I live in Fairfield, CT and because of our kids (3 and 5 years old) we don't get out as much as we used to. I've always said I want to try more Bridgeport restaurants, but if our dinner this past Wed was representative of the city, I'll stick to Fairfield, Westport, and Norwalk for the dining scene. Here is what I wrote after our dinner:
I was very disappointed in our Café' Roma experience…. not for the food, but for the lack of attendance. This isn't a critique of Roma's reputation, as all the restaurants on the street (two boots, eperney (sp?), joseph's, etc) seemed empty.
We arrived around 6:30 pm and sat at the bar for a drink before dinner. Not only was the restaurant empty, so too was the bar area. We were the only people there.
We proceeded to order 2 glasses of wine and this is where the majority of my disappointment lied. There was no list available of by-the-glass options and when we asked what was available we got "Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sangiovesse", etc. No producer names, no price quotes.
We would find out later that there was also no bottle options available for ordering when we sat down for dinner - - it was by-the-glass only. We ended up trying the Pinot Grigio (decent, good temperature) and the Montepulciano (decent, a bit too warm). The glasses were large and well filled and the prices were reasonable, but having a bottle selection (even a small one) for dinner would have been nice.
For the food, I started with a salmon-cake appetizer over greens (special) and Liz had the fried zucchini (menu item). The 2 salmon cakes were well portioned and flavorful; they were very lightly packed and not dense which helped preserve the ingredient quality. The zucchini were also well cooked - lightly breaded, lightly fried - again preserving the ingredient quality; the red sauce served with it was also nice, with a tiny hint of underling heat. Both were very good and we were excited for our main courses: breaded chicken (menu item) for my wife and a veal in mushroom sauce special for myself.
My veal dish was great in all respects. The meat was tender and properly cooked, the mushrooms and sauce were very flavorful, and the accompanying roasted potatoes were perfect for wiping up the sauce. Liz's chicken wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't outstanding either. It was a good dish, but probably could have been just a bit more tender and a little less fried/sautéed. It came toped with sliced raw tomato, uncooked mozzarella, and drizzled balsamic vinegar. The only dish we didn't like was the side of pasta (ziti) in red sauce that my wife ordered. We weren't ordering any pasta dishes as part of our appetizer/entrée choices, so we wanted to get a small pasta side for evaluation. The pasta was cooked properly, but the sauce was just a bit too generic and a bit over-sauced. Some of the pasta entrée's on the menu sounded great, so I wouldn't really let this "side dish" sway me from ordering one in the future.
By the time we left, we only witnessed 2 other tables that were seated and maybe 3-4 people pop in for a quick bar drink. All in all, I was very disappointed with the dining traffic in Bridgeport.
Food Grade: B+
Wine Grade: D-
Bridgeport Dining Scene: F-