The "New" Madonia Welcomes You
When the bright green gnocchi is gone, its tender peas scooped up in mint-zucchini pesto; when the golden baked mushrooms, stuffed with broccoli rabe, potato, and pecorino, have been polished off; after the charred skirt steak, seasoned with porcini dust, has been washed down with a big cabernet; when the coffee cups have been cleared and the bill has been paid and dinner has been declared a success, the lasting impression of Madonia Restaurant & Bar is, after all, not the food – which is very good – but the warmth of its old-world hospitality.
Madonia’s welcoming ways start with its location. Situated in a leafy enclave on Long Ridge Road in Stamford, it’s set apart from the bustle of downtown, is easy to reach from the Merritt Parkway, and has a dedicated parking lot. The repurposed building was once a butcher shop; today the space opens on to a cozy bar (just the spot for hot toddies on a cold night), which leads to a gracious dining room, set with white tablecloths. There is a second, equally dressed-up dining area, which is sometimes reserved for special events. In between, on full display, is a glassed-in wine room. Functioning as both a cellar, with bottles neatly resting all around, and a private dining room, it looks like a Renaissance painting, or perhaps a diorama in a museum of natural history. Those of us with our noses against the glass, so to speak, see a tableau vivant of delighted guests at a merry feast – long table laden with glistening stemware, plates of delectable dinners, spoons and candles and laughter – captured in a frame. That scene is one of several sensory snapshots that makes Madonia linger in the mind.
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