The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood: Escape to a sensational waterfront dining experience

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There are places you visit or dine that  instantly become one of your favorite destinations.  The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood is that kind of place.  Located in Rowayton Ct, just south of Norwalk, this town has a wonderful New England seaside atmosphere.   Rowayton is nestled between three bodies of water including the Long Island Sound and the 5 Mile River where the restaurant is situated.  The restaurant is housed in a grey shingle style building that makes one feel they are in Cape Cod or perhaps Martha’s Vineyard.  Next door and sharing the property is Rowayton Seafood Market , which once was the oldest lobster co-op on Long Island Sound, and where the restaurant obtains the fresh seafood it serves.

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Rowayton Seafood Market next door

The setting on the 5 Mile River is perfect for a seafood restaurant.  From the large bank of windows in the restaurant the patron can look out and see the river, the boats tied up in the marina, and the water birds circling the docks.  The windows face west and if you time it right as we did, you will be fortunate to watch the sun set slowly into the west and over the water.

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The restaurant has an upscale yet casual nautical design with a bar, outdoor dining and two separate indoor dining areas.  One dining area is intimate with the wide board wood floors, white painted wainscoting, and fireplace.  The larger area has floors that resemble the planks of a fine sailing ship, sails that serve as blinds, vintage lighting, large picture windows and more.

The outdoor dining deck is separate from the restaurant and sits directly overlooking the water.


We arrived for a late lunch and found a number of fine dishes from which to choose.  I started with a cocktail from the bar, the Pom Pom,  a delicious concoction of Tito’s vodka, lime simple syrup, pomegranate juice, and topped with champagne.  A fine cocktail and perfect way to start the meal

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For starters we ordered the Lobster Spring Rolls. The rolls were filled with lobster and soy wilted veggies and served with a sweet chile dipping sauce.  The rolls were light and crispy and not at all greasy.  Certainly a nice way to start the meal without filling up before your entree.

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Lobster Spring Rolls

We also enjoyed the Shrimp and Bay Scallop Cerviche.  This dish with fresh seafood was served in a small glass bowl with avocado puree, cilantro, tomato and citrus.  Unlike some cerviches I have had with little chunks of seafood, this dish was filled with full shrimp, and full bay scallops. The preparation was fantastic and a highly recommended dish.

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Shrimp and Bay Scallop Cerviche

For our main course we naturally stayed with seafood.  The Lobster Roll is served with fresh lobster meat, celery, mayo, and lemon on a buttered brioche roll.  I have had lobster rolls from New Jersey to Maine and can honestly say this lobster roll rates as one of the best.  The soft fresh lobster contrasted with the crisp taste of the buttered brioche roll was a real delight.  No wonder this restaurant consistently wins awards.

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Lobster Roll

The most outstanding dish for me was the Maine Lobster served Lazy Man Style.  A full one and half pound lobster is steamed and then carefully removed from the shell, and then reassembled on the plate.  It was culinary artistry.  It was served with drawn butter and lemon, and a side.  The taste as you can imagine was wonderful, and being next to the seafood market really makes an amazing difference in the taste and freshness of the seafood.

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Maine Lobster- Lazy Man,  a dish to behold

If seafood is not your favorite, have no worry.  The menu contains steaks, chicken , grilled flatbreads and 6 different salads. There are also 12 different  side dishes as well.  Your dining party is well covered.

There is a complete raw bar available with oysters, little necks, clams and shrimp available.  And of course you know it will be fresh.  I sampled some of the raw bar and can proclaim it to be fantastic.  Fried seafood is also on the menu featuring calamari, oysters, and even a sampler.

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We had a little room to sample a dessert. We were having such a wonderful time overlooking the water that we needed to linger a little longer.  Keeping with the seaside theme, we ordered the Key Lime Pie which was light and refreshing.  The Molten Chocolate cake was decadent and served with berries and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.  Delicious.

Our visit to The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood was an escape for a few hours.  We felt that we had been transported to the coast of Maine or perhaps Nantucket.  Sitting in this special place and enjoying wonderfully prepared  fresh food while enjoying peaceful scenery is something that will linger with me for a long time.

