This One's a Winner!

 

I went to a press dinner last night at Bar Sugo in Norwalk, and I have to confess that I was thinking as I walked in, “What the world does not need now is another Italian restaurant.” But it turns out Bar Sugo isn’t just another Italian restaurant. It’s a modest little place with a red-and-white checkerboard floor and outsize ambitions.

The chef/owner Pasquale Pascarella, calls it a contemporary antipasti and wine bar serving what he describes as “modern Italian meets peasant food.”  Pascarella’s a 2004 New York French Culinary Institute grad, who cut his teeth at Mario Batali’s Esca and Scott Conant’s L’Impero. More recently he’s cooked t Bella Luna, Grand and Saltwater Grill in Stamford.

A look at the menu tells the story. The list of cicchetti (small plates) numbers 17 and it’s a pretty enticing and unusual list. There are “Damn Hot Peppers,” bone marrow al forno, roasted olives, sausage & mushroom arancini and prosciutto-wrapped truffle fries. They’re one for $6, three for $15. Of the eight pastas dishes offered, seven are homemade pasta: butternut squash gnocchi, pappardelle, fettucine prepared alla carbonara with bits of duck prosciutto. Then there are the anything but run-of-the-mill pizzas, about them—Potato with goat cheese, pistachios and truffle honey, for example, and Fig with prosciutto, ricotta and arugula. The pizzas are gorgeously thin in the center, with a wide, fat, bubbly crust.

And let’s not forget meatballs! Pascarella’s got SIX different kinds on the menu, ranging from the traditional (Mommy’s Meatballs, with beef, tomato and grana padano) to gourmet (Wagyu Beef Meatballs with gouda and red onion jam) to over the top (Duck and Foie Gras Meatballs).

102 Wall St., Norwalk, 203/9567134, barsugo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This One's a Winner!

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