Even though it’s one of the largest cities in Connecticut, Danbury was once regarded as a restaurant wasteland. The downtown eateries catered to a family demographic who sought a reasonably priced menu that took few culinary chances. Very mid-century. However, in the past few years, a vibrant international food scene has burgeoned on the city’s west side. The cuisines are sophisticated, diverse, and creative, reflective of 21st Century dining.
Many credit Richard Reyes’s Mezón Tapas Bar and Restaurant with transforming Mill Plain Road into destination dining. The year was 2011. Reyes was then a former Wall Street Executive who decided to come home to Connecticut and open a restaurant where people could dine on food prepared in the Latin tradition of his family. From the heart. From the home. Richard was all of 25 … and Mezón posed far more of a risk than even the stock market. At the time, Mill Plain Road was dotted with a string of mostly red-sauce Italian/American restaurants. “Sure, we were taking a chance,” he recently told us, “But we helped break the mold.”
Rich invited CTbites to sample some of the Latin and Caribbean fare that has attracted Mezón’s diverse and discerning clientele from across the region. Though the Paella and the Churrasco are the most popular dishes on the menu, Reyes had other ideas for our feast.