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Check out these new restaurants around Connecticut, from a Westport outpost for fresh Italian pastas to a Cromwell taco spot with rotating churro flavors.
Plan b, the Connecticut restaurant brand known for its emphasis on burgers, beer and bourbon, opened Nov. 14 in Hartford's Front Street development. The newest restaurant will feature the three Bs: burgers formed with freshly ground chuck meat, a beer list heavy on local and regional craft brews, and a wide selection of bourbon, with small batch and single-barrel options.
While burgers have always been a focus at each location, the Hartford menu will also spotlight bowls, made with grains like quinoa and lean proteins like chicken and salmon. The space has seating for about 160 guests, including bar seating and a planned outdoor patio.
35 Front St., 860-726-4883, @planbburgerbar
A "shokudo" is sort of the Japanese equivalent of a "diner," according to co-owner Yuta Kamori. At Hachiroku, "we make what we like," said Kamori — with an ever-changing and extensive roster of specials to supplement an innovative menu that includes miso-cured grilled black cod, American Wagyu beef curry rice and shio koji tori kara, or marinated Japanese fried chicken.
Hachiroku also carries 20-30 different varieties of sake, along with wines and Japanese whiskeys, served in flights or by the glass or bottle.
261 Orange St., 203-691-7984, @hachiroku_newhaven
There's a new addition to the group of family-run Fiesta restaurants, offering traditional Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado and pollo a la brasa.
Fiesta Westside, which celebrated its grand opening on Stamford’s West Side Nov. 10, offers the same fare guests have come to expect from the previous locations, like ceviche, saltado (strips of beef or chicken seared and flambéed with onions and tomatoes, served over French fries with white rice) and chaufa (Peruvian fried rice). The new location is awaiting its liquor license approval and will eventually offer a full bar.
1990 West Main Street, 203-406-7990, @fiestawestside
The second location of Il Pastaficio, Federico Perandin’s Italian restaurant and pasta shop, opened Oct. 21, joining its Cos Cob sibling. The Westport store currently sells fresh pastas and imported Italian products, and will open its restaurant operations later this year, planning dishes like tagliatelle and lasagna Bolognese, truffle lasagna, fusilli with pesto, gnocchi with San Marzano sauce and linguine with various fish. Westport also has a liquor license, and will serve aperitivi like spritzes and Italian wines.
135 Post Road East, @il.pastaficio.
After months of delays, the Trumbull location of Fryborg opened for business on Oct. 27. Jonathan Gibbons’ eatery, which specializes in hand-cut French fries with a wide variety of dipping sauces, initially began as a food truck. The restaurant menu offers loaded fries (like the Assimilation, with fried egg, cheese sauce, Thousand Island dressing and chopped onion) along with sandwiches, cheesesteaks, burgers, hot dogs, salads, desserts and craft sodas.
10 Broadway, 203-880-9250, @fryborg.
The made-from-scratch food at Transilvania, East Haven’s new full-service Romanian restaurant, drives the show, with recipes from owners Alina and Constantin Caldarariu’s mothers. Constantin Caldarariu, known as Chris, is head chef with a staff of recent east European immigrants turning out Romanian meatballs, tripe soup, Hungarian paprikash (a savory chicken dish), "Vlad's Favorite" Romanian skinless sausages with hand-cut fries, trout with rice pilaf and more – including, of course, stuffed cabbage with grilled thick bacon. And American burgers.
23 Main St., 203-248-3968, @transilvaniarestaurant
Ryan Buchanan initially launched his food truck operation in 2020, traversing the state serving his southern California-style tacos, sandwiches and inventive "sweets," such as churros of the month. Now Hot Taco has a casual restaurant on Cromwell’s Main Street.
Hot Taco offers nachos, tacos, burritos, “poutine” loaded with toppings like birria beef, sandwiches, including a Korean fried chicken option with gochujang and a Cubano with braised pork; and mac and cheese with Hatch chile queso.
548 Main St., 860-358-9569, facebook.com/Hottacostreetkitchen
Terreno, Tyler Anderson’s Italian-influenced restaurant at the Goodwin Hotel, was open for just about a month before COVID-19 forced dining room closures in March 2020 — and just reopened Nov. 2, more than two and a half years later. The re-opening menu features starters like oysters, duck legs, roasted olives and short rib empanadas, along with meat and cheese boards. Sicilian-style pizzettes are topped with braised beef, ricotta with black truffle and winter squash with pistachio, and housemade pastas include gnocchi a la vodka and butternut squash agnolotti.
Entrees include chicken scarpariello, swordfish piccata, baked salmon, East Coast cioppino, a double-patty cheeseburger and "cauliflower under a brick," along with "simply grilled" steaks and chops with choice of sauce.
1 Haynes St., 860-904-2101, @terrenorestaurant.