With our merry band of pizza tour brethren missing an integral member since we wrapped up our Pizza Tournament last summer, we don’t often get to judge Stamford pizzerias through the same lens as before. I say this, of course, because for but a brief moment last week, the Pizza Tour rode again into Vigilante’s Deli, the new pizza in town, that fights crime on its own terms! (HT – JR of Streets of Stamford).
Establishment. While technically one of the newer pizzas in town, Vigilante’s has been around in deli form for five or so years, offering up hot and cold sandwiches and other typical deli fare along with Italian dinner specialties. As is the case with most delis, Vigilante’s isn’t particularly large, but it’s close quarters and small, personable staff make each visit feel comfortable and homey. Seating is pretty limited in the cooler months, but we found ourselves to be very comfortable outside on one of their huge picnic tables on a temperate, summer evening.
Since delving into the pizza scene, Vigilante’s has added calzones and Stromboli to their menu in addition to a broad selection of traditionally topped and specialty pies ranging from The Vigilante to the “Vig”etable (get it?).
Pizza. Our pizzas of choice were the aforementioned Vigilante (sausage, sautéed broccoli rabe, fried Italian hot peppers) and a traditional margarita (so, we didn’t judge this place through exactly the same lens as before with our strict “plain cheese + one topping” criteria…).
As far as crusts go, Vigilante’s was pretty bready and puffy, appearing relatively colorless and packing a bit of a yeasty punch without much of the chewiness we were looking for. The crust didn’t hold up well to the load of toppings offered, lending to the pizzas’ floppy, undercooked texture. All around, the cheese was very good (The Vigilante’s shredded mozzarella, and the margarita’s fresh slices of it), holding up well for a fresh and stringy bite.
The sauce was another story entirely; it was difficult to differentiate the sauce’s taste from the overpowering flavors of the specialty pie, but the clean flavors present in the margarita pizza made it pretty clear that this sauce was downright bland. Perhaps diluted by the inherent moisture of the fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes, this otherwise light and fresh sauce came across as being grossly underseasoned.
As we touched on before, the toppings had a tendency to overpower the pizza as a whole. However, they were quite tasty. The salty, savory flavors of the sausage combined nicely with the natural, concentrated bitterness of the broccoli rabe and the slow, spicy burn of the fried peppers for a particularly unique flavor profile.
Bottom line. Vigilante’s comes through as a deli should, with a personable, knowledgeable staff, quality base ingredients, and great flavor combinations, but the execution of our pizzas just felt off.
Hits the Spot: 5.6/10
Large cheese: $12.95 (18")