We hear how restaurant owners often encourage staff members to treat their restaurant as if it was their own. This sentiment resonated with the long-time staff members of Madonia Restaurant & Bar when the former owner, upon announcing that he was going to sell his popular Mediterranean inspired restaurant and event venue, got the surprise of his life when his staff stepped in and bought the restaurant from him! Spearheaded by partners; Jacqueline Ciaraldi (server), Amine Hoss (bartender), and Executive Chef Adam Zuniga, seasoned industry professionals with over 50 years of experience between them, the “new” Madonia Restaurant & Bar brings genuine hospitality to the forefront of this stunning Stamford locale. The restaurant’s seasonal land and sea menu is a virtual tour throughout France, Italy, and Spain. A stone’s throw from the bustle of downtown Stamford, Madonia’s rural location is the perfect backdrop for its stately brick façade which houses two New England style dining rooms, a convivial bar, and a vintage wine room for private dining.
“We have spent many years in this restaurant serving the community,” says Amine of the group decision to take it over, “It’s a new chapter for not only us, but for the restaurant. It’s time to take things to the next level while not losing sight of what made Madonia so special to begin with.”
The location originally made its mark on Stamford as Giovanni’s, a meat market turned steakhouse back in the early 1980’s. It later morphed into Giordano’s Italian Steakhouse when different family members took over. In 2009 new owners stepped in to refresh the décor with a modern face lift, while embracing the restaurant’s warm and rustic appeal, and introduced a more contemporary culinary approach by infusing Mediterranean style dishes into the long played out Italian steakhouse menu.
Jacqueline, Amine, and Chef Adam worked closely with Madonia’s owner Enzo Bruno, managing both front and back of the house operations and forming relationships with Madonia’s loyal patrons. The restaurant experienced a newfound energy and its clientele began to broaden. In 2018, the news of Enzo’s departure only fueled the team’s desire to own their own restaurant and with the assistance of an investor/devoted customer, the group took over the restaurant.
Today, Madonia Restaurant continues to evolve. The concept stays true to the spirit of that old meat market and family-run restaurant, while providing customers with a new school approach to and old school philosophy.