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Employees Purchase Ridgefield Pizzeria, Expand Offerings

The staff at Piccolo Pizza in Ridgefield. Left to right: Isadora, Roberto, Matt, Christina, Leonardo, Claire, Mario and Roberto.
The staff at Piccolo Pizza in Ridgefield. Left to right: Isadora, Roberto, Matt, Christina, Leonardo, Claire, Mario and Roberto. Photo Credit: Submitted

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Usually, new ownership of a restaurant means a host of new faces but at Piccolo Pizza in Ridgefield, the employees have remained the same.

That's because former owner Matthew Criscuolo sold the Italian eatery in early January to his staff: Culinary Institute of America-trained Chef Roberto Morales, and brother and sister restauranteurs Christina and Leonardo Vega, who also own Tacos Mexico in Norwalk.

According to Leonardo Vega, Morales, a Stamford resident, had worked with Mathew as a consultant chef for the past two years. When he found out Piccolo was for sale he invited his friends to partner with him.

"Mathew had owned Piccolo for over 16 years and he felt it was time to move on, but he wanted to make sure that the new owners would keep up the image and reputation of the place," explained Vega. "Breaking the news to the staff and getting acclimated was tricky because they didn't know what to expect but after a couple of weeks of working together we have bonded really well. We are very fortunate to have found such an amazing team, and we're happy to have kept them on board."

As with any new owners coming in and making something their own, there will be slight tweaks over the next few months. Vega said they plan to change the aesthetics of the restaurant, giving the place a fresher feel. The three are also expanding the lunch and dinner specials as well as the dessert selection. And, they'll beef up the Gelateria offerings with more flavors.

Newly added to the eatery's repetorie: a new espresso machine for authentic (and strong!) Italian coffee.

"We are thrilled about the new look and we hope customers will love it all as much as we do," said Vega.

Piccolo Pizza is at 24 Prospect St., (203) 438-8200, www.piccolopizzeria.com/ .

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