May 21, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 03 July 2008 11:09
Originally from Ischia, Italy, Francesco Lombardi, chef/owner of Lombardi’s Pizza e Ristorante and Deli in West Redding, came to the United States as a child in 1972, returned to Italy with his family, and came to stay in 1992, this time with a wife, Mary Ann, and three sons, Luciano, now 18; Johnny, now 17; and Emilio, now 14. His first restaurant experience in the United States was a partnership at John’s Best Pizza in Wilton.
Eight years ago, Chef Lombardi “found an empty space by chance in West Redding Center” and opened his own restaurant featuring a full Italian menu.Three years ago, he partnered with John Fontana and Aristeide Farinella and opened Lombardi’s Pizza e Ristorante II on Main Street in Georgetown.
When the Redding Country Market Store next to Lombardi’s in West Redding closed, Chef Lombardi took over the space, renovated his restaurant to a contemporary theme and created a deli by combining the two spaces, adding 25 seats to the deli that offers paninis, wraps, hot-off-the-grill items, traditional sandwiches and a luncheon entrée on the steam table every day. Chicken marsala with rice on the day I stopped by.
Favorite appetizers and salads are mussels Posilippo, fried calamari, scunguilli salad, Mediterranean salad. Chef Lombardi makes his own gnocchi and offers them any way you like it, but he does recommend it with Bolognese sauce, and the gnocchi are as light as white clouds.
Other special dishes, all served with pasta or salad, are sausage cacciatore, eggplant parmigiana, veal and eggplant parmigiana, and a combo parmigiana, veal, eggplant, and shrimp.
For a heartier appetite, there’s seafood combo with red or white sauce with clams, mussels and shrimp over linguine.
Pizzas — personal, medium, large, X-large or Sicilian 16-inch square — are available and named for area towns. The Redding is made with broccoli, onion, tomato sauce and mozzarella; Georgetown with BBQ chicken, pineapple, tomato sauce and mozzarella; Ridgefield, roasted peppers, prosciutto, bacon, sundried tomato, sauce and mozzarella.
For dessert, tiramisu and cannoli are housemade at Lombardi’s. Muffins and Danish and the newspapers are stocked in the deli in the morning starting at 6 a.m. as commuters prepare for a train ride to New York City.
Restaurant: Serving lunch and dinner 11 to 9, Tuesday though Saturday; 4 to 9, Sunday; closed Monday.
Deli: 6 to 3, Monday to Friday; 7 to 2:30, Saturday; closed Sunday.
No reservations necessary; major credit cards; child-friendly; beer and wine, Southern Italian menu, vegetarian selections; hot table in deli; take-out, delivery; catering menu; casual dress; private functions, pizza birthday parties; plenty of parking.
Appetizers: $2.50 to $11.95
Salads: $4.95 to $9.95
Wraps, paninis: $7.95
Grinders: $6.75 to $7.95
Pasta: $10.95 to $12.95
Pizza: $6.50 to $19.95
Entrees: $13.95 to $19.95
Children’s menu: $5.95 to $7.95
Wine, glass: $5.75
Wine, bottle: starting at $20
Desserts: from $2.50
The new Inn at Newtown on Main Street in Newtown is offering Sunday Brunch from 11 to 1:30 at $16.95; reservations, 203-270-1876. Special pasta dinners at La Fortuna, 37 Stony Hill Road in Bethel are $12.95; reservations, 203-797-0909.
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