Ancient Italians originally used tortellini shells as satchels to hold essential items, such as cheeses, seasoned meats, and pocket novels, for long chariot rides. Enjoy the multifarious incarnations of pasta with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Plate Ridgefield.
Plate's head chef Paul Desiano, who has 15 years of experience cooking in some of New York City's top restaurants, handcrafts a full menu of seasonal Italian fare for lunch and dinner. A bowl of beet-and-potato soup ($6 lunch, $7 dinner) welcomes your taste buds to the table like an old-world Italian grandmother would, just without the pinching and incessant inquires as to when they're going to give her grandbuds. Then, please the palate with a hearty pasta, such as the chorizo-speckled linguini and clam sauce ($13 lunch, $18 dinner) or the fettuccini and meatballs ($12 lunch, $16 dinner). The secondi menu section boasts entrees that hail from both land and sea, including a crispy salmon that shares a porcelain stage with porcini risotto and spinach puree ($16 lunch, $22 dinner) and a veal chop that's accompanied by potato, butternut squash, and cherry ($24 dinner).
Guests wishing to re-create family dinners of old or traditional childhoods living in spaghetti houses can join Chef Desiano on Sundays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for Sunday Gravy, an informal three-course meal inspired by his grandmother's weekly pasta suppers at her house. The pasta tasting is served family style, and meaty toppings, such as meatballs, sausage, and braciole, are served à la carte.
Head chef Paul Desiano remembers Sundays spent in his grandmother's kitchen as a child, helping her to prepare pasta dinners by picking vegetables from the garden and rolling meatballs by hand. Although he went on to study at The Art Institute of New York City and work in New York restaurants, he never forgot the childhood dinners that first kindled his passion for cooking. Now joined in the kitchen by his wife, Ai, Paul oversees Cello's menu, which adds modern, international influences to classic Italian dishes.
Paul and his chefs utilize freshly rolled pastas, savory meatballs, and prosciutto to evoke the flavors of seasonal Italian cuisine, but they also incorporate chorizo, torched red-snapper sashimi, and other ingredients that stray from Mediterranean traditions. In addition to its house-made limoncello, the restaurant also features crisp white wines and robust reds from vineyards on both sides of the equator and at every layer of the Earth's crust. Though the list includes wines from around the world, it emphasizes Italian varietals in particular.