Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DeCicco's Ardsley

For a beer dork, crossing the border from Connecticut to New York is akin to hopping over the Berlin wall and landing in Allied West Germany. A mere 15 minutes from the Nutmeg State, New York’s beer distribution list includes several amazing breweries you won’t find anywhere in CT. Like Founders. Green Flash. Sixpoint. Anderson Valley. You catch my drift. Lots of good stuff.

In addition, Westchester county is littered with places to get a growler filled – the only place I can think of in Fairfield county is the eternally disappointing SBC. So, when I heard about DeCicco’s, from my next-door neighbor and fellow beer-thusiast, I felt compelled to check it out.

 DeCicco's is Italian for "Yummy Happy Beer Place."

First things first - DeCicco’s is not a liquor store. It’s actually a family-owned, slightly high-end grocery store in the vein of Whole Foods. (At least that’s the impression I got while I was sprinting towards the beer section). However, I hadn’t driven to Ardsley, NY for kale.

The DeCicco’s beer selection, in terms of number of options, is on par with some of the better liquor stores in the Fairfield County area. The difference is the inclusion of the excellent breweries I listed earlier, and the 10-tap growler station.

Did I mention there's cheese at the growler station? There's cheese at the growler station.

On this day, I filled a growler with Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, grabbed a bottle of my beloved Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and snagged a 4-pack of Founders Imperial Stout. None of which, mind you, can be purchased in Stamford. Not a bad haul for a 30 minute drive.

My only complaint would be the fact that my girlfriend’s mom’s maiden name is DeCicco, and yet I didn’t get a family discount. Very disappointing. Other than that – the store kicks ass, and you should check it out.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Fat Cat Pie Co

Norwalk, CT = the worst website ever. Seriously.

As we all know, and as the Stamford Pizza Tour folks constantly remind us, Stamford is saturated with pizza places. There’s a slice for every occasion – Colony when I crave that salty, greasy, deliciousness, Coalhouse when I want to enjoy my pizza with an amazing beer, Remo’s for that classic, fresh, saucy feel, and of course that place around the corner that delivers for those times when I can’t seem to pry myself off the couch. With all of these amazing choices, and many more, why would I leave Stamford for a piece of pizza? Fat Cat Pie Co in Norwalk is one reason.

I like thin crust pies. Fat Cat’s crust is about is thin as it gets. Thin Lizzy would endorse it. In fact, they probably give you the least amount of substance possible for a 13” pizza. You’d be disappointed if you tried to share a pizza with someone, as you’ll have no trouble putting one back on your own. Although small, the crackery crust gives the pies a nice snappy crunch, and just enough support for a thin layer of sauce, and a light sprinkling of cheese and toppings. It’s a minimalistic pie, and it’s not exactly a bargain.

With all of that said, you might be wondering why I just told you to venture outside the nest to try it. Because Fat Cat’s different. It feels more like a wine bar than a pizza place. It’s a dimly lit open room with exposed brick walls and a chill vibe. They have a decent selection of wine and usually a few unexpected craft beers on tap, accompanied by a decent bottle menu. Unlike most pizza places, it’s unlikely that you’ll see Fat Cat overrun with children and families. The ingredients are fresh, all organic, and they serve tasty salads, cheese, fresh baked local breads and delicious coffee. So go ahead, give it a try when you’re looking for something a little different than your old standbys.

They give you variety of Penzey's spices to top your pizza

Here’s our recommendations:

Nona Massini’s sliced meatballs – real, tasty, meatballs. Not just a clump of ground beef.
Seasonal spicy peppers – these fresh peppers add a lot of zing to your pie. Moderate heat.
Breakfast pizza – Local eggs and cheese on a buttered pizza crust.


Fat Cat Pie Co on Urbanspoon