May 22, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 09 October 2008 14:14
Like its owner, the interior of Pasquale’s Osteria in Norwalk offers a serene environment where the feeling of being in Italy prevails as chef/owner Pasquale Poccia, originally from the south of Rome, prepares his fresh pastas and long-time favorite meat, chicken and seafood dishes with special care, just as his long-time customers of 11 years expect them to be.
Assisting the owner as sous chef is Francis Segundo. Debonair maître d’ is Luca Lellshday, who has been with Chef Poccia for 10 years and has an unbelievable memory for names and favorite dishes diners prefer. His orchestration of service, like the food preparation by Chef Poccia, is flawless. An extensive wine list contains mostly vintages from Italy, but there are also other fine global wines.
Chef Poccia was culinary institute-trained in Rome and traveled in Europe to enhance his skills before coming to the United States where his culinary technique became known in restaurants in Westchester and Stamford. He operated his own delicatessen in Norwalk before opening Pasquale’s Osteria.
On the evening of our visit, my companion selected crème of broccoli soup, and I had a pasta e fagioli, both wonderful starters on a chilly evening. We also enjoyed radicchio, arugula, and endive salads. Our entrees, both excellent and generous in portion, were shrimp and scallops in a marinara sauce over linguine, and chicken martini, breaded boneless chicken breast encrusted in parmigiano cheese sautéed with white wine, lemon and vermouth with a vegetable bouquet.
We also enjoyed pacing of the meal, with time to enjoy the special wines we had selected, finishing with a traditional Italian ricotta cheesecake.
Specials at Pasquale’s Osteria combine Chef Poccia’s background and talents with a new interpretation of a dish.
Among the signature appetizers are avocado with shrimp in a light cocktail sauce; thinly sliced filet mignon served on a bed of arugula topped with parmigiano cheese; and insalata marina.
Popular pasta dishes are lobster ravioli; cavatelli aurora, crumbled sausage, shrimp, broccoli rabe, cannelini beans, garlic, olive oil in a white wine sauce; and bucatini al filetto sauce, with prosciutto, bacon and tomatoes.
Signature entrees are veal ciociara, prosciutto, spinach, mozzarella, shrimp in sherry wine sauce; chicken arlechino, shrimp, mushrooms and asparagus in a light marinara sauce; and snapper livornese marechiara, filet of snapper with capers, basil, olives, mussels, clams in a light marinara sauce.
Desserts, some made in house, others imported from Italy, are crème caramel, Bomba, Italian spumoni, and coconut, lemon, orange and peach sorbets.
A hands-on chef, Pasquale Poccia enjoys greeting patrons to suggest what he might prepare for them.
Serving lunch 11:30 to 2:30 Monday to Friday; dinner 4:30 to 9:30 Monday to Thursday; 4:30 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday but available for private parties.
Reservations accepted; major credit cards; handicapped accessible; full bar; traditional Italian kitchen; vegetarian selections available; no take out; casual dress; private functions up to 75 ; seasonal outdoor dining; onsite parking.
Soup $6.95 to $9.95
Antipasti: $4.95 to $15.95 for 2
Salad: $5.95 to $8.95
Pasta: $13.95 to $22.95
Entrees: $13.95 to $31.95
Wine, glass: $6.95 to $9.95
Wine, bottle: $24 to $500
Reza Khorshidi, executive chef and co-owner of Rebecca’s Restaurant in Greenwich with his wife Rebecca Kirhoffer, has been named Best Contemporary Chef for 2008 by Connecticut Magazine. Rebecca’s is open for dinner five nights a week and lunch is served Tuesday through Friday. Reservations, 203-532-9270, are recommended, but not required...Jeff Esau, chef/owner of Jeff’s Cuisine at 54 North Main Street in South Norwalk completed in the American Royal BBQ Cookoff in Kansas City from Oct. 2 to 5 smoking his famous Kansas City-style ribs laced with his own BBQ sauce. Back in Norwalk, Chef Jeff features a blues band and a jazz band on alternate Saturday nights. Reservations, 203-852-0041.
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