Rowayton, Connecticut is like a pre-op transsexual. It was born a part of Norwalk, but it’s never really felt like it belongs there. It belongs in Darien. You see, growing up, Rowayton always knew it was different. While the other neighborhoods in Norwalk allowed used cars, strip malls, and non-whites, Rowayton decided to call itself by a different name, devote itself to boating, and dress its residents in pink shorts with lobster decals.
In its heart, Rowayton has always been a part of Darien, and it breaks my heart to watch it struggle with its identity. It’s a sect of Norwalk badly in need of a “sects change” operation. So, now that I’ve pissed off transsexuals, people from Rowayton, people from Darien, and people who hate bad puns, let’s talk pizza!
At 7 o’clock on a Saturday night, FPB grabbed a handful of beers and headed down to the only BYOB pizza place in Fairfield County (at least to my knowledge), Rowayton Pizza. My razzing on Rowayton, of course, is all in fun; it’s actually a beautiful area with a very “small-town New England” feel to it. The downside, of course, is that parking sucks, so it took us 10 minutes to find a spot down some side street in front of someone’s house.
When we got to the restaurant, the parking situation was explained a little more clearly to us, as the line to get in was spilling into the parking lot. It would be over an hour before we were seated, despite the menu’s front cover assuring us, “There’s No Waitin’ at Rowayton!” It may be a cute rhyme, but it ain’t true.
Once we were seated, though, things began to run much more smoothly. After putting our now-warm beers on ice, we started with an order of fried calamari. It was lightly fried, crispy, cut into nice big rings and served with a side of tangy marinara. And with 5 of us eating it, it lasted about 3.8 seconds. Calamari, we hardly knew ye.
From there, I moved on to the Amalfi Drive pizza, a clam, bacon and garlic pizza with red sauce. It was well balanced; tangy, cheesy, salty, with plenty of clam flavor in every bite. The crust was a satisfying combination of crunchy and chewy…an excellent pie.
Another highlight of the evening was the price. The 16” large Amalfi Drive was just $15.75…I’ve seen seafood pizzas cost $20+ on multiple occasions. Add to that the fact that we were drinking our own beer from home, and that Rowayton doesn’t charge a stupid corking fee, and you begin to see that it’s one of the biggest pizza bargains in the area.
Our advice – either go early, or go late. If you get there at say, 5 pm, and beat the rush, or 8 pm, once it’s died down a bit, you can avoid that pesky one-hour wait and enjoy great, affordable pizza with whatever beer your heart desires. But if you choose to go at 7 like we did, well, that “No Waitin’ at Rowayton” slogan on the menu just may begin to sound like sarcasm.