The coastal Mediterranean food we’ve come to know and love at the Greenwich Avenue restaurant Mediterraneo, has been successfully replicated inside Norwalk’s new urban-chic boutique Hotel Zero Degrees.
Restauranteur Ramze Zakka is the force behind Z Hospitality Group and its stable of sleek and popular restaurants, such as Acqua, Aurora, Mediterraneo, Sole, and Terra. In a notoriously difficult business, Zakka has been able to pile up the restaurant successes across Fairfield County (and Westchester) with equal emphasis on exceptional dining and desirable settings. Mediterraneo at Hotel Zero Degrees raises the bar on both of these counts.
Chef Albert DeAngelis, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has been tapped to translate Mediterraneo’s old world meets new world Italian menu, with its signature embrace of the ocean. The restaurant itself is a roomy and posh space, evocative of a roomy yacht cabin.
A creative selection of salads, proteins and of course, lots of terrific seafood abound. Visiting the restaurant and hotel for a soft opening, we had a chance to sample variations of their regular menu. Our highlights, some featured above, were (clockwise from top left): A cucumber and avocado purée with lump crab; grilled marinated lamb kabob with a perfectly seasoned crust; the Mediterraneo take on a wedge salad with grilled sucrine, maytag blue cheese, bacon and dried cherry tomatoes with a buttermilk dressing; a light and perfect starter in a crudo, avocado, sliced radish, ginger-lime juice, and micro onions (black sea bass was served but yellow fin is on the menu); a buttery parmesan crusted west coast halibut served in a tomato chive buerre blanc served with sautéed spinach; and a Maine Lobster roll with ramp pickles, brioche bun, harissa aioli--chilled just right for cold lobster roll aficionados with a smear of aoili.
Check out Mediterraneo's full menu, here.
As for the space, it is safe to say nothing quite like it exists nearby. The colors, textures and even sounds of a nearby waterfall evoke the sea. Curved dark woods, bold colors, a wall of windows and floors that mimic teak yacht flooring combine to make you feel as if you are arriving for dinner aboard an ocean liner and not Main Avenue in Norwalk. And as for the menu, it appears the same care that goes into selecting seasonal star ingredients for Mediterraneo's Greenwich location, can be found here in Norwalk.
Beyond the food, one of our favorite parts of Hotel Zero Degrees experience is a rooftop deck that is owned by the hotel, but is also available for private parties. It is an oasis in the heart of the corporate sprawl, a respite from the high rises and Merrit Parkway. This may just be the perfect spot for a staycation, for a few hours or a few days.
Mediterraneo at Hotel Zero Degrees, 353 Main Ave, Norwalk CT 203.750.9300