Good food alert--Ellington, CT
A very good new restaurant has opened up in the space that Zara's formerly occupied (in the same plaza as Tea House in Ellington). It is called Trattoria da Lepri, and I overheard the chef tell a patron that he was formerly at Pastis. We had Saltimbocca, and a goat cheese/beet ravioli appetizer, and both were excellent.
We went on a weeknight, and it had only been open for about a week. Already all of the tables were filled, so it looks as though word is getting out.
I was a big fan of Zara's and sad to see it close, but they have really done a great deal with the space. It is really lovely inside. By all means, don't let the strip mall exterior fool you.
I hope it sticks around for a while.
My wife and I tried Trattoria da Lepri last Friday (Halloween). We had a very short wait (less than 10 minutes) while they cleared a table (small, cozy place- 12 tables). We sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of wine while we waited. For dinner, we ordered marinated olives and also roasted red peppers from the "antipasti" section, a house salad and a harvest salad (apples, gorgonzola,cranberries,etc), the goat cheese/beet ravioi (mentioned above) from the "starters" section. We decided to choose entrees that we normally would not order. I ordered the Roasted Beef Short ribs- it was served with candied vidalia onions and a potato gorgon.au gratin (this item is unbelievable!). My wife ordered the pappardelle with braised beef (looked like my short ribs cut into small chunks) with wild mushrooms in a truffle sauce. Each item we sampled, we would look at each other with this "can you believe we can get this food in ellington?" Everything was fantastic.
Went back last night to see if we just happened to hit it on a good night the 1st time. We decided to order all different items (but I backed out when I placed my order- i had to order those beef short ribs again) and ....Yes- everything again was perfect.
Things to know: I believe there are no reservations except for parties of 8 or more; the hostess said that Friday and Saturday get pretty crowded early (when we went last nite, Thursday at 6:30, there were 2 available tables); I believe that their pasta is homemade (my wife had mushroom ravioli in a truffle cream sauce the 2nd time); they are open for lunch (maybe tues-friday?). If I hadnt seen IMG's "Good Food Alert-Ellington, Ct.", I dont think I would ever had tried this place. It's on rt. 83 but it is tucked in back in a little strip mall and is very easy to miss.
Ellington and the whole (North east central) region of Ct have a few pretty good places...low rents and a little bit of the country atmosophere help...I had a great breakfast at Lafayette Cafe at the five corners area in Rockville last weekend...crab cake benedict with about the best Hollandaise I've had in along time...eclectic atmoshphere...
The econonmy is challeneging but if the food is good they will come...