No wonder Yankee Magazine, the periodical of all things New England proclaimed this restaurant  “Best Seafood” in their Best of New England issue. I agree.

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The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood

89 Rowayton Ave   Rowayton Ct

tel. 203.866.4488



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Cask Republic: great drinks, dining, and fun in the heart of SoNo

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 A fine interior sets the mood for a fun evening

Cask Republic is one of the cornerstone dining spots on the hip and lively block of Washington Street in South Norwalk Ct.  If you have not been to Washington Street in SoNo, then you are missing a great experience.   The block is lined with many 19th century brick buildings which retain the charm and character of the street, and today they host  galleries, shops, bars, and restaurants. The vibe is very special.

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Wonderful communal table with views of the vibrant street scene

We had heard good news about Cask Republic and were excited to spend what would be a fun evening there.   The restaurant is housed in a former bank building which is evident from the carved stone eagle over the door and the large bank vault in the back of the restaurant (which also serves as a special and intimate dining space).

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Inside the bank vault, an intimate and special dining experience awaits

The dining areas are divided between the finely crafted yet casual indoor space and the relaxed outdoor area on the side of the building.   The interior creates the feeling of an upscale tavern experience, yet it is still friendly and inviting.  There are tables for two and more, as well as a nice tall communal table at the front of the restaurant with views out to the active street scene.   It was interesting to see a mix of ages from 20s and up, as well as couples, singles, and groups of friends enjoying the food and drink on a warm Saturday evening.    The wooden bar is long and hosts a large number of taps that provide beer from its extensive beer list, wine, as well as house prepared cocktails that are freshly made, kegged and easily served.  There is also a cozy lounge area of four comfortable chairs in which to gather with friends or family and enjoy drinks.

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Al fresco dining

We decided to sample a list of items from the dinner  menu as well as some of the cocktails.  We tried a flight of the Cocktails On Tap, which contained four different cocktails.  All tasted fresh and the Cool Breeze and The Brooklyn were favorites.  The Guava Chili Margarita was spicy and full of taste, is a good libation for the spice lover in your party. Our waitress Hannah was happy to provide suggestions and descriptions for us.

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Flight of Cocktails !

Other  cocktails we just had to try (full size) were the fun Popstyle with sparkling rose served with a flavored popsicle.  The Pink Panther (a sangria on tap) featured a refreshing blend of rose, riesling wine, strawberry, kiwi, cantaloupe, coconut rum, orange vodka, campari, and pineapple.  A fruity and tropical twist on the Spanish classic.  Very refreshing.   We also tried the Strawberry Rhubarb Mojito, a fresh and fruity version of the Cuban Classic.

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Hand Crafted Cocktails

Our party decided we should share some of the Small Plates which make up the majority of the menu.  Although Cask Republic  is an upscale American tavern, its food is not typical tavern fare and features some interesting choices.You can create your own Cheese board which is a great way to start.  You can pick from 3 cheeses and meats and it is served with rustic bread, housemade jam, mustard, dried fruit and nuts.  A real nice plate to share and kick off the meal.     A perfect dish for the Vegetarian or healthy eater in your party is the Roasted Vegetable Flatbread with onions, 12 hour roasted tomatoes, a goat cheese/cauilflower puree and salsa verde.  Very fresh, and flavorful.  The flatbread is small, so it can be enjoyed by one, or shared.

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Cheese Board

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Veggie Flatbread

We followed  with more tavern like fare with the Crispy Zucchini Fries.  Breaded and cooked in a flavor packed garlic oil, it was served with toasted sesame seed aioli.

Though I usually do not order fried food much when dining, this dish was really a delight and great to share.   The Korean BBQ wings was next and kept in the tradition of tavern fare, but the Korean sauce made for a tangy flavor that was not hot and had satisfying flavor.

Also from the Small Plates came the Short Rib Meatballs, served in a mini skillet with IPA BBQ glaze and crumbled blue cheese.  The short rib meat gave the meatballs a unique taste that was quite satisfying.  The Shrimp And Grits was a real favorite and a real comfort food. This Southern classic served with  Tiger shrimp, cotija cheese grits, and Andouille sausage vinaigrette was the stand out dish of the evening.

