BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Thanks to the classic (and cute) boy meets girl story, Bridgeport has an authentic Italian restaurant to call its own.
The 4-month-old Trattoria 'A Vucchella (Italian for “little mouth”) is the collaboration of partners in life and in business: Jennifer Galletti, a Fairfield native, and Sorrento-born Pasquale De Martino. The two met five years ago when she was on vacation and he was the chef/leader a culinary tour.
Both have a passion for food and drink as well as for sitting, relaxing, and enjoying one’s meal. “Food is like a religion in Italy,” says De Martino, who serves as chef at the new restaurant. “It is a huge part of our culture.”
Which is why, between going back and forth between Connecticut and Italy -- De Martino has run a successful business renting villas and providing private culinary tours in Italy for the past decade -- the two put down roots in Bridgeport and decided to open what they call “a piece of Italian culture.”
They took over the space formerly occupied by French bistro Epernay in April and didn’t take long to become an active part of the community.
Their 60-seat restaurant, in fact, was recently featured in the Crawl-O-Ween festivities (see story here ), and will be the home for a wine dinner event on Nov. 13 as well as a " Cooking with Nonna " event on Dec. 18.
“If you told me years ago that I’d own a restaurant in downtown Bridgeport, I wouldn’t have believed you,” says Galletti. “But the area is changing and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
The restaurant focuses on “simple, sophisticated” food with an emphasis on traditional Neapolitan cuisine. That means plenty of homemade pastas such as spaghetti, gnocchi and lasagna made with fresh, high quality ingredients and desserts such as panna cotta and tiramisu made from scratch. Just don’t expect pizza, warns De Martino who prefers to introduce guests to the flavor of the region with more authentic dishes. To complement the food, the wine offerings (more than 50 bottles) are all Italian.
Trattoria 'A Vucchella is located at 272 Fairfield Ave., 203-383-2837 and is open for lunch Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Mondays to Thursdays from 5 to 9:30 p.m, and to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.