On behalf of CTbites, I recently had the pleasure of attending a press dinner at a charming new restaurant in Ridgefield named La Piazza.
Owned by Helen and Dimitri Zervos of Westport’s Tavern on Main, run by a very talented chef named Robert DelBuono, this restaurant will give you a wonderful warm feeling of visiting your family home in Italy (I am not Italian, but trust me when I say that I felt that way). Ron, the manager, will greet you with open arms and a huge smile. The excitement that he feels in Chef DelBuono’s culinary talents will be evident in the first couple of minutes of talking to Ron.
Chef DelBuono crafted a wonderful seven-course dinner to showcase his wide array of culinary talents. He gave us authentic Italian dishes with a delightful contemporary twist. How divine!
First course was family style serving of Fried Calamari and Arancini Rice Balls. Two very traditional dishes, prepared superbly. The Rice balls were so crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside.
Second course was an Octopus Carpaccio Salad. Oozing a wonderful flavor profile with some Mediterranean influences, this salad had endives, arugula, kalamata olives, capers and orange segments with a drizzle of lemon oil. It was sweet, salty, tart and bitter all at the same time. We learned from Chef DelBuono that the process for preparing the octopus is quiet a labor of love. Be sure to ask him to explain the process when you dine there.
Third course was a House-Made Cavatelli Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Sausage, Tossed in Garlic White Wine Sauce. Chef DelBuono prides in his homemade pastas. He loves making them fresh each day. It is one of those daily tasks that he prefers not to delegate to others … such is his passion for his craft! When a pasta is homemade, there is a distinct difference in the taste of the dish, don’t you think?. I feel that homemade pastas do a much better job of soaking up the flavors of the sauce it is tossed in. You will see quite a nice selection of these homemade pastas at any given time on La Piazza’s menu.
Next up we got some delicious sorbet to cleanse our palates. It was a perfect intermission to a delicious story.
The Horseradish Encrusted Salmon served with Grilled Asparagus, Pistachio Gemoulade was served on Basmati Rice with Lobster Butter. Wow! The horseradish created a wonderful crust, and the cooking process had removed its natural sting – leaving behind a wonderful and mysterious depth of flavor to compliment the salmon.
Grilled Filet Mignon with Sauteed Spinach and Mashed Potatoes Topped with Caramalized Shallots in Barolo Wine Sauce was our final entrée. The meat was buttery smooth, the caramelized shallots were sweet and divine with the wine sauce. This dish is sure to make you feel content. For me, it had all the necessary food groups: meat, potatoes, onions, and wine. Ha! Ha!
For our grand finale we were served this amazing Tiramisu. With wonderful textures of lady fingers and mascarpone cheese along with the dynamite flavors of expresso, Myers rum and Kahlua….there is no way that this dessert could do you wrong!
La Piazza | 37 Ethan Allen Hway, Ridgefield CT | http://lapiazzact.com/ | (203) 544-1212