This week Chef/Restaurateur Vinicio Llanos of the popular Arezzo Ristorante & Wine Bar located alongside the tranquil Saugatuck River in Westport, CT, introduced his newest CT venture, Le Madri, to the town of Bethel. This family owned and operated restaurant, bar, and event venue features rustic Italian cuisine set in an open and contemporary space with panoramic views of a bustling town.
Ecuadorian born, Vinicio grew up with his family’s Italian cooking. His Sicilian grandmother Maria Targelia, upon traveling to Ecuador with missionaries, met and married Vinicio’s grandfather. His grandmother’s Italian recipes and techniques were passed down to Vinicio’s mother Maria Fernanda and ultimately to Vinicio and his sister Patricia. Today, the Le Madri kitchen sees Vinicio, Patricia, and their mother cooking alongside one another, preparing their family’s favorite dishes for customers, in addition to inspired dishes developed throughout Vinicio’s years of experience, which includes a 10-year history at Italian Restaurateur Pino Luongo’s famed New York City hot spots Le Madri, Centolire and Coco Pazzo.
Le Madri features a large and sociable u-shaped bar surrounded by raised booth seating. The main dining room seats 130 people and is filled with dark wood furnishings and cappuccino leather banquettes. The private dining room accommodates up to 30 guests.
Antipasti selections include; Calamari e Zucchini Fritti with spicy marinara; Capesante of pan-seared diver scallops, sweet corn, asparagus, and aged balsamic drizzle; and Carpaccio di Manzo with thinly sliced seared filet mignon, topped with baby arugula and shaved parmesan. Chef Llanos’ signature pasta dishes offer a variety of seasonal sauces and preparations as seen with the Fettucini con Fungi made with homemade flat noodles, wild mushrooms, and a touch of truffle oil; Gnocchi Bolognese of handmade potato dumplings with slow-cooked beef ragout; Cavatelli ia Piselli made with homemade pea and ricotta cavatelli and hot and sweet sausage ragout; and the Tagliolini Nero Frutti di Mare of fresh squid ink pasta tossed with shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, and clams in a cherry tomato sauce. Land and sea dishes include; Branzino al Forno, wood oven roasted whole Mediterranean sea bass with braised escarole and roasted potatoes; Saltimboca alla Romana, pounded veal topped with prosciutto di Parma and sage; and Melanzane al Forno of roasted eggplant with ricotta di buffalo, parmesan cheese, and fresh tomato sauce. A variety of wood-fired pizza and vibrant salads are offered.
Le Madri’s global wine list highlights many varietals and wine makers from Italy and beyond. The craft cocktail menu features top shelf spirits and elevated traditional Italian recipes as seen with the; Antico Negroni made with Campari, St. George Gin, cherry balsamic, and an orange garnish; Limocello Pop with homemade limoncello and a prosecco float; and the Cucumber Fresco with organic cucumber vodka, fresh lime juice, St. Germain, and a splash of seltzer. Domestic and imported beer, and nice a selection of port and grappa round out the beverage program.
41 Grassy Plain Street, Bethel, CT 06801