May 25, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 16 October 2008 13:07
Thirty years ago, the opening of Plain Jane’s, a frozen yogurt shop in Bethel was quite a novelty, but the concept became popular, especially with those looking to lose weight.
To attract more customers, owner Jane Ahearn added a healthy light menu. On Sept. 1, 1983, Plain Jane’s was sold to Peggy Polizzi, a newcomer in Bethel, who visualized the potental to expand the restaurant from one-third of the size to what it is today.
Twelve years ago, Peggy Polizzi’s sister, Barbara Bowers of Bethel, having taken courses in restaurant management, became co-owner of Plain Jane’s, and this year, the sisters are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Plain Jane’s. The restaurant now offers full lunch and dinner menus and has hosted numerous special occasions in its private dining room.
A special section of the bar has been reserved for numerous photos of “regulars” and special events at the restaurant, including an art show and reception every two months.
Plain Jane’s executive chef is Angel Curillio; and sous chef is Mario Aurelio, both from Ecuador, who have trained on the job and had wide restaurant experience. Pastry chef is Peggy Polizzi who creates a delicious traditional carrot cake and fruit pies topped with frozen yogurt. Barbara Bowers takes care of the front of the restaurant and most of the staff has accumulated years of service, and greet patrons by their first names.
Soups and salads with locally grown produce, are special at Plain Jane’s. Among the salad choices are Caesar, with optional grilled or blackened shrimp or chcken; spinach; taco; sesame chicken on mixed greens with mandarin orange, diced tomato, peanuts, raisins and sesame sticks with honey mustard dressing. Salads are available in entree sizes.
Personal size pizzas, including a chcken cacciatore style with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms are available at lunch in addition to burgers and hot sandwiches. Plain Jane’s old favorite specialty sandwiches are tuna melt, cheese and vegetable pouch, and a plain special sandwich you design yourself.
A children’s menu offers a burger, grilled cheese, chicken fingers and pasta with sauce or butter.
Dinner entrees range from stir-fried vegetables, plain or with chicken and shrimp; chicken saltimbocco; blackened or grilled salmon filet; seafood-stuffed shrimp; filet of scrod; grilled pork chops; and grilled New York sirloin. The best buy is the three-course Early Bird dinner.
Peggy’s carrot cake and apple, peach, and blueberry pies with frozen yogurt are recommended for dessert.
According to Peggy Polizzi, “Owning a restaurant for so long is a big commitment, a lot of hard work, you have to like people, and as a team, we make it happen.”
Serving hours: 11 to 9, Monday to Saturday; closed Sunday.
Reservations accepted; major credit cards; handicapped-accessible; child-friendly; full bar; American/continental menu, some Asian fusion; vegetarian selections; children’s menu; take-out; casual dress; private functions up to 30; Early Bird menu 4 to 6 Monday to Saturday; 10% Early Bird discount for seniors; parking adjacent to the restaurant.
Soup: $4.95 to $5.50
Appetizers: $2.50 to $10.95
Salads: $4.95 to $12.95
Pizzas: $7.50 to $8.95
Burgers, sandwiches: $7.50 to $8.95
Pasta: $15.95 to $18.95
Entrees: $11.95 to $22.95
Wine, glass: $6 to $6.50
Bottle: $16 to $27
Desserts: $5 to $6.50
Children’s menu: $6.50
Beverages: $2 to $3.50
Carole Peck, owner of the Good News Cafe, 694 Main Street South in Woodbury, is having a charity benefit on Nov. 7 to raise funds in support of Community Services Council of Woodbury, Girls Inc. of Greater Waterbury, Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust of Woodbury and WPKN 89.5 FM/Bridgeport, with a goal of $50,000. The event, marking the 15th birthday of the Cafe, will begin at 7 with a wine and beer bar and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a buffet dinner, birthday cake and favors, and dancing throughout the evening. There will be a silent auction of goods and services donated by local businesess and friends of the restaurant. Donation for the evening is $116 per guest, payable by check or cash. Reservations, 203-266-4663.
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