May 19, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 10 July 2008 13:37
A member of a well-known area restaurant family, John Tambascio’s dream has been to have “a little Italian Trattoria of my own, a place like I was having dinner at my Mom’s on Sunday.” That dream came true when he purchased the former George’s Restaurant in Newtown. After renovations, including soundproofing, Tambascio’s opened in July 2007.
John’s mother, Louise Tambascio opened My Place restaurant in Newtown Center in 1979, partnering with her sons John and Mark in 1989, and now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In 2004, John and Louise Tambascio opened DiPalma’s Pizza in Southbury, and in 2007, John and his wife Clara found the Italian trattoria of their dreams in Newtown.
Patriarch of the family, Adrian Tambascio, is not active in the restaurants, but according to his son John, “He’s always on top of us and proud of what we’re doing.” In addition to overseeing My Place, Louise Tambascio also hostesses Saturday nights at the new Newtown restaurant.
CIA graduate R.J. Moody, formerly of Greenwoods and Bluepoint Bar & Grille, is the executive chef, assisted by Miah Bahar as sous chef. Chef Bahar also worked for George Hoti, original owner of George’s restaurant. Lora Pierson is pastry chef. There are familiar faces among the waitstaff, some of whom have worked at the restaurant through several changes in ownership.
Housemade breads are delicious served with kalamata olives and oil and I enjoyed a very fine organic Chianti to start. Appetizer signatures are fried calamari served with marinara sauce and Prince Edward Island mussels and clams Posilippo with a pink vodka sauce. A taste treat is polenta torte with a sun-dried tomato pesto, goat cheese and roasted vegetables. In addition to the cold antipasto salad, try the roasted apple and goat cheese salad with honey roasted pecans and raspberry vinaigrette over baby spinach.
A signature item from opening day has been Fileto di pesce Mediterranean (sole-in-a-pouch), filet steamed in parchment paper with grape tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese.
Other popular dishes are gnocchi Bolognese topped with Tuscan meat sauce; and roasted tomato and goat cheese ravioli topped with a roasted pepper pink sauce; and Tuscan T-bone steak with rosemary butter, served with baby spinach and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Sauces and house dressings are also sold by the pint, $4.79, and quart, $8.79.
Classic Italian/American entrees, spaghetti and meatballs and sausages, lasagna, eggplant rollatini, chicken Francese are also available at dinner in addition to pizza and grinders..
I sat in the atrium of the restaurant, and enjoyed the fish in parchment (tilapia that evening), served with spaghetti squash and mashed potatoes, and it fulfilled all of my expectations.
Fruited lemon cheesecake and added a very satisfying touch to dinner.
Other desserts are tiramisu, carrot cake, chocolate mousse cake crème brulee, and gelato.
John Tambascio credits “all the people who work here for the success of this restaurant because they have a ‘feel’ for what they’re doing,” and it shows.
Open every day, serving dinner 4 to 10 Monday to Friday; lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday, 11 to 10. Early bird dinners 4 to 6:30.
Reservations accepted; handicapped entrance; major credit cards; child-friendly; full bar; classic Italian/American; vegetarian and vegan selections; dietary needs accommodated; take-out; off-premises catering; casual dress; wine dinners; private functions during the day; parking adjacent to restaurant.
Appetizers: $2.99 to $14.99
Salads: $4.99 to $10.99
Entrees: $14.99 to $24.99
Italian classics: $9.59 to $18.99
Sides: $3.79 to $3.99
Grinders: $5.99 to $9.99
Pizzas: $7 to $19.99
Wine, glass: $6 to $7.50
Wine, bottle: Starting at $18
Dessert: $5 to $6
Silvermine Tavern Innkeepers Frank and Marsha Whitman will present a Jed Steele Wine Dinner Sunday July 20 starting at 6 PM and featuring a “dazzling array” of single vineyard wines. The cost is $85 per person. A special offer is an overnight stay at the inn for $85 for two with continental breakfast included. The next wine dinner, Tuscany & Piedmont will be September 27. Reservations, 203-847-4558...Cortina, a new restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine at 24 Mill Plain Road in Danbury, is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Thursday from 11 to10; Friday and Saturday from 11 to11; closed Sunday. Reservations, 203-791-8993.
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