Congratulations to Carl Anthony Trattoria on their fifteen year anniversary!
On a recent warm summer evening we had the opportunity to visit the Monroe CT Italian Restaurant. It's no surprise that this oasis in Fairfield county has withstood the test of time. Delicious food, great cocktails, and professional service always make for a win - win - win combination.
Owner and Executive Chef Sam DeVellis welcomed the challenge that awaited him when he opened fifteen years ago at the tender age of 22, and he still welcomes the challenges that operating a successful restaurant brings. Pushing the boundaries of his menu to feature classic Italian fare with an edge, beautifully prepared and plated, it's no wonder he stands shoulder to shoulder with his competitors. His "trattoria" is just what the name implies, an establishment that specializes in Italian-style food, less formal than a "ristorante", but more formal than the simple peasant food found at an "osteria".
We started our evening at Carl Anthony Trattoria in the open air lounge where a fun cocktail menu awaited us. We ordered a wide variety of the available drinks, and my favorites were the Mambo Italian (Averno Amara, muddled mint and lemons, topped with ginger ale) and the Black Cherry Mojito (Cruzan Black Cherry Rum, muddled mint and cherry). Other cocktails sampled were the Cucumber Gimlet (Pearl Cucumber fresh basil, lemon and lime juice), the Cin Cin (Aperol Orange Liquer, Fresh Lemon and Angostura Bitters, and the Blood Orange Smash (Jim Beam Honey Bourbon, Thyme, Vermouth, Lemon, and Blood Orange).
|Carl Anthony Trattoria Signature Cocktails|
However, the piece de résistance cocktail of the night was the Campfire, with a graham cracker rim drizzled with chocolate syrup, Smirnoff Fluff Vodka, Baileys, served with flaming marshmallows. That's right, an alcohol infused s'more, right in a martini glass!
|Carl Anthony Trattoria's Campfire Cocktail - a S'More Martini!|
With our cocktails we sampled some Blue Chips and the Original Balsamic Reduction Calamari.
|Bleu Chips - hand cut potato chips, gorgonzola fonduta, fig jam, and bacon|
The calamari was absolutely amazing! The balsamic reduction sauce should be bottled and sold - it was so tangy sweet and slightly syrupy. Who knew calamari and a sweet sauce would go so well?
|Original Calamari with a Balsamic Reduction Sauce|
We also had the opportunity to chat with Chef Sam, whose easy and relaxed manner was so welcoming.
Then we moved on to our small plates sampling of an Heirloom Tomato Salad Bruschetta, Buratta with Bacon Jam and Pepperoncino. The Tomato Bruschetta was so good with perfectly crisped peasant bread and slightly garliced, sweet ripe tomatoes.
Another stand out was the Charred Heirloom Carrots topped with straciatella cheese, and a cilantro-honey citronette drizzle.
The cowboy loved the Kobe Meatballs - in a hearty tomato sauce with crispy garlic bread. You guessed it! -- we ordered additional bread to sop up that rich tomato sauce!
And then a beautiful Fig and Beet Salad was presented, made with baby greens, goat cheese ricotta, onion, wildflower honey toasted oats, marconia almonds, and vincotto.
Of course, a red and white wine accompanied our plates, a San Giuseppi Pinot Noir, and a Fianodi Avellino White.
A delicate "Italian" Ramen followed, made with hand-made noodles, chicken broth, a local egg, parmigiano, and pepperoncino.
We also sampled the "Loaded Baked Potato" Gnocchi - a hand-made potato pasta pillows, with smoked bacon, broccoli, and a mix of cheddar and Italian cheeses, topped with sour cream and chives.
Our entrees consisted of Wild Ivory King White Salmon (Alaskan) on a bed of spicy spinach, sultana raisn vinaigrette, and walnut romesco aioli, and a Porchetta alla Romana, a slow roasted pork, with broccoli rabe, pickled farm stand diced tomatoes.
|Salmon and Porchetta|
Believe it or not, we found room for dessert! Quattro Creme Brulee that featured four flavors of creme brulee, Ice Cream Coffee and Doughnuts with dark chocolate dip, and a Blueberry Upside Down Cake.
|Quattro Creme Brulee|
|Doughnuts and Coffee|
My favorite? The Blueberry Upside Down Cake. The cake was dense and only slightly sweet (reminiscent of an olive oil cake), and the lemon curd and fresh blueberries added a sweet and berry-tart brightness to the dish.
|Blueberry Upside Down Cake|
I wish we had more time to spend at Carl Anthony's Trattoria! I would have loved to enjoy an after dinner cocktail out on the patio.
Don't hesitate to order ANYTHING off Chef Sam's menu. His flavor profiles are on target and portions are plentiful! I can't wait to return to enjoy more!
Clock Tower Square
477 Main Street
Monroe, CT 06468
On the Web: www.carlanthonys.com/
Like them on facebook at www.facebook.com/carl.anthonys
Disclaimer: We were invited to this promotional sampling at Carl Anthony Trattoria by members of Carl Anthony's Management and Marketing Team, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are our own.