Spiga: traditional family style Italian dishes with an infusion of modern flavors

We recently visited Spiga located in downtown New Canaan Ct.  We were excited to be dining at this eatery specializing in traditional Italian cuisine fused with a modern flair.   The dishes are served “family style” which means large plates filled with your favorite dishes that are meant to be shared.

The menu may be filled with Italian classic cuisine, yet the interior is quite modern.  The deep rectangular space is  divided into long wooden tables, orange colored booths, and unique tables with attached swing out stools.  The is also a long attractive bar where craft cocktails are available as well as an extensive wine list.   At the rear of  the restaurant is the open kitchen as well as a deli counter which makes one feel if they have stepped back in time into an Italian deli with cheeses hanging from the ceiling, and fresh made pastas available for sale.

The menu at Spiga follows the theme of traditional Italian cuisine infused with modern culinary touches.  We were able sample along with our fellow guests a wide assortment of the chef’s handiwork.   Fans of traditional Italian fare will be pleased with the selections of mozzerella,  salumi ( a selection of Italian meats) , and an extensive list of pasta dishes. There is also a raw bar and we sampled the  Double Tier, a beautifully presented selection of 6 oysters, 12 little necks, and 4 jumbo shrimp.

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Double Tier

As an appetizer we sampled the tastefully executed and modern Avocado Crab Salad with fresh lump crab meat, avocado, , cherry tomatoes, grilled onions, corn, scallions, and complimented by a mango dressing.  The menu abounds with both modern and traditional salads.

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Avocado Crab Salad

A must have at any Italian eatery is pasta and Spiga makes their own fresh pasta on site. The Gnocchi Bolognase was perfection, as was the Cioppino Fra Diavolo. For something more current, the  Butternut Squash Gnocchi was filling as it was delicious. Just another way Spiga is blending traditional dishes with the modern culinary trends.

 

The Lobster Angolotti  was a fantastic pasta dish which is similar to lobster ravioli and served in black squid ink. A delicious dish.

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Pasta Dishes including Lobster Angolotti and Gnocchi Bolognese

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Montauk Tuna

Main course selections are plentiful at Spiga as are oven fired pizzas.   Poultry, pork, beef and seafood dishes are plentiful. For our main course we really savored the Montauk Tuna, seared fresh Ahi tuna encrusted w/ sesame seeds on a bed of avocado puree served w/ cannellini beans, heirloom tomatoes, charred sweet onions, corn, citrus dressing. A fresh delicious dish we did not expect from Spiga but is proof of the kitchen philosophy of serving  innovative cuisine alongside classic dishes we all love.

 

If you are planning to dine at Spiga, bring your appetite and bring the family (friends too).   Mangia!

Spiga

134 Main Street New Canaan Ct

website >>> http://www.eatatspiga.com

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Classic family Italian dining: Frank Guido’s Little Italy

 

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“Chi Mangia bene,vive bene”  orhe who eats well, lives well” is the motto of Frank Guido’s Little Italy a wonderful  Italian restaurant . Located in the Hudson Valley town of Kingston, it could easily be found in the heart of New York City.   This is the perfect place to go for a  traditional Italian meal  and to enjoy  “family style” , which is large plates meant to be shared with your family or friends.

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The interior space is a lovely dining room with brick walls, tables covered in white table cloths and Italian themed paintings.   One wall is covered in family photos spanning generations which emphasizes the family feel.  Another wall is covered in photos of famous people who have dined at the restaurant including Yankees Phil Rizzuto, Joe Torre, and actor James Gandolfini  (The Sopranos) just to name a few.

With so many choices on the menu we decided to start with Eggplant Papettas which was like a veggie meatball with a soft texture served with marinara sauce.  It was delicious.   Another pick was the classic stuffed artichoke  which was fresh and light ans served with  seasoned breadcrumbs inside and an olive oil base.

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Eggplant Papettas

For our main course selection we chose the Chicken Parmigiana (how could one not choose this classic?).  We had to try this house specialty and we were not dissapointed.  It was fantastic with fresh mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese and “Mama’s” tomato sauce.  The portion was huge!

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Chicken Parm

I also wanted seafood so the waiter suggested  Penne Angelina which consisted of pasta with jumbo shrimp , scallops, lobster meat, served in a white clam sauce ( I substituted the sauce of tomato sauce).  This mouth watering dish was a hit and  there was plenty to take home for another meal.

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Penne Angelina

 

Penne Ala Vodka was  a nice side choice  and was a perfect blend of marinara sauce, vodka and a touch of cream.  Very tasty.

Dessert:  I shared the Guidomisu, their take on Tiramisu and the Bomba which was vanilla and chocolate gelato with a  cherry and almond center finished with a chocolate coating.  A great way to end the meal.  The last sweet was a the Chocolate Mousse Cake, composed of white and dark chocolate  mousse between chocolate cake and served with whipped cream. Nice !

 

If you are in the Kingston NY area, Frank Guido’s Little Italy is the perfect choice for great old school Italian comfort food.  With great service and comfortable interior, you will feel right at home.

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Frank Guido’s Little Italy

14 Thomas Street Kingston New York

845-340-1682                 http://www.frankguidoslittleitaly.com

 

 

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