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Shrimp and Grits

There are three salads on the menu which can be ordered as a side of as an Entree.   We ordered the very healthy and satisfying Quinoa Salad with baby greens, cranberries , feta, toasted walnuts, and drizzled with an interesting charred lemon vinaigrette.  Super healthy and a welcome item on the menu for the health conscious diner.  We finished with the Smokey Chicken Quesadilla (Small plate) which was an interesting variation of this Mexican standard, and served with a cilantro sour creme.  Happily it was not heavy like many Mexican dishes, and it is large enough to enjoy alone or share.

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Smokey Chicken Quesadilla


The Cask Republic Burger is not to be missed. Winner of the Best Burger at the  2016 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival, it is a flavorful  burger and worthy of its trophy.  The meat is a blend of brisket, short rib, and sirloin, that you can taste on the first bite.  Served with maple wood smoked bacon and onion jam,  this is a selection  that should satisfy burger fans.

There are many items on the menu we did not get to in our visit. There is even a raw bar with oysters and shrimp.  I would encourage the chef to perhaps add  a few more seafood selections to the menu.   There are 25 items on the menu, hand crafted with fresh ingredients, so there is something for everyone.

One could write an entire article just on the bar at Cask Republic.  There is an impressive list of over 20 beers and ciders on tap, buckets of beer,  as well as flights of beer and pitchers.   There are 45 beers domestic and imported and available in cans and bottles.  Very impressive and it is clear their wish to provide a wide choice to their customers.


Wine lovers are not left out as there is white and red wines on tap, and an impressive list of red, white and sparkling wines from California, Italy, Spain, and France are available by glass and  by bottle.  Flights of wine are also offered.  Bourbon, scotch and whiskey fans will be impressed by the long list available including a large number of single malt scotches.

There are  happy hours (see website for details) with drink specials. There is an Octoberfest special running currently as well as specials during football games.

Cask Republic is a warm and comfortable place to dine and drink with good friends, family or for a fun date night.  Thanks to Marissa Mayo, General Manager for her tour and creating such a warm and inviting atmosphere for her guests.

Cask Republic  has two other locations in Stamford,Ct. and New Haven Ct. as well.

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Cask Republic

99 Washington Street  Norwalk, Ct   (in the heart of SoNo)

tel. 203.354.0163


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Westchester Wine and Chocolate Festival in White Plains on October 21st

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A fun event is coming to the Westchester County Center in White Plains.  The Westchester Wine and Chocolate Festival  opens its doors Saturday October 21st from 2pm to 5pm and then from 6pm until 9pm.

Attendees for this fun event can sample wine, spirits and cider from regional producers.  As of this writing there are 18 vendors with more surely to be added.  You can also purchase bottles of your favorite drink at special event prices.

Also on hand will be cheese, chocolate and other food vendors with items to sample as well as to purchase.  There will be a mini boutique of items for sale including jewelry, handbags and more.

So grab some friends and spend some time sampling wine, cheese, chocolate and more !  Sounds fun!

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets in advance:

Westchester Wine and Chocolate Festival

Westchester County Center

198 Central Avenue White Plains NY

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Putnam Best Chefs and Wines Event by United Way, Sept 18th at Putnam Co. Golf Course


Sample signature dishes from Putnam County’s  best restaurants, enjoy great wines and microbrew beers at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac New York.

This is more than just a culinary event – you will be supporting United Way programs in Putnam County such as the  United2Read program, affordable nonprofit training and the 2-1-1 helpline. So come out and enjoy food, wine and beer and help a good cause.

Cost: $60
For more information, please contact Peter West at 914.997.6700 x 732.

Some of the Participating Restaurants and vendors:

Arturos Tavern, Aversanos, Brotherhood Winery,Captain Lawrence Brewery, Country Kitchen and Cafe, Curry House, Doral Arrowwood, Fitstop Delivers,Florrie Kaye’s Tea room, Freight House Cafe, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, The Hummingbird, Iron and Wine Restaurant, Laguna Cocina, Mezzaluna, Noteworthy Chocolates Peach Lake Market, Penny Lick Ice Cream, Putnam Ridge,Rincon Latino,Rosemary’s Basil,The Stadium, Zoup !

