Seasons change. Menus change. Morello Italian Bistro in Greenwich recently swapped few items on their menu with creations using fresh, local ingredients that arrive when the weather warms up. New dishes include Prosciutto and Parmesan Fritters, Hamachi Crudo, Tuna Tartare, Roasted Halibut in Parchment and Chickpea Fries.
During our recent visit, we tried these new additions along with some of their crowd favorites. Dinner started with a few cocktails: the Morellini, made with Bacardi Limon, Prosecco, lemon sorbet, fresh mint and a Grape Mojito, made with Bacardi, muddled mint, grape juice, lime wedges, and agave nectar. Another great drink to try is the White Peach Margarita (Milagro tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, white peach purée).
As we sipped our cocktails, we perused the menu debating on what to order. Morello’s General Manager, Jimmy Branigan, made excellent recommendations, which we strongly encourage our readers to follow. We started off with the Hamachi Crudo and Beef Carpaccio. The hamachi (yellowtail) was served sashimi style with pickled pear, lemon zest, chili, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. The carpaccio was presented with shaved fennel, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and thin slices of Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Proscuitto and Parmesan Fritters made with Fontina Cheese and parsley is another great appetizer to share. Be careful, you can’t eat just one.
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.
This time we tried two pasta dishes. Both were outstanding, and just as delicious as the first we ever tried (the Linguine alla Vongole). Trofie with Rock Shrimp (shown below) is a savory dish of a spicy pork sausage called ‘ndjua, tomatoes, basil, white wine, garlic, shallots, and trofie, a short, thin, twisted pasta. Morello’s Garganelli Bolognese is one of their most popular plates with fresh garganelli pasta, tomato-meat ragu, and herbed ricotta.
For the seafood lover, there are many delicious dishes to try. We highly recommend the Roasted Sea Scallops. The scallops were perfectly seared and served on a bed of well seasoned cauliflower, then topped with a mix of capers, caper berries, sultanas and pancetta. The Roasted Halibut is a light, yet filling entree. Wrapped in a parchment pouch is delicate halibut, corn, carrots, zucchini.
If you’ve got a big appetite, try the Veal Chop Milanese. A rich and tender veal chop is pounded, breaded, pan fried, and served golden brown and topped with fresh arugula, tomato, red onion, and lemon.
New on the Contorni list are Chickpea Fries. You might also see them served with their lamb chop special. The chickpea fries have a crispy coating and are soft, creamy middle.
If you have room for dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with one of their many savory treats. There are about 10 items on their dessert menu, and we tried three. Since panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts, I had to try theirs. Morello’s Panna Cotta is made with Greek yogurt and is topped with semolina crumbs and served with fresh citrus and tarragon.
The Bomboloni are fresh-risen doughnuts filled with vanilla pastry cream and served with a bowl of dark chocolate to dip them into.
If you want to nibble on a few sweets, try the Piastra Biscotto. It’s a the chef’s selection of housemade cookies – chocolate chip, pignoli (pine nut), chocolate meringue. We probably could have slipped into a food coma if it wasn’t for our double espresso.
Morello is on our list of favorite Italian restaurants. As we write this review, we’re planning our next visit.
Whether you’re craving seafood, meat, or pasta, Morello offers flavorful dishes to please anyone. Don’t forget to save room for their amazing desserts.
253 Greenwich Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830
Tel: (203) 661-3443