June 20, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 22 January 2009 14:02
A historic building in Greenwich, previously the site of a bank and Gaia Restaurant, has been transformed into Morello Bistro by the international Marlon Abdela Restaurant Corporation (MARC), which also owns A Voce in Manhattan and The Greenhouse, Morton’s and Umu, all in London.
Morello Bistro is providing a consistently fine dining experience with exceptional wines in an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere. The design by Haverson Architecture and Design of Greenwich has turned a lofty vaulted space into a warm and sociable venue.
I recently enjoyed a wine dinner at Morello Bistro, with selections inspired by Italian/Mediterranean favorites and more modern interpretations created by executive chef Townsend Wentz.
Chef Wentz, who comes to Greenwich from Philadelphia, worked with Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel before stepping into the executive position of Twenty/21. He came to New York to gain experience at A Voce in preparation for launching Morello Bistro.
Olivier Flosse, wine director for MARC, features Italian wines, with varietals such as Tocai, Vernaccia, Vermentino, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. The collection offers 600 references, half of which are priced under $95, with more than 20 wines by the glass. Special wine dinners are planned.
In addition to Chef Wentz, assisting in the launch of Morello Bistro are Jacopo Focacci, sommelier; James Branigan, Jr., general manager; maître d’ Miki Saito;and Christina Patelis, event director.
The menu we enjoyed, paired with appropriate wines, consisted of hamachi crudo; garganelli alla Bolognese with ricotta cheese; cod torrefatto with white beans, clams and sopressata; rack of lamb with Brussels sprouts, caramelized onion, and pancetta, with sides of olive oil-potato puree, Tuscan cabbage and creamy polenta.
Other antipasti highlights are roasted tiger prawns with coco beans, shellfish and rosemary butter; grilled royal trumpet mushrooms with poached farm egg, parsley and thyme.
Seafood entrees range from the cod torrefatto to sautéed wild striped bass served with baby fennel, potato and prosecco sauce.
Meat entrees include veal osso bucco alla Milanese and a beef filet with crushed potatoes, roasted tomato and green peppercorn sauce.
Pasta specialties are housemade potato gnocchi and tagliatelle verde with speck, artichoke, chick peas and fresh herbs.
Dessert choices are tiramisu, ricotta pie with orange sorbet, dark chocolate mousse with biscuit and vanilla ice cream, hazelnut fondant with hazelnut ice cream, quince panna cotta, and a cheese platter.
Morello Bistro is not all about food. The new large bar is an ideal place to enjoy wine and cocktails and a great place to meet friends, unwind and enjoy the new lively atmosphere.
Les Chocolats de Jean-Louis, a new 2009 collection of chocolates ($20 a box), created by Chef Jean Louis Gerin, owner of Jean Louis Restaurant in Greenwich, are now available at the restaurant, in addition to his new shop, Le Gourmet at 41 East Elm Street in Greenwich. For more information, call 203-340-2780.
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