United Ways Putnam Best Chefs and Wine Event

Monday September 18th   6pm to 8pm

Putnam County Golf Course

187 Hill Street Mahopac NY

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Taste of Litchfield: a great food event Sunday September 10

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A  cool event is coming just in time for Autumn!   Taste of Litchfield is the culinary event of the year for Litchfield County Ct.  Restaurants, specialty markets, winemakers, craft brewers, and others will fill the white barn and 90-acre property at South Farms in Morris Ct. to serve their signature cuisine and craft cocktails and beverages to foodies and those who want to enjoy a great day outdoors in beautiful Litchfield County. There will be music, fun, and roving entertainment.

Taste of Litchfield  is the culinary event of the year for the county.  The area’s finest restaurants, gourmet food purveyors, craft beer specialists, wine makers, and more present their wares .  There will be two live bands, magicians and a special VIP area as well.

taste of litchfield

An event not to miss !

Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1 pm to 4 pm

21 Higbie Road  Morris Ct.   at South Farms

Tickets $50 in advance, $60 at door, VIP additional

For Tickets >>>>

Taste of Litchfield

Presented by Town Vibe /Litchfield Magazine

Aesops Fable: Westchester welcomes a true farm to table restaurant

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Aesop’s Fables is a collection of oral stories and tales by Aesop, who lived in Ancient Greece around 600 B.C.   A new restaurant has opened in Chappaqua that is inspired by traditions of oral storytelling and has adopted that name.  Chef Matthew Cook wants his guests to come and gather around the  table and converse with each other and exchange stories while they enjoy their meal together.   The Chef who was raised in Vermont and trained in NYC, has developed a dining philosophy of using only  fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients to craft his healthy and delicious menu.  The result is quite pleasing.

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The interior of the newly remodeled space at Aesop’s Fable has a traditional bar room with dark wooden bar, that leads off to the dining room.  The dining room is an eclectic design with a traditional farmhouse table and chairs in front of a fireplace mantle , then transitions into a more formal looking space with coffered ceiling, fine moldings, and dark wooden tables and chairs. An interesting contrast.  There is a new outdoor space with fire pit, wooded tables and market umbrellas which make for a cozy  spot to enjoy a glass of wine, a craft cocktail and some small plates.

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There is a nice list of craft cocktails to enjoy and we indulged ourselves with the Milan, a nice concoction of vodka, blood orange, lemoncello and prosecco.  A sweet way to start things off.

With their offerings changing with the seasons, we sampled some dishes from different parts of the menu.  From the Small Plates we enjoyed the Goat Cheese Croquettes, made with soft fresh goat cheese, herbed bread crumbs and pesto.  Soft and full of flavor.  We followed with the Milk and Honey Crostini comprised of house made fresh ricotta cheese, local honey, toasted walnut, sea salt, and garden fresh mint.  A real tasty combination of fresh flavors.

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Goat  Cheese Croquettes

From the “Aesop’s Market” (seasonal dishes using garden fresh ingredients)   we sampled  the Cauliflower, a wonderful dish of fire roasted cauliflower, parmesan, rosemary bread crumbs, capers and lemon.  It is amazing how ordinary cauliflower can be transformed into a delightful hearty dish by carefully roasting and blending with the right ingredients.   From the same section came Brussel Sprouts, which was again roasted and served au gratin with gruyere .  A very interesting dish and if you are not a fan of Brussel sprouts, this dish may convert you.


Wood fired pizza is a big menu item and we observed several tables sharing pies among themselves. We enjoyed the Aesop Pizza comprised of fresh tomato, backyard basil and house pulled mozzarella. The wood fired crust and fresh ingredients made for a nice light dish.  There are 9 different pizzas on the menu with the option (at cost) to have gluten free crust or even dairy free cheese.

