Café Silvium: Trattoria Italiana
Website: Café Silvium: Trattoria Italiana
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Out of town visitors you want to impress? Hot date? Family night out? Café Silvium is the convenient, pleasant and scrumptious solution to all your social and gastronomical needs. This small, but always packed restaurant right on Shippan Avenue was started in 2001 by brothers Nicola and Vincenzo Petrafesa. It features fine southern Italian food and wine and a charming atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re on a Mediterranean vacation with each bite and sip.
It’s just what Stamford was lacking – gourmet food for a reasonable price in a fairly casual setting. The waiters are friendly, the owners always greet you with a smile, usually in a tropical-print button-down shirt, and the service is fast. The complementary fresh bread with white bean dip or with olive oil prepares you for the feast ahead. Excellent starters include the calamari fritti with spicy sauce, which is not rubbery or too fried, the crunchy bruschetta, and the insalata del contadito with tender grilled Portobello mushroom slices, arugola and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Part of what makes Café Silvium so special is the effort put into each dish, particularly their homemade pasta. Favorites, which can be split, include the cavatellini con gamberetti, or handmade mini cavatelli sautéed with shrimp, beans, spinach, garlic and olive oil, as well as the fettuccine with meat sauce, the light angel hair pasta with clams, and the filling fettuccine mascarpone with spinach, shrimps, and mascarpone cheese in a creamy tomato sauce. Here’s an insider’s tip: you can substitute any kind of pasta you prefer, though the cavatelli is arguably the best.
Reasonably so, most people order pasta dishes since it is Café Silvium’s specialty, but some are loyal to the veal scaloppini or grilled chicken with arugola and tomato. Daily specials are always interesting and delicious such as rabbit, lamb ragu, grilled swordfish or sea bass, and soft-shell crab, which is a regular special during the summer.
The restaurant puts an equal amount of effort into its desserts as well. Pair a cappuccino with a tartufo, profiterol, tiramisu, gelato, or any of its other treats to put a perfect close to your evening. Café Silvium has this incredible ability to escort its customers away from Stamford to southern Italy, if only for a night.
371 Shippan Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
Lunch: Monday-Friday Noon-2:30 pm
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5-10 pm, Friday – Saturday 5-11 pm Closed Sundays