Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Mediterraneo Restaurant at the Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk CT

This week we were invited to the the Mediterraneo Restaurant at the Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk Connecticut for their Fairfield County Food Writers Dinner.
Mediterraneo Restaurant
Mediterraneo Restaurant
The restaurant and hotel are located in Norwalk, CT with easy access from both I-95 and CT-15, as well as MetroNorth. If you're not familiar with the area, Norwalk is a short 40 miles away from New York City, and located in Connecticut's beautiful Fairfield county.

We arrived and were greeted by Mia, one of the development officers for the Hotel Zero Degrees, who had organized the event. Mia then led us on a quick tour of the Hotel Zero Degrees, visiting the Zen Den, banquet and community room, exercise room, deluxe room accommodations, and the amazing Sky Top 353 Rooftop Lounge.
Hotel Zero Degrees and the Mediterraneo Restaurant in Norwalk
L-R Top: Zen Den, Breakfast Room, 353 Sky Top Lounge
L-R Bottom: Exercise Room, Zen Den, Classic Queen Accommodations
The light filled modern building is built of sustainable materials, eco-friendly, and offers a panoramic view of the Norwalk River and a lovely waterfall.
Norwalk River Waterfall from Mediterraneo in Norwalk
View of the waterfall from the dining room
Dining at the Mediterraneo Restaurant in Norwalk
Each of the 120 tables in the dining room has a panoramic view of the river
Executive Chef, Albert DeAngelis, greeted each of the tables prior to our sampling. Chef Albert's background in French and Mediterranean preparation was apparent, as his dishes displayed both the influence of his training in sauces and use of fresh seafood, along with his Italian heritage and twenty years of culinary experience.
Chef Albert with Kristien and Dan Del Ferraro of OmNomCT
Owner of the Z Hospitality Group, Ramze Zakka, was also there, and took the time to welcome each of us to his beautiful hotel and restaurant. The Z Group also operates the Acqua Ristorante in Westport, Sole Ristorante in New Canaan, Mediterraneo of Greenwich, Aurora in Rye NY, and the Terra Ristorante Italiano in Greenwich.
Ramze Zakka greets the contingencies from New London and New Haven County
And we started the night off with a toast to the good times and great food that we knew would follow.


Appetizer Sample: 
Black Sea Bass Crudo-Citrus-Seaweed-EVOO-Dauno Gargano
Paired with: 
Inama, Soave Classico-Italy 2011
Black Sea Bass Crudo at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
Light, fresh, and full of citrus. A great way to start the night.
Appetizer Sample: 
Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Purée - Colossal Crab
Paired with: 
Botani Moscatel, Muscat - Spain 2011
Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Purée - Colossal Crab at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
Great flavor, a touch of 'heat' from the sriracha, topped with a large piece of succulent crab meat.

Appetizer Sample: 
Red Curry Prince Edward Island Mussels-Fava Beans and Cilantro
Paired with: 
Hugel, Gewurtztaiminer - France 2011
Red Curry Prince Edward Island Mussels at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
My favorite appetizer of the night. The mussels were PERFECTLY prepared, and the red curry broth was amazing.

Appetizer Sample: 
Mini Maine Lobster Roll-Harissa-Pickled Ramp
Paired with: 
Fertuna Dorppelo, Sangiveses & Sauvignon Blanc - Italy 2011
Mini Maine Lobster Roll-Harissa-Pickled Ramp at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
Chock full of fresh lobster. Great flavors and my very first pickled ramp. I like it!

Salad Sample: 
Grilled Sucrine-Niman Bacon-Buttermilk-Maytag Blue
Paired with: 
Villa Antinori, Super Tuscan - Italy 2008
Grilled Sucrine-Niman Bacon-Buttermilk-Maytag Blue
The sucrine lettuce was complimented by the tart buttermilk blue cheese dressing.
The slight grilling intensified the sweetness of the sugar lettuce.

Appetizer Sample: 
Crispy Soft Shell Crab-Citron Vinegar - Espelette
Paired with: 
Taittinger, Champagne - France NV
Crispy Soft Shell Crab at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
Again, perfectly cooked and prepared. The batter was light and airy and the crab was deliciously fresh.
And who would have thought to pair a champagne with a crispy seafood - yes, it worked!

Pasta Sample: 
Scallop Ravioli-roasted Cauliflower-Marcona Almonds
Paired with: 
Teruzzi & Puthod, Terre Di Tufi - Italy 2011
Scallop Ravioli-Roasted Cauliflower-Marcona Almonds at the Mediterraneo Restauran
The scallop mixture, the dense pasta, along with the combination of earthy nuts and creamy cauliflower put us over the top into ravioli heaven!
Entree Sample: 
Parmesan Crusted West Coast Halibut
Paired with:
Chamisal, Chardonnay - California 2011
Parmesan Crusted West Coast Halibut at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
A wonderfully crusty Parmesan coating, light buttery sauce, and flaky halibut.

