Located just outside the heart of Stamford's downtown, 122 Pizza Bistro bills itself as a "hot spot" and pushes its "nuovo" martini bar and wine list a lot harder than it does its pizza. Regardless, 122 Pizza Bistro stands out with an alluring presence in an otherwise dead stretch of town.
Establishment. 122 Pizza Bistro has all the makings of a trendy contemporary pizzeria except for the requisite hipster/foodie following (or any real following, for that matter) and the lack of decimal places on the menu. We walked into a low lit dining room to find ample, comfortable, (and in places, velveteen) seating separated quite effectively from Bistro's full bar. Dotted with eclectic fixtures, decor, and unidentifiable breadlike appetizers, this incredibly glorified pizzeria feels very lively and modern, especially given its location on a rather dull stretch of Broad St. The service here was insanely quick, but rather brusque and businesslike as, evidently, a trade-off. 122 Pizza Bistro offers a relatively broad menu including dressed up iterations of traditional Italian appetizers, salads, pastas, and gourmet entrees as well as a unique selection of specialty pizzas including the likes of "California Club" and "Tri-Color Salad" variations in addition to traditional offerings.
Pizza. Despite Bistro's gussied-up-pizzeria-of-the-new-millennium facade, they too serve a bar pie (but it comes on a fancy wooden peel). The crust was moderately flavorful despite being very thin, but it was spongy and less crisp than we would have preferred. The sauce was extremely flavorful, so much that that it overwhelmed the rest of the pie with a veritable spice rack of bold spices and seasonings. However, the overall pie managed to break through this flavor avalanche with a delicious, equally bold medley of Italian cheeses complemented very well by our topping of choice, sweet Italian sausage. The wooden peel, while extremely gimmicky, insulated the super thin pizza very nicely, keeping it piping hot for as long as we needed to eat it. All in all, this pizza was extraordinarily flavorful, but its boldness was divisive amongst our judges, coming across too strong for some and just plain weird to others (not at all helped by its lackluster texture). It was a unique, moderately good bar pie with some strong flavors that not everyone will love.
The bottom line. 122 Pizza Bistro is a intimate, trendy restaurant on the cusp of downtown that serves an alright bar pie with a very unique taste.
Hits the Spot: 7.3/10
Large Cheese: $9.45 (12")
2009 – Best Seat