What’s Doing in Downtown Stamford, Connecticut

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A clock on the streets of Downtown Stamford

WHERE TO EAT

Although things are a bit quieter during the pandemic now, downtown Stamford is home to a diverse and eclectic selection of dining establishments. Over 80 restaurants, bars, and clubs in the city offer a wide variety of local and international cuisines.

We’ve narrowed down the field to a few of our favorites, including Capriccio Cafe, a casual restaurant where the food is anything but casual, although the service can be a bit slow; Curley’s Diner, a 78-year-old greasy spoon-style establishment that resisted an eminent domain action and survived the wrecking ball to keep offering satisfying pancakes, burgers, and shakes; and Zaza, a self-proclaimed gastrobar that offers spot on Italian dishes and tapas. Be aware that Curley’s hours have been curtailed during the pandemic and, as we found when we first attempted a visit, it closes at 6 p.m.

We loved the food at Columbus Park Trattoria but avoid sitting inside, as there is no social distancing at all between tables, while the outside tented dining room was empty.

One Landmark Square, a 22-story structure that held the title of tallest building between New York and Boston between 1973 and 2008

Locals recommend the FISH (the name stands for Fresh Innovative Seafood House) as well but we didn’t have an opportunity to try it (yet).

HOW TO GET THERE

Stamford is minutes from Westchester County Airport but flight options there may be limited during the pandemic.   It’s only 40 minutes from New York’s recently rebuilt LaGuardia Airport and 55 minutes from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The city is directly off Interstate 95, and roughly an hour away from midtown Manhattan by car without traffic. From Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, Stamford is 56 minutes away via Amtrak, which offers somewhat reduced service during the pandemic. From Grand Central Terminal, Metro North Railroad will get you to Stamford in anywhere from 53 minutes to 76 minutes, depending on the train.

BOTTOM LINE

Given its proximity to Manhattan and its rich cultural life and gastronomic offerings, Stamford is not only an ideal day trip but a great getaway destination for those wanting to enjoy a quiet weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting to this story.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

 

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