The week before I was off, I went to Morello Bistro for a big lunch. I hadn’t been since it was Gaia way back when, and though it looks sort of similar, it feels more relaxed now. (The owners are the same.) We shared several courses, including a delicious branzino:
The restaurant is right on Greenwich Avenue and opens onto the street. Great on a nice day.
Inside there are stunning arches lined in light brick-colored subway tile:
Indeed, restaurant was designed by a relative of Guastavino in his style.
I grabbed a seat at the bar while I waited for my date.
The restaurant is owned by the Marion Abela Restaurant Corporation (MARC) group of London, which also owns A Voce in Manhattan. Executive Chef Townsend Wentz used to work at A Voce, and also at Twenty21 in Philadelphia.
The restaurant has a mammoth wine list — and it’s not cheap. But an oenophile could certainly have a ball here.
We took a table near the open doors in front and started with the octopus salad:
Served with frisee, radish, fennel and lemon vinaigrette.It was light, bright and refreshing and the octopi were cooked well — no chewiness here.
Next were the fried artichokes:
These were airy and crisp.
I love the meaty, earthy taste of artichokes, and these were tempered nicely with a little garlic-anchovy sauce. If you can do fried right, there’s talent in the kitchen.
Chicken liver toasts:
My friend told me I was going to crave these after we were done and she was right:
The texture of the mushrooms really gave this dish a pop.
And the next dish was a real winner:
Homemade pasta with bolognese sauce, sofrito, ricotta cheese:
Lots of depth in the sauce — sweetness here; meatiness there — and the pasta were feathery.
The final course that we shared was the branzino, which came with baby fennel, potato and Prosecco sauce:
Each vegetable — carrot, bok choy, cauliflower, onion — was cooked to its own perfection, then brought together for the plate. And the sauce didn’t overwhelm the fish: it was allowed to stand on its own. A great dish, too.
I’m already dying to go back. It’s just over the border, after all.
Our guide to most all the restaurants in Greenwich. (Are we missing any? Let me know.)
We also have guides to restaurants in Norwalk and Stamford.