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Apr 17, 2009 04:43 AM

Little Italian Restaurant - Byram Closing

That Little Italian Restaurant in Byram will be closing this Sunday after 29 years. It will be replaced by an "upscale" CB5 Group (Mexican restaurant). Reported this morning in the Greenwich Time. Paolo Vitiello (The owner) is retiring.

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    1. re: jfood

      What does upscale Mexican mean? I love all the little spots but I haven't found an upscale spot that has fresh and out of the box dishes that make you say wow. I would love to see a more healthy more organic type Mexican that you would get right from the sea and land in Mexico. What other restuarants does this group own and are they authentic Mexicans or Americans that own it? I want gucacamole made tableside like they used to do years ago, that would work for me. I miss all table side type dishes so you can actually see what you are getting.

      1. re: nbermas

        I thought I had heard of CB5 so I did a very fast web search for them mbermas.
        I had heard of them-interesting group.
        If you are wondering, check them out yourself.

      2. re: jfood

        I just read the article about who owns this group opening the UPSCALE Mexican place so means way over priced food, I am very upset. I am so sick of people taking advantage of this area and getting away with outrageous prices for food just because it is Greenwich. They should really try to cater to less fortunate then them, Unless thery have fair prices they will not make it.

        1. re: nbermas

          "UPSCALE Mexican place so means way over priced food"-perhaps, perhaps not.
          We will have to see just what the business model and concept ends up being.
          "Vitiello still owns the building at 228 Mill St., and will lease it out to the CB5 Restaurant Group, which opened Baang Cafe in Riverside in 1995 and the French bistro Bleu on Greenwich Avenue. Bleu closed a few years ago.

          Jody Pennette, CB5's chief executive, said his company is planning a trendy Mexican restaurant for the Byram space, and hopes to open in a month.

          Vitiello said he thinks Pennette's idea will help improve the area. The neighborhood is already somewhat of a culinary destination, with Burgers, Shakes & Fries down the street and Tarry Lodge in nearby Port Chester."

          "I want a good tenant for Byram," Vitiello said. "I know that they will do a good job."


          "Unless thery have fair prices they will not make it."
          Kind of obvious nbermas. But if you check them out, they do seem to have a rather good idea of what they are doing in business.
          Only time will tell.

          1. re: Jon1856

            Jon all I want is so every economic group can go there because it is only fair since there are so many ethnic people leaving in that area. I think why spend so much when right within 2 blocks you can get the authentic food for 1/8th the price. there has to be a happen medium and I hope they make it too but I want decent prices so i will go and not feel guilty.

      3. a shame as we never made it That Little Italian for some odd reason but I am VERY excited for what will hopefully be a good mexican as I have yet to find one I like around here. The group that is opening the place there has mostly hit homeruns with their other restaurants so I expect good things.

        also, I disagree about "upscale" meaning expensive - I am sure it won't be outrageous (even Tarry Lodge is not obscene) but I am sure the rent there is substantial....

        3 Replies
        1. re: KarenNYC

          Karen I understand that but ethnic is always to go when needing to spend less and get more. I only usually pick ethnic because I know it is made with love and the best ingridents used on a budget. I think they should think about the blue collar worker and make some of there prices accordingly. I don't think that bigger $$$$ is always better I want BEST food at reasonable rates with authentic chefs like Mama or Papa making the food.

          1. re: nbermas

            I understand your sympathy for people who live in a neighborhood and can't afford to eat at a local restuarant. I certainly wouldn't assume that ethnic necessarily means wonderful food prepared with love and on a budget. In my experience, ethnic restaurants, like any other kind, range in quality from crappy to wonderful and range in price from remarkably cheap to seriously expensive. As for the restaurant being opened by CB5, frankly, they're running a business, not a charity and I expect them to open whatever they think will be most profitable.

            Personally, I'm hoping for exceedingly well done interior Mexican, not Tex-Mex. I can get excellent, inexpensive interior Mexican at Los Gemelos, so would be happy to see an upscale interior Mexican at this location and would expect correspondingly higher prices. Although, now that I think about it, I'd be just as happy to see inexpensive interior Mexican with a different regional emphasis than Los Gemelos.

          2. re: KarenNYC

            Jfood's with you Karen. He would love to see a good upscalish Mexican restaurant in the area. And the website for CB5 looks like they have a good idea of what works. Jfood is looking forward to it. And let's not get into those like/dislike Tarry discussions. Jfood was a one-shotter.

          3. Just to post a little eulogy for "That Little Italian Restaurant". We used to go frequently for many years, loved the linguine and clams or mussels. When they moved or redecorated, it lost its charm for me so I haven't been in over 12 years. Looking forward to upscale mexican. Maybe like Maya in NYC

            3 Replies
            1. re: pobo

              I'll eulogize a little, too. I remember the original location as well and how on Sunday nights the line was out the door. The "TLIR" pizza was awesome, and the bread and the gorgonzola salad was spot on. I'm looking forward to the future as the location is perfect and has ample parking.

              1. re: byramgirl

                I usually go to T&Js in Po Cho (the smaller dining room adjacent to the pizza place, not the bigger restaurant) or Cafe Silvium in Shippan for Italian not made by my Grandma, but TLIR was pretty decent, I never had any major complaints.

                Sorry to see an institution go; but they made it a long time, unlike the 10 different places that have occupied the space on the corner of Mill and Water St in the last 10 years.

                I guess we'll see about this new Mexican place. I don't usually go to splurgeworthy places like Bleu and Baang, so I don't have much of a frame of reference for CB5's food offerings, but both of the aforementioned places are 'places to be' for the cool kids, so I'd imagine they're food is probably good, even if it's not in line with their prices. (one of my brother's friends waited tables at Baang and made some nice coin off tips from huge bills)

                1. re: cardiak

                  apps 9-15, tacos 13-14, quesdaillas 9-12, entree chicken 16-18, fish 24-25, carne 18-29


              Check out this chowhound thread on Lolita - the new upscale Mexican in Greenwich. I went last night and wrote a detailed review.