roux po boy @.jpg

A fried shrimp po’boy, made with Gulf shrimp and served with tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato and fries, from Roux Cajun Eatery in Simsbury

The story

Stephanie Civitillo grew up in Gonzales, Louisiana (known as the “Jambalaya Capital of the World”), graduated from LSU and came to the Nutmeg State 17 years ago for a job at Travelers. In May, she and her husband Victor opened Roux Cajun Eatery in Simsbury, a love letter to her Southern roots with gumbo, red beans and rice and crawfish étouffée.

roux blue dog.jpg

At Roux, a “Blue Dog” portrait by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue hangs on the wall, based on the Cajun legend of the loup-garou, a mythical werewolf-like creature.

Cooks know the term “roux” as a fat-and-flour thickener for sauces (particularly with Cajun food), but it’s also Civitillo’s grandmother’s maiden name.

The food

Roux’s menu spans the greatest hits you’d expect from a Bayou State native: jambalaya, Gulf shrimp and grits, po’boy sandwiches with fried shrimp, ham and cheese or Andouille sausage; a muffuletta with housemade olive salad and traditional bread from New Orleans’ Gambino’s Bakery. At every table, there’s a bottle of Crystal hot sauce. During crawfish season (March to July) Civitillo ships live crustaceans from her home state to make traditional boils with potatoes, Andouille sausage, mushrooms and artichokes.

roux muffuletta.jpg

A classic muffuletta, made with housemade olive salad, capicola, salami, ham, Swiss and provolone and served on bread from Louisiana’s Gambino’s Bakery.

Desserts are made in house: a classic Doberge cake with chocolate custard filling and German chocolate buttercream, king cake by the slice (with fillings like raspberry cream cheese and Nutella and banana). Other sweets include pecan pralines, chocolate bread pudding with chocolate rum sauce and fresh, hot beignets with powdered sugar.

roux doberge.jpg

Roux’s Doberge cake, a classic Louisiana confection with chocolate custard filling and German chocolate frosting.

Roux also has what Civitillo calls “a super secret Yankee menu” — dishes that might be considered sacrilege compared to traditional Cajun fare. “Gumbalaya,” gumbo served over jambalaya, is a creation of Victor’s, and while Civitillo insists “the Yankee made it up,” she admits it’s delicious. “If I’m going to put it on the menu, I’m going to say ‘It’s not Southern,’ ” she says with a laugh.

roux gumbo.jpg

Roux’s chicken and sausage gumbo, served with Andouille sausage over white rice.

Sous chef Adam Arakalien suggested fried catfish tacos, and the menu also features jambalaya and shrimp and grits “on a stick,” with proteins and vegetables in a kebab format and rice or cheese grits on the side. 

The restaurant is open for breakfast on weekends, with eggs, biscuits and gravy and pastries. Civitillo says she’d love to add a jazz brunch in the coming months.

She and the Roux team also accommodate dietary restrictions with gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options.

roux interior.jpg

Roux’s small interior space will soon feature a larger dining room with a cocktail bar.

Eat in or take out?

Roux is opening up its space for a larger dining room with a bar, and turning its current limited indoor dining room into its takeout counter. A spacious patio features fire pits. The restaurant offers delivery through GrubHub, and will soon add DoorDash and Dine In Connecticut. — Leeanne Griffin


Roux Cajun Eatery

10 Wilcox St., Simsbury

860-217-9195, rouxct.com, @rouxcajuneatery on Instagram

Hours: Wed.–Fri., noon–9 p.m., Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tue.

Wheelchair accessible

Leeanne Griffin is the food and consumer reporter for Hearst Connecticut, handling coverage of restaurant openings and closings, trends, events and general news about Connecticut food and beverage businesses.

This article appears in the December 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.