It is a unique place that can transform itself from a casual, family friendly lunch and dinner spot to a young and hip late night stop after a dinner of popcorn at the movies. Romanacci Cafe (which translates as “From Rome”) on the Norwalk-Westport border is such a place, offering Artisan pizzas, salads, Focaccia paninis, crepes and freshly made Italian pastries.
Tucked into a strip center on the Post Road, Romanacci is the handiwork of two brothers, Graziano and Maurizio Ricci. Both hail from Rome, where they attended culinary school and worked alongside their parents as well as in other family-run restaurants.
Graziano migrated to the US almost 18 years ago and eventually oversaw the kitchen in New Haven’s Hot Tomatoes. He subsequently convinced his younger brother, Maurizio, to join him as its maître d’, and they finally chased their dream of owning a restaurant. When the owner of Norwalk’s Osteria Romana decided to sell his business, the brothers decided to purchase the restaurant with the intention of bringing a younger attitude and clientele to complement Graziano’s fresh pastas, breads, and sauces. Osteria Romana continues to thrive with a loyal and regular crowd, outdoor seating and a cozy bar area.