In the fall of 2014, an exciting new Italian restaurant concept was introduced to Fairfield County. Brick + Wood took an often ordinary food genre and turned it on its heels, offering diners the foods that the Cavalli family grew up with in Italy. Brick + Wood featured a hybrid of Neapolitan Street foods, wood-fired pizza, and mozzarella bar favorites – no chicken parm of spaghetti at this neighborhood Italian restaurant; and for that we are grateful.
The Brick + Wood mantra is “Love Life and Pizza” and their pizza is not only loved, it is certified by the Associazone Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN), the elite Italian governing body that teaches the 150 year old art of Neapolitan pizza making. Brick + Wood’s pizzaiolos are all certified by this prestigious association, under the tutelage of pizza maestro Roberto Caporuscio of APN America in Manhattan, NY. Fan faves include the Diavola topped with spicy soppressata, garlic, jalapeños and oregano; and the mouthwatering zucchini pancetta white pizza made with ricotta, caramelized onions, roasted zucchini, and crispy pancetta, a unique and addictive flavor and texture combination. Taking things one step further, desserts pizza (yep, a s’mores pizza) and even brunch pizza (potato, bacon, chives, burrata and scrambled eggs – wow!) will make you believer.
As the name Brick + Wood implies, much of the interior design is framed by stressed wood and worn Chicago brick with pockets of space throughout filled with stacks of wood that heat the oven. The mosaic tiled Acunto pizza oven (which heats to 900 degrees!) and the butcher block and Calcutta Ciero marble top mozzarella bar are the focal point of the open kitchen, counter seating, and dining room. The archway of the seasonal patio is draped in dangling lights, reminiscent of a Naples street scene.
Equally evocative of the Italian street scene is Brick + Wood’s menu. The dining experience begins with a real mozzarella bar where hand-stretched mozzarella favorites are made to order, never prep-made or over chilled, thus bringing out the best flavor profile of this wonderfully fresh and milky cheese. Must-haves include; burrata with cream and truffle-filled center, served with prosciutto and arugula; girelli, thin mozzarella layered with eggplant, prosciutto, and roasted peppers; and hot smoked mozzarella with speck, basil and olive oil.
The Italian street food component is especially exciting as these traditional finger foods are what one might see people eating in the streets or piazzas throughout Italy. Arancini, deep fried risotto balls, are stuffed with a variety of fillings. A true standout is the pear and gorgonzola version served with a decadent sage brown butter sauce. The loaded baked potato crochette is everything you would hope and dream it to be, as is the panzerotti of fried dough stuffed with salamino, fresh mozzarella and basil, and Nonna’s turkey meatballs with marinara sauce and parmigiana. Don’t let the turkey substitution fool ya. These meatballs are Sunday gravy worthy.
In addition to craft cocktails and premium beer selections, Brick + Wood is home to an all-tap wine program, the first of its kind in Connecticut. Skeptics were quickly put at ease as these keg stored, pressure and temperature controlled wine systems are simply a brilliant host for some of the most prestigious wine makers to store and serve their wines from. This method ensures a fresh and flavorful wine from start to finish. You can’t say that about open wine bottles hanging out on a bar shelf, now can you? Just when you thought the world had enough Italian restaurants, Brick + Wood comes along with a fresh idea, further igniting our love of Italian food!