Restaurant-wise, Wall Street in Norwalk tips toward the east, with Fat Cat Pie Co. drawing many enthusiasts. Now a little balance has been restored with the opening of Bar Sugo at the west end of Wall Street.
Bar Sugo wears its heart on its sleeve, and its menu on its exterior.
For those who don’t know, Sugo is Italian for sauce and not only the name of this restaurant but of Hartford area chef Billy Grant’s popular blog.
Bar Sugo’s interior is warm and inviting.
Increasingly of late, wine bottles have become design elements.
We chat at the bar until our full crew arrives.
Once we’ve all taken our seats, we’re brought good bread
and a lively sun-dried tomato tapénade,
not to mention beer
my preference running toward red.
We get to know our tablemates, including this fellow media member and his lovely Mauritian girlfriend,
whose hennaed hands I can’t resist photographing.
We’re in for quite a feast, of course.
We begin with a selection of cheeses and house-cured meats.
That’s not something every Italian restaurant does, is it? Our second course showcases beautifully bronzed scallops served with microgreens, a touch of balsamic reduction over and kabocha squash purée.
The scallops are followed by a plateful of Brussels sprouts enlivened with pancetta, smoked sea salt and preserved lemon.
Although short ribs were scheduled next, our intriguing third course was torchon of foie gras (far end), one of my favorite foods on earth, with gooseberries, pomegranate and granola.
Then came the beef short rib with farro, baby carrots and gremolata, a treatment that seemed a riff on traditional osso buco with risotto.
After that was a meatball tasting, each meatball wildly different from the others in composition, accompaniments or both.
And then we got a few more meatballs…
What followed might have been my favorite dish of all—ricotta and truffle agnolotti with chanterelle mushroom, Parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs.
Next came terrific cavatelli in a bolognese sauce with a sage velouté and ricotta salata.
Now the meal took a slightly weird turn, but there’s no reason on earth that you’d be taking this course when you visit this delightful restaurant. Instead of winding up with dessert, we had a couple of pizzas—both delicious but both somewhat sweet (which I’m usually resistant to). One was a fig pizza with prosciutto, ricotta and arugula,
the other a potato pizza with goat cheese, pistachios and truffle honey.
We finished with coffee in its various forms.
Then executive chef Pasquale Pascarella came out to meet his admiring press.
Bar Sugo, 100 Wall Street, Norwalk, 203-956-7134, www.barsugo.com