June 19, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 05 February 2009 13:49
According to Michael Lauretano, chef/owner of Pizzeria Lauretano in Bethel, “There is something very special about the pizza made in Napoli, Italy. Dome-shaped brick ovens in the ancient ruins of Pompeii are evidence of a long pizza-making tradition."
"It’s the tradition I follow in my first restaurant, which I opened four years ago, making fresh mozzarella daily and using Caputo flour from Napoli.”
A graphic artist, Mr. Lauretano worked in Silicon Valley for 21 years, and when he lost his job, turned to his ongoing interest in food preparation and traveled to Napoli, Italy, for four months of study with a pizzaiola (pizzamaker). He planned to use his new skills to open a restaurant when he returned to the United States.
Finding a “natural” space” with large windows and wall space for art exhibitions, Chef Lauretano opened Pizzeria Lauretano in Bethel, and now presents jazz professionals every Sunday evening from 6 to 8. He also offers art exhibits: The nature-based photography of Hank Benson of Redding is on exhibit through February.
Chef Lauretano continues to enhance the menu with new items, including the best chicken vegetable soup ever and a tasty Argentine-inspired flank steak with chimichurri sauce pizza, traditional lasagna with meat, and paninis, with grilled chicken breast with caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, and creamy champagne vinaigrette a favorite. Porcini mushroom and zucchini soup is also a booster on a cold winter day. The walnut-cranberry salad with mixed greens tossed with walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries and red onion with a lemon vinaigrette is refreshing.
Thin pizzas are an individual size, about 12-inches, regular or whole wheat crust, with many topping choices to be creative. Mozzarella is made in-house. Menu items are affordably priced.
Tiramisu, gelato and biscotti are ideal desserts for this simply stated restaurant that creates a warm and casual dining experience mixed with music and art.
Serving lunch 11:30 to 3, Tuesday through Friday; dinner 5 to 9:30, Tuesday to Thursday; 5 to 10, Friday; 4 to 10, Saturday; 4 to 9:30, Sunday; closed Monday. The restaurant closes after lunch, from 3 to 5.
Reservations accepted for five or more; handicap accessible; major credit cards; child friendly; good choice wine and beers; Italian cuisine, authentic Neopolitan style pizza; vegetarian selections; take-out; limited off-premises catering; casual dress; private functions; Jazz Sunday from 6 to 8, with $5 cover and $10 minimum; senior discount weekdays; plenty of free parking adjacent to restaurant.
Soup: $4 to $6.50
Salad: $6.50 to $7.50
Pasta: $9 to $17
Pizza: $8 to $17.50
Wine, glass: $6 to $8
Wine, bottle: $18 to $45
Dessert: $3 to $6.50
Carlos Hernandez, longtime Connecticut restaurateur, and owner of the Fairfield Beach Café, is the new owner of Meigas-Meson Galicia in Norwalk, offering affordable business and pleasure lunch choices from Monday through Friday. Paella nights Wednesday, Friday and Sunday feature a choice of five versions of paella at $28 per person. A tapas tasting dinner with 10 selections, plus three dessert samplings, available from Sunday through Thursday, is $64 per couple. A three-course, prix fixe dinner menu is offered on Mondays and Tuesday at $24 a person, and the wine list has been refined for affordability. Brunch is coming soon. The menu changes weekly and is designed by the restaurant’s original executive chef, Miguel Docampo, and consultant Luis Bollo. Gerardo Barba serves as sous chef. For more information, call 203-866-8800.
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