While Crave Restaurant in Fairfield may seem off the beaten path, it is conveniently located adjacent to the Fairfield Theatre Company and combines a hip vibe with a menu offering a wide array options from a simple Mac & Cheese to a robust Chicken Scarpariello. The brainchild of owners Peter Prizio and Alfonso Cammarota, the owners’ concept was simple; create a restaurant and bar where everyone would feel at home and serve a global menu with bold flavors. The restaurant consists of two rooms. To the left is a traditional dining area with tables and high-tops and to the right is a bar, with large HDTVs and a U-shaped bar. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Rigo Lino; many will remember Chef Lino from the Mansion Clam House in Westport. His menu combines his Salvadoran heritage with the owners’ Italian roots.
CTbites was invited to a media event where, over the course of the evening, I enjoyed many of the chef’s creations.
My favorite small plate was the “Eggplant Stacks,” a simple, old-fashioned style eggplant parmesan served in a cast iron skillet. Thinly sliced eggplant was breaded, fried, layered in the small skillet and topped with sauce and cheese and baked. The result was a mouthful of lusciousness. The cheese was perfectly melted and stringy and the sweet sauce was a delight with the moist eggplant slices.
Another simple and delicious small plate was the “Mac and Cheese.” Crave’s version used orecchiette shaped pasta and the three-cheese sauce was ultra-creamy with just a touch of bacon to add salty, smoky and texture, and enveloped each piece of pasta.
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