the new menu rollout as the line churned out the new dishes for the front of the house staff to see. I heard a few choice words I normally only hear on the bocce court thrown about, but Giovanni assures me they will be ready tonight, and for a public grand ‘opening’ celebration on May 12.

I’m also assured that the new menu will be friendlier on your wallet, which is always a welcome change.

BELOW: Why you need to go see the changes at Bar Rosso

Chris Preovolos