Entree Sample: 
Zatar Spiced Lamb Chop - Braised Artichoke - Tomato Confit
Paired with: 
Silvio Nardi, Rosso Di Montalcino - Italy 2010
Zatar Spiced Lamb Chop - Braised Artichoke - Tomato Confit at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
My favorite entree of the night: Salty coating on the outside - perfectly 'rested' medium rare lamb chop.

Dessert Sample: 
Biscotti -Truffles-Berries

Dessert Sample: 
Warm Anise Shortbread-Rhubarb-Berry Compote-Vanilla Gelato
Paired with American coffee
Warm Anise Shortbread-Rhubarb-Berry Compote-Vanilla Gelato at the Mediterraneo Restaurant
Wonderfully warm compote with a sweet, tart berry rhubarb mix over vanilla gelato.
Comfort food at its best. 

There is nothing better than GREAT FOOD and SUPERB SERVICE in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Mediterraneo Restaurant at the Hotel Zero in Norwalk CT has all that, and more!

I was also happy to finally meet some fellow bloggers that I've followed for awhile, Maria from Pappa Don't Preach, and the OmNomCT writers, Kristien and Dan Del Ferraro.

And here's a picture of my dining companions from the evening.
L-R, Jenny Sweet Jenny's, Terese & Emily SECTKids, Wendy & Greg CTBloggers, and me Home Place

I can't wait to return with the cowboy to the Mediterraneo!

This will be our 'must stop' in Norwalk!


The Mediterraneo Restaurant at the Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk
353 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Phone: 203.750.9800


View the Mediterraneo Menu: HERE

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Have you visited any of the establishments owned by the Z Hospitality Group?

Any comments or questions on the food we sampled?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I was invited to the Mediterraneo Restaurant as the guests of Z Hospitality Group. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Mediterraneo on Urbanspoon

14 comments:

  1. What great pictures! Everything looks yummy. I travel to SoNo to visit family frequently and will have to try the Mediterraneo.

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    1. You won't be disappointed. I'm already planning a return visit this summer with friends. Prices are reasonable for the area, and the food is to fantastic. A must visit!

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  2. This looks like a great place to go for a weekend getaway. I'll have to look to see what's going on in Norwalk this summer.

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    Replies
    1. Gail, definitely plan something there. It was wonderful!

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  3. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!! That place looks awesome! So Miami-esque.. Hotel Zero? Isn't there one in Stamford as well? I was supposed to stay there last September. I couldn't afford the hotels in New York City, so I booked a room there during a two-day conference. However, I couldn't make it back to CT and ended up staying in NYC. It's rare for me to give a review for some place that I didn't stay, but I will never forget and I am so super grateful for the courtesy and professionalism that was extended to me by whoever answered the phone the evening I called to cancel my reservation. The one in Stamford is a converted YWCA. This restaurant looks like an added bonus. Hopefully, its close to the MTA. I must check this place out.

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    1. Natasha, they offer a 3-mile shuttle service, so I think that would get you to the train station if you spent the weekend in NYC.

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  4. Hey, where did my comment go? Ummmm... sigh (it was a long one too) Anyways, the gist of it was that they also have a Hotel Zero in Stamford. It's a converted YWCA that I was supposed to stay at last September during the IFB conference. (Couldn't afford downtown NYC hotel rates) Didn't make it back to Connecticut and canceled my reservations last minute. Whoever answered the phone was beyond courteous, understanding and kind and I made a promise to stay there one day just because of that. I might check out this one in Norwalk though. That restaurant is an added bonus. Everything looks so great I can almost taste everything via this post. BTW, Bonnie I have to give you a huge thumbs up for the photographs. They look GREAT!!!!

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    1. Hi Natasha! Yes, you can tell that the staff is courteous and professional. Everything was great! Thanks so much for the compliment on the pictures...but I actually didn't do the food justice. It was impeccably prepared and garnished...and tasted even better than it looked, if that's possible!

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  5. It really was such a lovely evening and I'm glad that Norwalk has finally gotten such a lovely hotel AND dining spot!

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    1. I've been following your Pappa Don't Preach blog for awhile and have been envious of so many of the great restaurants you visit. I'm glad we got to visit Fairfield county so we could finally visit one ourselves! It was a lovely night and we had a wonderful time!

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  6. That ravioli looks amazing!

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    1. Jessie, the ravioli was wonderful, the nuts added a wonderful texture. So good!

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  7. I'm so going there now that I've read your post and (especially) seen your photos! I really love that waterfall shot!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Joe! I can't wait to go back myself! A beautiful addition to Norwalk!

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