Upon walking through its doors, Morello Bistro transports you from the busy Greenwich Ave to a rustic, yet modern eatery in Italy. With its high ceilings, beautiful architecture, and romantic ambiance, Morello is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, enjoy a family dinner, or to sip cocktails by the bar.
On a chilly winter evening, we stopped by for an early dinner. While deciding what to order, we tried a couple of Morello’s signature cocktails. There are eight in total, but two of them caught our attention. The Margarita in Fuoco is a delicious cocktail made with habañero and poblano pepper infused tequila with freshly squeezed lime juice, blood orange juice finished with Solerno, and a blood orange liquor. The Fiore Liz is a simple sweet and sour concoction of American Harvest Organic Vodka, St. Germain liqueur, and fresh lime juice.
The menu at Morello is driven by fresh, local ingredients, and is inspired by Italian and Mediterranean favorites. Off the Antipasti menu, we tried the Crispy Calamari, Imported Pugliese Burrata, and the Meatballs.
The calamari was cooked “Rhode Island Style” – fried in a light batter and served with thinly sliced hot cherry peppers and two dipping sauces: marinara and lemon aioli.
The burrata was great. Made with fresh, creamy burrata, cured sweet tomato, crunchy pistachios, oregano, and toasted bread crumbs, each bite is a delight.
Served in a small cast iron pot, the several tender meatballs sit in a wonderful marinara sauce and topped with melted fontina. Be sure to dip the fettunta (what the Italians call “greased bread”) into the marinara.
We only tried one pasta dish, which we both loved – the Linguine alla Vongole. The pasta was served al dente with Manila clams and a delicious sauce made with white wine, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley.
For our second course, while I was tempted to order the Hudson Valley Magret Duck Breast with gooseberries, pistachio, red watercress, and cherry sauce which I sampled during the 2013 Greenwich Food+Wine Festival, I ordered the Sautéed Branzino with lentils, orzo, and preserved Meyer lemon. I did not regret it. The fish was cooked perfectly, with crispy skin and flaky flesh, and served on a bed of savory lentils and orzo. Together this was a comforting dish, with wonderful flavors.
Jay had the Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon with orange braised fennel, olives, and raisins. This was the best salmon we’ve ever had. We’ve never had salmon prepared in such a way that you could taste the orange in its flesh. The skin was seared giving it a nice crunch, yet the meat was still moist. The fennel, olives and raisins were sweet and salty, and complimented the salmon.
Overall a wonderful dining experience. Morello is a neighborhood gem and we highly recommend dining here, or even stopping by for a cocktail. They have a great Happy Hour special with 2 for 1 cocktails.
Stay tuned for a review of our next visit, which involves tasting more of their meat entrees and desserts.
253 Greenwich Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830
Tel: (203) 661-3443