Sunday, December 12, 2010

Restaurants: Avellino's, Fairfield, CT

I cannot explain why I hadn't been to Avellino's in years.  I remember being there with my extended family for some sort of special dinner.  I remember the food being good.  I remember not having any complaints.  What I do not remember is why it took me something like five years to go back.  I can only chalk it up to the fact that I love trying new restaurants, and lately it seems like something new is opening every five minutes.

When a group of our friends all decided to go out to dinner recently, we had a few requirements.  We wanted to eat in Fairfield Center, we wanted a place that takes reservations (so many places will not take them it seems), and we wanted a cuisine that everyone would enjoy.  I'd just had a conversation with someone about Avellino's, so I suggested it and it was settled. 

The menu and food were excellent.  Our group tried a few different salads (the Formaggio di Capra --above--was the hands-down favorite---a salad of baby greens, warm goat cheese, dried cherries, candied walnuts and pears) and antipasti.  We ordered a wide vareity of delicious entrees, including Veal Brasiola, Seafood Risotto, swordfish, and pastas.  One pasta dish, a classic orechette with broccoli rabe and sausage was ordered by two of my friends.  The waiter happily substituted regular broccoli for the broccoli rabe, and even asked if they prefered their sausage sliced or crumbled (they did one of each).  Judging by the "mmmms" and clean plates around the table, everyone was very happy with what they ordered.

The service was also excellent.  As I mentioned, not only was the waiter friendly, but more than happy to meet our various requests for substitutions and changes to the menu.  He also committed our entire order to memory---seven people with seven drinks, seven first courses, and seven entrees (with all our changes!), and got every single thing correct.  A seasonsed professional for sure.  When I asked for additional grated cheese he suggested I try the dish first fearing the cheese may make it taste oversalted, and sure enough, he was spot on--no extra cheese was needed. It was perfect as is.  This is a man who knew his way around the menu.  After we were all too full for dessert, he even brought us a little sample of a special dessert they were serving that evening just so we could taste it...on the house. 

The entire evening was a great experience.  I wish the lighting was a little more subdued (we all commented on how it seemed too bright in the dining room), but everything else was fantastic.  Again, I have no idea what took me so long to go back to Avellino's, but you can be sure I'll be going there again very soon! 

1813 Post Road (near the Mill Plain Road intersection)
Fairfield, CT  06824
(203) 254-2339

Lunch:  Monday through Friday 11:00 - 2:30PM
Dinner: Sunday through Thursday 4:30 - 9:30, Friday & Saturday 4:30 -10:30

Photos from 

Click to learn more about my Connecticut cooking classes or read my Season To Taste food blog.

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