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Aesop’s Pizza

Main Courses range from seafood to beef to poultry.  We enjoyed the only pasta dish  on the main course menu which was Summer Pasta, an enjoyable medley of organic Orecchiette pasta, local heirloom tomato, fresh picked basil, garlic, pinenuts, and parmesan.  We were glad we enjoyed this dish as we feel it at the heart of the Chef’s focus on bringing to the table dishes with local and fresh ingredients.


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Summer Pasta

Owners Tonin and Sose Veshta and Chef Matthew Cook have brought an interesting new restaurant to the Hudson Valley dining scene.  We look forward to the evolving menu as the seasons change.

So turn off the phone, and gather around the table at Aesop’s Table and enjoy good conversation and great fresh food.

Aesop’s Fable

13 King Street  Chappaqua NY

tel.  914.238.3858  


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Greenwich Wine and Food Festival: food, wine, music and more! The must attend festival of the fall

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The ultimate wine and food event returns to our area.  The Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by Serendipity Magazine returns September 22-23.  The festival is a must for foodies and is held water side at the beautiful Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich Ct.

The event features live music, food, wine, beer, spirits, shopping, bookstore on site, celebrity chef demonstrations, and so much more.  It is an amazing event that is a must for foodies and for everyone who loves a good time.

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Beer, Wine and more will be flowing

This fabulous celebration will feature food and drink samples from over 100 vendors.  Many are restaurants serving Fairfield and Westchester Counties.


What would a food  festival be without celebrity guests and chefs?  This year there will be a host of chefs that will be in attendance and providing fantastic cooking demos in the  demonstration tents.  Among the guests will  Mario Batali (Tarry Lodge, Eataly NYC, etc)  Adam Richman (TV host  Man vs Food) Kathie Lee Gifford,  Alex  Guarnaschelli  ( Butter NYC, Food Network, author),  Mogan Anthony ( Village Social chef -Mt.Kisco and Rye), and many more.

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Celebrity Chef Demonstrations

At 4 pm the Bud and Burger tent opens with great burgers being served and plenty of cold beer.   At 5pm the 5th Annual  Burger Burger Battle hosted by Adam Richman will be held as top restaurants compete for best burger.

Also at 4pm the Don Julio Tequila tent opens for the Don Julio South of the Border Fiesta featuring foods from Mexico as well as cocktails.    Empire Casino will be on hand with table games and cocktails under their own tent  starting at 2pm.

No festival is complete without music, and there will be great  acts on the festival stage this year with the Ian Murray Band and the headliner act, Train.  Music starts on stage at  6:30 pm.

Tickets for this must attend event can be purchased here:

See the website for schedules (Special Friday events and  all day Saturday events) as well as tickets for upgraded events being held at the festival

21 and older only. No infants or strollers please.  No pets.

Greenwich Wine and Food Festival  by Serendipity Magazine

Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

100 Arch Street  Greenwich Ct     (easy to reach from Interstate 95 exit 3 or by Metro North New Haven line to Greenwich Station- 1 block walk to the park)

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Romolo Gastro Pizza: Roman style cuisine comes to Ridgefield. Mangia Bene!!



You have to descend stairs and into the basement of the newest restaurant in Ridgefield Ct., Romolo Gastro Pizza.   This is not just another pizza restaurant and that is evident as you enter.  It has more the feel of Italian restaurant with the mystery of a speakeasy or some private club.  Signage is minimal with only a small wooden sign announcing that you have arrived at a special eatery.

The dark heavy wooden door opens to a fairly narrow and intimate space of approximately 40 seats.  The room is similar in decor to its sister restaurant upstairs, Village Tavern.  With its low wooden distressed ceiling, brick walls and  dark floor, the space has an air of mystery as it is so unlike any other eatery in town.  There is no mystery however when it comes to the food which I am happy to report was excellent.

After being seated we were treated to warm bread with soft cheese.  . Very tasty and a  sign of good  things to come.   Our party ordered some appetizers which we all shared.  The Burrata Caponata  was a great choice with fresh soft locally sourced burrata cheese with a Roman Style eggplant caponata.

We also enjoyed the Polpette  which are house made Italian meat balls, which have roasted with fresh tomato, basil and topped with fresh ricotta cheese and black pepper.  Poplette can be made in a number of different ways by how you  blend the ingredients and seasonings.  These were tender and full of flavor.  A good choice.

