Amis Trattoria, Westport
This restaurant opened in 2017, but celebrated Connecticut chef Jes Bengtson recently took over the kitchen and has created a new Italian food menu. Bengtson has earned well-deserved praise for her work at Terrain Cafe in Westport over the past few years, and will now be overseeing both kitchens.
What caught our eye: We’re fans of Bengtson’s creations and looking forward to seeing what she does with the menu at Amis. She’s off to a great start with a Wednesday-night, guest-chef series that sees her collaborating with some incredible area chefs. On Nov. 6 she’ll be joined by Emily Migroni of Tavern on State and on Nov. 13 she’ll be joined by Bill Taibe of Jesup Hall.
Mecha Noodle Bar, Stamford
The fourth location of this growing Connecticut chain offers the same pho, ramen, bao sandwiches and more that made existing locations in Fairfield, Norwalk and New Haven hits. There is also a full bar with some excellent cocktails and a sleek atmosphere.
What caught our eye: Mecha helped popularize modern noodle bars in Connecticut and we have trouble passing any of their locations without stopping in for a hot bowl of steaming broth of one kind or another.
Fork & Fire, Farmington
What was once 4 Eat & Drink has been reborn with a new menu, new chef and a new name. Owner Kurt Kruczek, who owns Naples Pizza in Farmington as well, remains. But the new chef and partner in the business is Jason Welch, who has produced a local-ingredient-driven menu that includes burgers, cheese boards, salads and other New American classics.
What caught our eye: Welch has an impressive résumé, including stints at Barteca Restaurant Group and more recently Porròn and Piña. We’re eager to try what he’s cooking up in his new kitchen.
Novelle & GAME ON, Mohegan Sun
860-861-5994 (novelle), 860-861-5994 (GAME ON), mohegansun.com
Mohegan Sun recently opened two new restaurants. Novella is a nightlife destination that also offers dinner, light night dining and craft cocktails. The lounge’s specialties include tandoori shrimp, sashimi and steak frites. GAME ON is a 23,000-square-foot space featuring an interactive restaurant and 65-foot bar, with a bowling alley, karaoke, shuffleboard, cornhole, darts, and more than 50 arcade games.
What caught our eye: Both these restaurants are ambitious in different ways. Novella aims to become one of Connecticut’s premier nightspots and the lounge’s food offerings make it that much more appealing as a destination, while GAME ON sounds like a sports bar paired with a playground for grownups. We can’t wait to try both.
Is there a new restaurant you recommend? Let Erik Ofgang know at firstname.lastname@example.org