With all the Italian dining options offered in Fairfield County, finding an authentic Italian restaurant can feel like trying to find a noodle in a stacked lazagna. But with Jerry’s Shakespeare Pizza II of Bridgeport, the search is over. The family-owned and run restaurant is truly a hidden treasure.
While visiting, I was greeted by the owner, Tina Durso, who kindly gave me the dish on her home away from home. “This business was started by my grandfather. We’re a real Italian family, straight off the boat.” The pizza is New York style, with a thin, crispy crust, inspired by Tina’s upbringing in the Bronx. “A lot of places have Italian names, but are not really Italian.”
When dining on a classic cheese slice, I also got to know Tina. “I met my husband [Frank Durso] while on vacation in Italy. After 45 days we were engaged and married.” The couple will be married 35 years this August.
The atmosphere at Jerry’s is homey. It was as if I were talking to my mother at the dinner table. People come back because they feel welcomed at Jerry’s, as if they're part of a great big family. "People" such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Jennifer Lopez, Mel Gibson, Al Pacino and Lou Martini Jr. are but a few who've shared the love -- and the pizza -- at Jerry's.
There's something for everyone on the menu, from savory eggplant parmigiana to classic spaghetti and meatballs. Tina and Frank make it their business to serve up good food, family style.
Also, I learned that everything ordered is made fresh. “My husband makes our pizza dough. We make our own sauce, no cans! And we grate our mozzarella cheese fresh. We don’t order pre-grated cheese -- it’s not the same.” Tina and Frank even order some of their ingredients straight from Italy. If that’s not authentic Italian, I don’t know what is.
Find Jerry's Shakespeare Pizza II at 4270 Main Street, in Bridgeport.
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