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The Langostino was also sampled from the appetizer menu.  Langostino or “little lobster”is a  delicious seafood, though the Langostino is not the same as regular lobster.   The meat was soft and delicious and was  baked and served with a blend of cheeses, herbs and artichokes and a side of crisp bread. Nice dish  for the cheese lover and a good way to start the meal.

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The main courses at Romolo  Gastro Pizza are  pasta dishes, salads, meat , and of course their pizzas.   Our table enjoyed one of the pasta dishes as well as ordered from the pizza menu.    The pasta was Lasagna Romano, again a dish in the Roman style.  Thin sheets of house made pasta , parmesan, beef stracotto (Italian slow cooked beef), in a besciamella sauce.   Unlike other lasagna dishes  this does not have marinara sauce but instead is served in a light and tasty cream sauce.  While the portion is not overly large, it was quite filling.

Pizza is the specialty  of the house and the Roman influence again is apparent with the rectangular shaped  pizzas made with a dough that creates an  crispy artisan like crust that performs the culinary feat of being both light yet filling.   There are seven different pizzas on the menu and it comprises the largest part of the menu.  We chose to sample  Nonna Romano, a delicious pizza made with mozzarella, tomato marinara, a touch of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and basil, pecorino cheese, and fior de latte (cheese).  A authentic take on real Roman pizza.

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Nonna Romano Pizza

Braccio de Ferro pizza was very pleasing and  prepared with fresh mozzarella, fresh spinach, garlic, evoo, local ricotta, shaved grana (hard Italian cheese)  and aleppo pepper flakes.  A delicious and filling pie and full of Italian flavor.

Our third pizza was the evening special called Daniella Pizza, which was the same delicious crust with soft burrata cheese, fava bean puree, zucchini, tomatoes, and mozzerella.  A great dish for the vegetarian as many of the pizzas do feature meat as a topping.


There is an nice wine list of  Italian wines both white and red and are available by glass or bottle.

Romolo Gastro Pizza  is a fantastic addition to the Ridgefield dining scene . Chef Bruno DiFabio a master pizza maker and six time champion in the World Pizza Games  and Chef Germano Minin (winner of Chopped on the Food Network show)  have brought a winning menu of authentic Roman cuisine to the area.

Da noi si mangia bene!


Romolo Gastro Pizza

378 Main Street Ridgefield Ct  (in the rear of the building, downstairs)

tel. 203.769.6249


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JAZZ BRUNCH With Up and Coming NYC Musicians Comes to Mediterraneo in White Plains

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The sounds of jazz music filled the air last Sunday, August 27th,  at Mediterraneo in White Plains. If you missed their jazz brunch last Sunday, no need to worry! Since this launch, guests can enjoy bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for $18 every Sunday between 11:00-4:00 pm while being entertained by live Jazz.

Executive Chef, Albert DeAngelis has created an innovative brunch menu consistent with his authentic coastal Mediterranean and Northern Italian offerings which all offer ingredients inspired by local, seasonal and fresh foods.This brunch will feature exciting brunch items such as: lump crab cakes with poached eggs and black truffle zucchini in a citrus hollandaise, lemon avocado toast with smoked salmon and sliced red onion, sliced strip steak and scrambled eggs with mozzarella toast, an egg white frittata with mushrooms, cauliflower and goat cheese, brioche French toast with fresh berries, grand marnier and whipped cream dressed with New York State maple syrup and, a wood-oven fired breakfast pizza made with prosciutto ham, mozzarella, chopped tomato and a sunny side egg.

Patrons’ favorites will also be featured such as: grilled seafood salad, breast of chicken “Milanese” tomato and baby arugula salad, grilled bronzino with sweet and sour eggplant, Calabrian chili and a mint salsa verde, spicy lobster spaghetti with roasted cherry tomatoes and baby arugula.
Reservations are suggested for large parties of 8 or more. To make reservations you may call: (914) 448-8800.


189 Main St, White Plains, NY 10601

tel 914.448.8800