Sicily Coal Fired Pizza – ‘far outside of a pizza place’

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MIDDLETOWN — Sicily Coal Fired Pizza is a lot more than the connoisseur restaurant’s identify implies. A person of the initially points co-owner Tony Prifitera, who runs the spot with his spouse Maria, desires individuals to know is the slender and crispy New Haven-style pizza is just one particular supplying […]

MIDDLETOWN — Sicily Coal Fired Pizza is a lot more than the connoisseur restaurant’s identify implies.

A person of the initially points co-owner Tony Prifitera, who runs the spot with his spouse Maria, desires individuals to know is the slender and crispy New Haven-style pizza is just one particular supplying at the 412 Major St. location. It is housed in the former three-tale R.W. Camp’s office retailer, one particular of the largest structures in Middletown.

It has a ability of 300 in the 10,000-sq.-foot space.

“It’s far further than a pizza put. I just want a variety of issues. I want it to be an upbeat cafe. I do not want you to arrive in, and it’s dull … [I want a] good deal of motion,” Tony Prifitera explained Wednesday, the third day the cafe was open up.


“I never care if you’re 15 a long time previous or 80 yrs aged, all people likes … upbeat eating, when you walk in, I want people today to experience the pressure, feel the vibe,” he mentioned.


Setting up proprietor and developer Dominick DeMartino, Prifitera’s close friend of 30 yrs, announced he was using in excess of the circa-1860 space in July 2019. It took considerable renovations in excess of the class of two yrs, partially owing to the coronavirus outbreak, to get items up and running, Prifitera mentioned.

Dan Licitra, the acting general manager and opening venture supervisor, is a “pizza and pasta man.” He’s probably known most effective for his 13 several years at September in Bangkok of New Haven. He also ran the eighth floor of the New York Marriott Marquis.

Prifitera’s father operated Naples Pizza in New Haven, in close proximity to Yale University. It shut in 2019, right after 70 several years in enterprise. He worked there as a teen. A Sicilian who was born in The usa and lives in Durham, Prifitera beforehand owned dining establishments in Connecticut and Florida.

While youthful, his father moved the family members back again to Sicily — a “culture shock,” he claimed of paying his fourth- via sixth-quality many years there.

Freshly created pasta, Italian bread and sauce, 5-inch meatballs, 23 appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, butcher block steaks, cocktails, a variety of bourbons, and signature vodka are among the the menu goods.

The only matter that was preserved in the course of development have been the switchback staircase and oak floors, which experienced copper inlays peppered during to continue to keep with the authentic style. The Prifiteras included additional to enhance the restaurant’s allure.

They also crafted an further staircase that potential customers to a balcony at the entrance.

The cafe also has uncovered brick walls, which came from a enterprise previously on Newfield Street. There are also creative nods to Italy in the course of.

Entrees include things like wild-caught shrimp and polenta, Sicilian octopus, coal-roasted toddler beets salad, local vegetable fettuccine milk-fed veal chop Milanese and much more. They’re all artfully organized by Chef Joe Lucci, who hails from Viron Rondo Osteria in Cheshire.

He uses community ingredients when feasible, and insists on San Marzano tomatoes, the very best readily available, the co-operator said.

“Joe’s a creator,” Prifitera mentioned. “We do a lot of diverse points — not the standard rooster Parm or broccoli rabe and sausage.”

Lucci will make the latter with a few various types of broccoli blended into a puree, hearts of palm, healed egg yolk and chili oil. “He’s a food artist,” the co-proprietor explained.

His deconstructed hen Parmesan is designed up of crispy hen and mozzarella in a creamy tomato emulsion, Stracciatella and house-produced spaghetti.

The Sunday Sauce is made with rigatoni, sausage, meatballs, braised braciole, San Marzano tomato sauce and shaved Parmesan. “I just cannot explain to you how a lot of compliments I get on that dish,” Licitra explained. “Typically, you like the sauce and meatballs you grew up with, that your grandmother created, your mom or your aunts make.”

There is also a massive variety of 50 beers on faucet, he explained.

The menu will transform four times a calendar year. “A restaurant has to morph and evolve if it needs to be successful,” the standard supervisor claimed.

The endeavor is a household affair: Marie Prifitera cooks and functions the front of the property, and their two daughters and two sons also assistance out. That retains the spouse and children near, a thing specifically important due to the fact the patriarch generally starts at 6 or 7 a.m. and can depart as late as midnight or 1 a.m., he reported.

“This is my home now,” Tony Prifitera stated. “With my loved ones below, it feels great.”

There are spaces in the course of the three-tale creating, which include a balcony that seats 40, a home downstairs for banquets and substantial teams, and a patio out entrance that seats 32.

The upstairs lounge, which contains a dance ground and can fit as quite a few as 150 people standing up, will have a DJ, piano participant and other are living new music on the weekends.

“There are pretty couple of spots for persons 30 to 70 to go dance,” Licitra mentioned. “We’re striving to be a desired destination for a lot of unique motives.”

“When individuals occur out, they want a few things: Ambiance, assistance and foodstuff,” Tony Prifitera stated. “If you can strike individuals a few points, I’m joyful. It is a property run.”

For info, simply call 860-788-2237 or check out Fb or sicilycoalfiredpizza.com.

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