Marco Mazzoni prepares for lunch at Zeneli's Pizzeria & Cucina Napoletana on Wooster Street in New Haven on August 6, 2019.

Zeneli Pizzeria & Cucina Napoletana, New Haven 


This new pizza restaurant on Wooster Street in New Haven specializes in Neapolitan-style pies. Though New Haven-style pizza was inspired by Neapolitan traditions, the pies will be smaller and noticeably distinct from what you’ll find at many famous New Haven pizza places. 

What caught our eye: Opening a pizza place on the same street as legendary spots like Pepe’s and Sally’s takes a special kind of chutzpah. The Zeneli brothers, who own the restaurant, spent years in Naples perfecting their craft, and have earned accolades since moving to the U.S. 

Brick House Wood Fired Pizza Kitchen & Bar, Ridgefield


Brick House is a sleek-looking new bar and restaurant from the husband-and-wife team of Junio and Andrea Filgueira. The couple also own Tivoli Pizza and Trattoria in Danbury. 

What caught our eye: Anytime I hear bar, wood-fired and pizza in the same sentence I pay attention. The restaurant owners are also veterans with a strong following in the area. 

The Stand, Branford


After closing in December, The Stand has reopened with new owners and a new menu. The old Stand focused on barbecue, while the new offers a combination of American cuisine including burgers, salads and seafood.

What caught our eye: When it first opened in 2015 in a converted gas station, The Stand drew fans for its funky roadside vibe, live music and Southern-style barbecue. The new spot won’t have the same food but it is reportedly aiming for a similar vibe.

Chef’s Door, Watertown


Chef and owner Chris Bruno, who formerly owned the Foundry Kitchen & Tavern in Sandy Hook, presents this new spot. The menu is a mix of New American and Mediterranean with a variety of seafood, meat, pasta and vegetable dishes.

What caught our eye: Bruno is a veteran of the industry, and at Chef’s Door, he’ll be making all marinades, dressings, sauces, rubs, salsas and pasta fresh daily.

Chuck Wagon, Wallingford


This Western-themed restaurant was opened by the owner of The Greek Guy, also in Wallingford. The eatery has Bonanza looped on the TV and offers comfort food such as burgers, mac and cheese and pulled pork.

What caught our eye: The Western vibe is fun and the pictures of the burgers and other food on Facebook look delicious.

The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University