Cooking food over an open flame can impart smoky flavor and seal in savory juices, but cooking food over an eternal flame can get a bobsledding team kicked out of the Olympics. Get your fill of flame-cooked fare with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mediterranean fare at Mediterranean Grill, located in Wilton.
Mediterranean Grill's dishes whirl Spanish, Italian, and Moroccan flavors into a maelstrom of mouth-moistening tastes. On the dinner menu, moroccan chicken draped in sautéed spinach and dried-fig garments reclines on a soft bed of couscous ($23), and shrimp, sea scallops, squid, and mussels swim in a Mediterranean fish stew's brothy seas ($31). The lunch menu offers grumble-snuffers for midday munchers, such as duck confit, kefta, or chorizo morsels cosseted inside rustic whole-wheat wrappers ($10–$12). After meals, lowing herds of homemade gelatos from the dessert menu often gather on crumb-strewn tablecloths to be snapped up by glinting spoons.
The yellow-walled central dining room at Mediterranean Grill is a bright and cheery space to partake in flavorful cuisine gobbling, and the attentive staff provides leisurely service that evokes a warm day on a sunlit villa. In warmer months, an outdoor patio provides al fresco dining space, ideal for conversing with friends, loved ones, or a clamoring crowd of surly highwaymen.
Cactus Rose Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Though Cactus Rose Restaurant & Tequila Bar is only a teenager in dog years, owners Maria and Katerina Pertesis are no strangers to the restaurant business with more than 40 years experience. The upscale eatery’s cuisine is best summed up as contemporary Southwestern, thanks to Executive Chef Norberto Lucero’s skillful incorporation of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwestern flavors.
A Mexican native, Lucero has fun with his food. One peek at the menu reveals the usual aspects of Latin cuisine: fish tacos, paella dotted with prawns, little-neck clams, mussels, and black-iron skillet fajitas—sizzling with caramelized onions and bell peppers. Yet, for every expected entree, Lucero offers a surprise in the form of baby back ribs in an orange barbecue glaze, skirt steak with an orange chipotle mojo, and tequila chicken—a free-range, chicken stuffed with chorizo and manchego cheese. Like the chicken, all of Lucero’s meats are quality; he serves only wild-caught organic seafood, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken.
While the menu impresses, it’s only half of Cactus Rose’s appeal. The tequila bar is also a contender, as it’s stocked with 50 varieties of tequila, and bartenders dispense freshly concocted margaritas mulled from fresh squeezed lime juice and fruits. Cactus Rose delivers an inviting atmosphere with rustic wood furnishings and cowhide chairs surrounded by red, orange, and a yellow hand-carved stained-glass mosaic. A warm large outdoor fireplace on the patio keeps patrons toasty during the winter months, and an outdoor patio—bumping with live music—convinces them to temporarily forget their fear of birds’ nests and dine al fresco during the summer.