Located closer to the New York state line than to the heart of Stamford and specializing in pub food and fancy entrees on menus without decimal places, you might wonder how Long Ridge Tavern ended up on the Stamford Pizza Tour. Here's why: they serve pizza and they're not Domino's (but they might as well be).
Establishment. Long Ridge Tavern is not a pizzeria by any stretch of the imagination, it's a pub and restaurant that happens to serve pizza. We entered Long Ridge Tavern's authentically old-timey, rustic establishment through a quaint garden walkway and into the intoxicating aroma of a wood burning stove. Dark and intimately lit, the Tavern is tastefully decorated with local antiques and tools that may or may not have been used to shoe horses in the 1700s. However, the service and management were hardly reflective of the restaurant's inherent charm, as our waiter was rather cold, inattentive, and borderline rude. The menu also leaves something to be desired, as it consists of no more than a page of overpriced entrees, pub fare, and an infuriating $2 tax on shared items that smacks of smug, North Stamford arrogance. Of course, this menu also includes a $12 dollar personal pizza.
Pizza. Long Ridge Tavern's pizza is just plain forgettable. The crust was bland and tasteless with the bready consistency of a Domino's pie and barely half the flavor. The cheese was of very high quality and nearly greaseless, but it was flavorless just the same. Long Ridge Tavern's sauce showed a glint of hope, as it was fresh, light, and sparingly seasoned, but there was hardly any of it on our pie so its quality was almost irrelevant. Both the lack of sauce and the aforementioned airy crust contributed negatively to the overall texture of the pie and made it feel pretty unsubstantial. However, this cheese bread hit the table smoking hot and stayed as such for the duration of our meal, so there's something. Our hoity-toity topping of choice, fried calamari, was also very good, but not so much a choice, as this particular pizza was more or less a special at the time and we had very few options otherwise. When we left the restaurant, we forgot the slices we had wrapped up to-go on the table. Enough said.
The bottom line. If you like the smell of burning wood, being treated like dirt, have money to burn, and don't necessarily want pizza, go here (or to Cracker Barrel).
Hits the Spot: 5.3/10
Large Cheese: $12.00 (12")
2009 – Closest to Teitelbaum