An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Feb 17, 2014
09:37 AMThe Connecticut Table
Morello Italian Bistro in Greenwich: Beautiful Food, Exquisite Setting
Morello Italian Bistro is architecturally one of the most beautiful restaurants in Connecticut and offers equally fine cuisine. The exquisite interior of the landmark building on Greenwich Avenue was designed by Rafael Guastavino, Jr, whose father invented the golden amber tile vaulting system that grace the pillars, herringbone arches and ceilings. Art adorns the walls, and the soft, hand blown white tear-drop shaped glass chandeliers, descending from the ceiling create a beautifully romantic atmosphere for dinner. As we worked our way through appetizers, pastas, entrees and desserts General Manager Jimmy Branigan, Jr. was the perfect host, stopping by the table on several occasions to explain the composition of many of the courses and offer suggestions from the reasonably priced wine list.
While we leisurely perused the menu, we enjoyed the “Prosciutto & Parmesan Fritters.” The large fritters delivered complementary textures and flavors. The crisp exterior was offset by the marvelously smooth interior, which presented a delicious combination of prosciutto and Fontina cheese. The dish was finished with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese which added the perfect level of saltiness to the fried exterior. An order or two for the table is an excellent way to start the meal. (Above, butternut squash ravioli.)
We next shared several of the appetizers including the “Hamachi Crudo,” the “Roasted Asparagus & Egg,” (shown below) and the “Imported Pugliese Burrata.” My favorite was the crudo. Four thick, sashimi-style slices of Hamachi were accented with basil, pickled pear, lemon zest, chili, extra-virgin olive oil, and finished with sea salt. The Hamachi was more than capable of handling the slightly soured pear, the acidity of the lemon and the sea salt; the basil added a unique dimension that made for a delectable composition. The Asparagus & Egg was also delicious and would be perfect for a Sunday brunch. The asparagus were crisp and sweet, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and then topped with the fried egg. When the yolk was released, its creaminess was a delightful combination with the asparagus and cheese.