If you like to dine informally, savoring a timeless waterside view and a glass of wine while your pizza's cooking to perfection in a wood-burning oven, you need to make tracks to Valentino's at 195 Liberty Square.
The new 45-seat eatery opens informally on Friday, June 10, and has its grand opening on Wednesday, June 15.
Valentino's is the brainchild of four partners who also run Seaside Grille in at —Vincent Promuto and his son, Louis, along with Osmar Orozimbo and his brother, Jose Castro.
Brazilian-born Orozimbo, executive chef at Seaside Grille, is Mr. Pizza at Valentino's.
He promises the best-tasting New York-style pizza this side of the Bronx.
Achieving that pizza perfection, he said, requires "the right tomatoes, the right cheese and the right dough."
He'll use only San Marzano tomatoes, imported from Italy with a government stamp as to their authenticity.
"They're very fresh, not too acidy, not too sweet," he said as he helped ready the decor for business.
After much experimentation, he'll apply part-skim Mozzarrella cheese produced in Wisconsin.
As for the dough, Orozimbo's secret to creating a thin crust at the center of the pie will remain just that—a secret.
But the hot-burning oven, fuelled with oak and maple logs, accounts for a unique flavorsome quality, he allowed.
Orozimbo had two years of culinary training in Londrena, the city where he was born, and a few years of cooking in his native country before settling in the U.S. 23 years ago.
His first job here was at Portofino in Greenwich, and he has remained loyal to Italian cuisine.
The menu at Valentino's is Italian.
Specialties of the house will include the appetizer wings and ribs that acquire an intense flavor in the wood-burning oven.
Valentino's already has its liquor license and will serve drinks from a fully stocked bar.
Air conditioning chills any effect of the hot oven, but the view is so lovely—the historic brick buildings of SoNo appear as in a painting beyond the tide-influenced Norwalk River—that there's a temptation to open the windows to smell the salt air. A pair of resident swans appear suddenly as if sent by Central Casting.
The partners are hoping to open a patio dining area facing a cove that swells and recedes with the tides and where sunsets linger. Valentino's will be open for lunch and dinner six days a week (closed Mondays) from 11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. Take-out is available. Telephone: 203-956-7300.