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

Categories: General
Chris Preovolos

17 Responses

  1. Lmurph says:

    I agree with J Renzo. This guy is just about the rudest person I have ever encountered in the service industry ever. Especially since he has never presented anything other than mediocre food and a limited vision for an elevated restaurant. I will never go to the “New Bar Rosso”…

  2. J Renzo says:

    The pizza is below average and Giovanni is rude to customers. This place will be closed in 6-months if not sooner. Watery sauce, fishy tuna tartare, and just plain low quality food will fail to overcome the flashy design.

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  4. Rob says:

    Another place soon to be under new management is Benny’s Fast Break. Not sure if he is going to keep the name but he is doing some work and will re open soon.

  5. jodi says:

    Chris, the new pizza is amazing. Just how I like it: thin crust, not too cheesy or saucey. The small plates are perfect. Bar Rosso is my new fave restaurant in Stamford!

  6. Chris Preovolos says:

    I actually really did not like the sweet calamari.

  7. Danielle says:

    New chef? Service is the huge issue, the food was amazing! An awesome contemporary Italian spin. Not sure that changing it to classic italian menu is the key to fixing the problems. The chef had a new culinary spin on the food that was refreshing and made you want to come back for more. Removing the unique and delicious honey calamari, a favorite on the menu, and replacing it with calamari marinara is SUCH an improvement….NOT!…we will see how it goes.

  8. Jeffrey says:

    Congrats to Giovanni and this addition to Capriccio and Volta two of the best that Stamford has to offer. He’s the friendliest person in Stamford and truly knows what it takes to run a great restaurant. It will be awesome to overcome the challenges of Bar Rosso one of the few places in Stamford I didn’t want to review before as service was beyond bad and I really didn’t want to blast them as its a beautiful place yet missed on so many fronts where you felt like you were being watched by the wait staff and they over did it on little tomatoes on everything like they were trying to make things Italian. If he brings a chef from Keste to make the pizza, he can do what he has at Capriccio and he’s going to remain tops in Stamford..

  9. J from CT says:

    Since it’s the same owner, is the pizza similar to Capriccio?

  10. Lisa says:

    Should be called the “newest Bar Rosso” were they not advertising a “new Bar Rosso” in January with Executive Chef Sergio Reis? I work down the street, everyone in town knows it’s not a new owner just a new restaurant person in front of the curtain! The Napa people left in July so this is the third incarnation in a year. Time for a name change folks!

  11. Julie says:

    We were there for lunch today at the patio ! Small plates were delicious ! The staff was very friendly ! Love the food !
    Congratulations to the New Owner ! Spring Street is full of life !

  12. Tom says:

    The new pizza is great – will be back soon.

  13. Annie says:

    We can’t wait to try the new Bar Rosso! We’ve heard great things about the new team! So exciting!!

  14. Tim says:

    Great news ! My wife and I will definitely make sure to stop by !
    As always great Job with your article !

    So excited about the NEW BAR ROSSO !

  15. Chris Preovolos says:

    @Jeff, yes Pasquale Sorangelo, I had an error in the post, which has been corrected.

    @Dave, I hear you. I would LOVE some Vietnamese, Korean, Greek, BBQ, Mexican, etc., etc., but what are you gonna do? I still think raising the bar can’t be a bad thing.

  16. dave french says:

    Right….just what was needed ANOTHER Italian restaurant in Stamford. The pizza will blow you away. Well we don’t want pizza!!!!

  17. Hey Chris…is there a new chef in the kitchen? TIA