John Gogas first became a chef in Greece, eventually traveling throughout Europe helping to establish Club Med kitchens. He relocated to the United States in the 1970s, where he opened Jordan's Restaurant and developed a menu focused in Italian cuisine. Entrees include fettuccine debosco with ham, mushrooms, and peas, as well as baked ziti and veal marsala. Groups can share one of six specialty pizzas, such as a clams casino with bacon, garlic, and a choice of sauce. Of course, there are also a few Greek dishes: pitas can be stuffed with pork, beef, chicken, or pages from Aristotle's rejected film scripts.
Inside Tambascio’s Italian Grill’s red and cream-hued dining room, tables cloaked in white linens heave under the weight of large portions of classic Italian fare, which is cooked to order by a cast of talented chefs. Fresh seafood, artisanal sausage, and house-made meatballs bedeck eclectic pasta dishes, and hand-cut steaks and chops soak up flavor-packed sauces such as rosemary butter and caramelized onion demi-glaze.For more casual dining, the bar features a small counter and a bartender expertly trained in loosening neckties. Tambascio’s catering services are also available to feed peckish cliques as small as 10 and hungry hordes as large as 250.
Since opening in 1931, Bacco's Restaurant has become a local destination for pizza and Italian cuisine. The menu offers diners a variety of pizzas, char-grilled steaks, and specialties, such as veal saltimbocca rolled with prosciutto. Nearly everything is made in house, from warm loaves of bread to the sumptuous sauces that dress signature pasta dishes. The restaurant's comfortable interior was recently remodeled, and now features a roomy bar where servers pour cold drinks.
Sunlight streams through the wall-to-wall windows in Roberto’s Restaurant’s garden room, warming hanging greenery, exposed-brick walls, and platefuls of pasta and grilled steaks. Servers slip among the tables, carrying pizzas with adventurous toppings such as chopped clams and broccoli rabbe. The eatery seats 140 people, the exact number of players on field during a standard soccer game, and was voted Best Family Dining in the county by the readers of Connecticut Magazine.
Lanza Restaurant's chefs plate a menu of authentic, upscale Italian dishes as guests drink in live entertainment. Taking inspiration from matryoshka dolls, diners can fill bellies with stuffed selections such as the ricotta-stuffed ravioli ($11.95) and the eggplant rollatini, in which a trio of ricotta, provolone, and prosciutto crowd into a golden eggplant topped with mozzarella and marinara ($13.95). In the veal piccata, a sautéed veal cutlet bathes in herbs, capers, and a luxurious lemon-butter sauce ($17.95), and the swordfish oreganto pairs a sautéed swordfish steak drizzled in roasted-garlic butter sauce with potatoes—Italy's most famous carbohydrate ($18.95). As diners captivate taste buds with savory sauces and pastas, live music and comedy acts thrill eardrums on Lanza’s stage, and a dance area lets couples practice for upcoming line-dancing marathons.
Amici's Restaurant's chefs stir pots brimming with fresh pastas, plate golden rings of fried calamari, and grill new york strip steaks. The servers then transport the platters of Italian fare to the dining area, which is enclosed by exposed-brick walls and filled with round tables draped in crisp, white cloths and topped with bottles of olive oil for drizzling on fresh bread or silencing squeaky olive-oil bottles. Paintings of quaint cafes hang above the full bar, where a sleek stone counter reflects the restaurant's red and white exterior with a decorative wrought-iron café table and chairs for two.
Although Matteo's cooks draw from a menu filled with classic Italian and seafood dishes—such as chicken parmigiana, tilapia piccata, and linguini with clams—they aren’t afraid of breaking from culinary tradition and allowing patrons to design their own personalized pasta feasts. Willing guests don the proverbial chef’s hat and build from the bottom up, choosing a noodle base—such as angel hair or rigatoni—before selecting from a lineup of five sauces that range from classic alfredo to pink vodka.
The cooks adopt a similar collaborative approach in their pizza-making process, letting diners take the reins and choose their own toppings—such as broccoli, bacon, or eggplant—to create a wholly unique pie. Of course, they offer a prearranged mélange of specialty pizzas as well, including the margherita, shrimp and bacon, and Clams Casino.