Doppio: An edible shooting star in Greenwich
Pizza plus ice cream equals kid food heaven. Embellish the pizza with porcini mushrooms and black truffle oil, plus upgrade the ice cream to ultra creamy pistachio gelato to equal grown-up food heaven.
Add to that a very nice wine and beer list, and a few other intriguing options, such as a prosciutto and sundried tomato Panini, or lobster with mussels and clams over linguine, and the place is an edible shooting star for everyone.
Doppio is the latest, and one of the best, of the new trend to upgrade standard American favorites, in this case pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and ice cream, and take them up a notch to meet today's more sophisticated family tastes.
Located just off Greenwich Avenue on a leafy green street, the place has the added plus of easy parking and pleasing outdoor dining in warm weather.
Though small with only a few high seats at the cocktail bar, and the mini gelato counter, the simple brick and stone and metal decor has a contemporary yet homey appeal that is at once kid friendly and had adult appeal as well.
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable servers seem to be able to span all age groups and offer smooth, prompt service even when the place is busy, which seems to be most of the time.
Doppio's menu is carefully crafted to focus on pizzas, paninis, salads, and small plates of Italian classic.
More traditional main courses are printed as daily specials, with options ranging from simple spaghetti with fresh tomato and basil sauce to delicate pan-seared tuna with arugula and cherry tomato, or substantial shell steak with marinated eggplant, arugula, tomato, and Parmigiana.
On our visit we were pleased with house-made fettuccine swathed in a rich, Bolognese sauce.
It is the small-plate portion of the menu that is most intriguing. Order a few for the table, then pass around and enjoy prettily presented, amply portioned dishes, such as pristine little neck clams briefly baked with scallions, parley, and bread crumbs, or summery bruschetta with excellent toasts topped with tomato or mushroom and eggplant, or gorgonzola and speck.
Sauteed shitakes accented with bits of sausage and pepperoncini is brilliant, as the plate of grilled octopus with fennel and citrus.
Paninis, like all the dishes here, are filled with excellent quality ingredients including imported tuna, fresh pesto, and the best vegetables. Salads follow the same theme and are lavishly presented with fine vinaigrettes.
Pizzas are exciting and varied with toppings such as imported tomatoes tuna, red onion, and pepper, though even the simplest tomato and fresh mozzarella is appealing in the lightly charred crust.
Save room for gelato. Though there are all sorts of fancy sundaes -- such as the combo of vanilla with banana, chopped hazelnuts, panna montato and Begian chocolate sauce -- simple gelato is pure delight and our choice would be single scoops of chocolate, pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut, or any of the intense fruit flavors of the day.
Doppio takes ordinary favorites to ethereal levels. Go for the pizza, go for the pasta, and go for the gelato.
41 East Elm St., Greenwich
CONTACT: 203-340-9470, www.eatdoppio.com
HOURS: Lunch Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner Monday-Saturday 5-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
CREDIT CARDS: AE, V, MC
PRICES: Dinner appetizers/small plates $5.50-$17.50; salad, pizza, panini $11.50-$16.50; main courses approximately $10.50-$32; dessert/gelato $3.95-$10.95