Extra, Extra

We’re hanging out, cruising our Instagram feeds, and there is it—that extraordinary food shot that reminds us that it’s been more than an hour since we last ate. A minute ago, we weren’t hungry; now we are. Stamford has serious foodies around town, and they also know how to have fun, which they put on full display through social media. We offer up visual proof with just a few examples of how Stamford has over-the-top food skills served with a big side of humor. Kudos to our local chefs and social content creators for always delighting us.

Listen, we’ll be serious about our food, but that’s where we draw the line.

followers:about 45k

At the polenta table, the mix is poured out, dramatically, indulgently, playfully. Fortina has what some call “personality” and others call “attitude.” Whichever it is, we love it! The atmosphere at Fortina is: “Whatever you have on your mind—all that noise—yeah, it can wait. We got this. Here, have a meatball.” The swagger-in-chief is Chef Christian Petroni, and he’s not the shy type. As the owner of Fortina (in Stamford, but also Armonk, Yonkers, Rye Brook and Brooklyn), he sets the tone. And this larger-than-life man has proof that he’s a winner—he’s won bragging rights for having topped Season 4 of Chopped and serves as a judge on the Food Network show. He has an appetite for good food and good times, and inspires it in those around him. Fortina puts you at ease by bringing you in on the fun. The proof is in fresh-from-the-oven pizza and the Instagram posts.

Chef Petroni ran live cooking classes on Instagram and auctioned off a post-pandemic pizza party.

In the heart of Harbor Point, watch out for whale-sized cocktails and food with a side of biting humor.

followers: about 9,700

We’re going to admit it right here, right now: We have a weakness for all things Star Wars. So, as much as we’ve always had mad love for Sign of the Whale—especially on a warm day with a gentle breeze off the water—we went next level when we saw its post of baby Yoda with one of its cocktails. Who are we to question other-worldly wisdom? Other posts reveal that the staff is willing to discard layers of dignity to have a good time, meaning they’ll costume up for anything: reindeer in winter, pretzels in summer and elaborate face painting for Dia de los Muertos. We go to relax with an ocean-sized cocktail, so we appreciate a staff that’s offering a reprieve life’s too serious side.

Sign of the Whale informed us that a mimosa contains 32 percent of one’s suggested dose of vitamin C (thanks!)

These sweet-tooth devotees don’t stop at chocolate-chip cookies and whipped cream, not when they can add chocolate syrup, cake and more and more and more.

Established in 1987, we took the challenge to get creative with our milkshakes, donuts, waffles, burgers and brunch favorites to heart.

followers: about 60k

Ever have one of those days when you are (A) starving to the point of being a menace to society or (B) just went through a stressful event (like running into your ex who looks heartachingly amazing) and just want comfort food? Well, we do. And Elm Street Diner’s Instagram feed is a regular reminder that they “get” it, too: food fills us up, but to our inner six-year-old, it’s also a pleasure. Who cares about the diet? Consider some Instagrammable dishes here as break-in-case-of-emergency, super-stacked treats. We’re talking waffles topped with donuts that have cupcakes perched like antennae and a wedge of cake that has an Oreo-cookie halo—all splattered with chocolate syrup. You get the idea. Why add one sweet ingredient when you can layer in seven? If you’re into savory, consider a massive double cheeseburger with fried chicken between the buns. You might need a friend to help you hold it.

Elm Street launched “Do-It-Yourself Donut-Decorating Kits,” complete with toppings for crafty and sweet home decorating, for pick-up and local delivery.

This business is all about soul-satisfying Italian food—come hungry, become family (be the weird cousin, maybe)

followers: about 4,600

Cafe Silvium’s Instagram feed tells you how serious they are about serving beautiful, generous portions of Italian comfort food. It also reveals that someone there has a funny bone. It seems that their social media pro wondered how to best express the pure outrageous deliciousness of the food—the feeling of each dish—and the response was a creative mix of food and art: a bomb going off atop fresh sauce and mozzarella, a plate of rice balls out in space (out of this world) or a football player leaping with everything he has to catch his Osso buco.

The cafe closed temporarily but kept the humor, like this post: “OVER-FILTERED FOOD PIC & CAPS LOCK CAPTION REINFORCING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. #ONBRAND.”

Dallas, the dog behind the Taco Daddy brand, is the epitome of take-life-as-it-is chill—that is, if there’s good food around.

We took tacos and added “but, wait, there’s more” and got whoa (plus we have supercute mascot).

followers: about 56k

If the name didn’t give you a clue that this place has a sense of humor, the Instagram feed certainly will. The tacos are stacked, packed and wonderfully dripping in cheese or sauce; the desserts are dripped in chocolate, topped with whipped cream, dusted with sugar, dappled with M&Ms; the drinks are lavender, embellished with flaming marshmallows (two, please) or topped with a mini puffy cloud. Just because the Tex-Mex food is creative, doesn’t mean it stops there; for Taco Daddy, creativity is the starting point. This place is all about that “leave the attitude at home” vibe. The true draw of the Instagram feed is the dog, Dallas, a lovebug with puppy eyes and irresistible folds that make us feel good about our own love handles.

Taco Daddy offered to feed frontline workers in need for free, posted food reviews of fellow restaurants, and served humor with Dallas (above) proclaiming that, because of the quarantine, “summer body” has been postponed.


All screenshots from the instagram accounts, as noted

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