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Fairfield County Restaurant Directory

Il Falco

59 Broad Street

When a young, eager chef from Sicily established Il Falco 21 years ago, Stamford was in dire need of an upscale Italian restaurant. Vincenzo Cordaro brought the dishes he loved to Stamford and his cuisine is a long-term success story.

Il Falco, the falcon, was so named because Vincenzo loves the birds and their hunting prowess. "I don't have time for hunting with falcons. They require a lot of time and attention." So the birds he loves are his in name only. He is a consummate restaurateur, hands-on and charmingly available six days a week. Il Falco is closed only on Sundays.

The restaurant has the lushly comfortable feeling of an exclusive European gentlemen's club in the main room that is flanked by a polished, dark-wood bar. There's a softer feeling in the intimate front room. The party room upstairs is muted and elegant. The food is spectacular! It has a Sicilian flair yet represents all of Italy. A festive, signature appetizer is subtle, cheese-stuffed squash blossoms in saffron sauce. "We will have them for the holidays, flown in from Israel." Says Vincenzo. Fantastic is the paper-thin poached veal with a tuna-caper sauce. The delicate combination of flavors is elusive and entrancing.

A frequent special is Pollo alla Ortolana, a boneless chicken breast deliciously sauteed with wine, fresh asparagus tips and hearty porcinni mushrooms. Another excellent entree for fall and winter is venison. Chef Vincenzo sautes the medallions then they are flawlessly sauced with red wine, garlic and fresh herbs.

The delectable house-made gnocchi in pesto is velvety and perfectly sauce. Capellini Fruti di Mer is another triumphant dish: angel hair replete with fresh, lightly sauced seafood. He also makes subtle and creamy risotto with flavorful additions, from mushrooms to vegetable and seafood.

Decadent desserts include zabaglione, and traditional Italian ricotta cheesecake, plus tiramisu and chocolate mousse cake.

If you are not up to scanning the 52-page wine list of 2300 labels, you can find something to your taste on the short form, a handpicked offering of 70 wines both by the glass and by the bottle. Prices range from $29 - $75. However the rare wines, running in the hundreds to the thousands are in Il Falco's divinely diverse big list. Vincenzo's wines come from Italy, France, New Zealand and of course, the USA.

(by Nancy T. Maar, a Stamford Plus and Norwalk Plus magazines food columnist)

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