Stepping into Lucia in New Milford
Among the plethora of Italian restaurants in Litchfield County, Lucia Ristorante, tucked on Bank Street in New Milford, is a stand out. Small but elegant, this unpretentious trattoria seats 40 inside, and another 25 on the streetside terrace. Chef and owner Antonio Caldareri named the restaurant after his grandmother from whom he inherited recipes. He adds his own culinary flourish of moderately priced Italian specialties, homemade pastas, and seven kinds of pizza.
Lucia’s appetizers include the usual suspects: grilled portabella and sautéed calamari. But a tuna tartare comes plated like a gift: a perfect wedge of fresh tuna chunks melded with mango, red onion, and avocado, a lime onion-mayo side sauce, and a red lettuce bow ($13). Of the salads, try the artfully presented poached pear with baby greens, palm hearts, and caramelized walnuts in balsamic vinaigrette sprinkled with gorgonzola ($10).
Pastas, made by the chef’s mother, include the cavatelli barese, tossed with broccoli rabe ($19), and the penne alla gigi, sautéed with prosciutto, mushrooms, green onion, pecorino. Chicken, veal, rack of lamb and pork chop entrees are sumptuously turned out. The pollo quattro formaggio, a chicken breast stuffed with asparagus, cappicolla, and mozzarella and braised spinach, served with a rich four-cheese sauce ($18). Fish fare includes a wonderful tilapia almondine ($19), or try the shrimp and scallops with white beans and escarole in tomato broth ($21). Choose from the simple fresh-tomato margherita to the baresse, composed of Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic, mozzarella and sprinkled with olive oil. For desserts, try a light finish: limoncello sorbet ($7), or a mango tartufo.
Lucia Ristorante 51 Bank St., New Milford, 860-355-5100 M-E