May 21, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:14
Robert Dunn is enjoying leading a double life as an actor and owner of the new Donna Marie’s Cucina Italiana in Georgetown, assisted by working partner C.G. Reilly as general manager.
Formerly Delfino’s, the restaurant was previously owned by Florio Osorio, proprietor of Rancho Alegre, a Mexican restaurant located on Georgetown’s Main Street.
The son of Donna Marie Fiore of Easton, Robert, a 1987 graduate of Joel Barlow High School, continued his studies at the New York School of Film and Television in New York.
He went into the business and got out of it in 1999, but went back two years ago, accepting background film roles. He recently appeared in the film Duplicity starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, filmed in New York City.
Praising his mother’s cooking, Robert Dunn said, “She taught me how to cook and some of her favorite recipes are on the menu at Donna Marie’s.” The owner previously had two restaurants in Stamford, Ocean 211 and Dunn’s Loft, both now closed.
“I’m an Irish kid who knows how to do Italian food very well, and can step into the kitchen as a consultant when needed,” said Mr. Dunn. Chefs at Donna Marie’s are brothers Alfredo Rameriz and Serafin Rameriz.
“I want Donna Marie’s to be a place with a nice friendly atmosphere where you can come in to have a plate of pasta and a glass of wine, something like in the Bronx,” he explained.Among the signature appetizers since Donna Marie’s opened on June 6 are bruschetta, cold antipasto, broccolini rabe, minestrone, and escarole and bean soup with sweet Italian sausage.
Family recipes combined with locally grown produce enrich salads and other menu items. There’s a refreshing caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella, Campari tomatoes, and basil, finished with balsamic dressing.
Another family recipe is linguini alla vongole with homemade clam sauce. Dieters will be happy with Donna Marie’s slender version of lasagna, made with sweet Italian sausage and a choice of a light cream sauce or pomodoro. Sauces available by the quart for purchase are tomato, Bolognese and clam. Vegetarians will be happy with linguni tossed with eggplant, garlic, spinach, sundried tomato and kalamata olives.
Chicken, beef, veal and seafood entrees are served with a side of spaghetti. The pollo capricciosa, breaded chicken cutlet lightly fried, topped with a salad of arugula, Campari tomatoes and red onion is an enjoyable summer dish.
There are a dozen choices of panini sandwiches including The Vegan (marinated mushroom, roasted red pepper, arugula and balsamic reduction) and The Scampi (shrimp sautéed in garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white wine and fresh herbs).
Desserts topping off a satisfying meal are tiramisu, crème brûlée, chocolate molten cake, and apple tart.
Employing his actor’s training in his new business, Robert Dunn said, “My restaurant serves as a stage; customers are my audience, and I try to be applauded for each performance.”
Robert Dunn, his wife, Jade, and daughter Jordan, 3-1/2, have lived in Redding for three years.
Donna Marie’s Cucina Italiana
7 Main Street
Continuous serving lunch and dinner noon to 10 Monday to Thursday; noon to 11 Friday and Saturday; 5 to 9 Sunday.
Reservations accepted; major credit cards; handicapped accessible; child-friendly; Italian wine list; Cucina favorites; vegetarian selections; dietary restrictions honored; take-out, off-premises catering; private functions up to 60; wine dinners, senior discount, live entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings; street and on-premises parking.
Soup: $3.95 to $4.95
Appetizers: $5.95 to $9.95
Pasta: $13.95 to $20.95
Entrees: $14.95 to $24.95
Sides: $3.95 to $4.95
Paninis: $7.95 to $10.95
Wine, glass: $6 to $8
Bottle: Starting at $22
Desserts: $6 to $8
The new Flying Dish Restaurant at 1125 Post Road in Fairfield Center features a menu with foods from around the world, with a different cuisine highlighted each month. Owner Mita Spilo donates a percentage of her profits to local charities. The regular menu features traditional specialties and healthy choices, vegetarian favorites from around the world, all-natural steaks, pasta fresco, specialty salads, seafood, Caribbean jerk chicken, Angus burgers, fajitas, pizzas and more. Reservations, 203-259-3500.
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