Picador 2.0 Opens in New Canaan

Jeff "jfood" Schlesinger

More culinary changes are occurring in New Canaan as Picador Restaurant on Elm Street was recently purchased by Ray Rivera, former Food and Beverage Manager at The Hyatt, and Leo Gaspar the owner of New Canaan’s Club Sandwich. Rivera and former owner Alan Basaran (owner of New Canaan’s Carpe Diem Restaurant) have known each other for years and a conversation eventually led to the Rivera and Gaspar purchasing the site.

The pair immediately hired Chef Corey Falcone, who was previously the chef/owner of Bella Luna, one of Stamford’s favorite Italian restaurants. This partnership culminates years of discussions between Rivera and Chef Corey who wanted to work together in a small restaurant. Rivera summed up his four year search for the perfect venue and cuisine, “I’m thrilled about our restaurant being on Elm Street in New Canaan and presenting international fare plus steaks and chops. Corey is excited to use his talents to fuse Spanish and Italian flavors and he is a master of the grill.”

Over a delicious plate of Fettuccini Carbonara, Chef Corey explained his vision of the restaurant. “I want people to come in, relax, enjoy great, consistent food. They should have the same quality food on a crowded Saturday night as they do on a Wednesday evening.” Born in the Bronx and self-taught in the kitchen, Chef Corey is comfortable modifying traditional and classic recipes. The Carbonara included imported pasta, diced onion, a little chicken stock, butter, just a touch of cream, diced Serrano ham, grated Romano and finished with the traditional scrambled egg. The dried pasta was perfectly prepared to al dente and the two minor modifications of the Serrano ham and Romano cheese added a slightly different and delicious variation to the traditional recipe. Likewise, the chef allowed the pasta to maintain the focal point and the dish was lightly sauced.

Will the name change from Picador? Maybe a slight modification. With a recent NY Times review that rated Picador “Very Good” it will be hard to change completely, maybe Picador Grill, but no decision has been made. And if the Carbonara is an indication, this restaurant will be very successful with any name.

Stay tuned as CTbites returns for a full review of the new Picador in a few weeks.

15 Elm St New Canaan, CT 06840 – (203) 972-9999

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