At Strega Restaurant in Milford, the goal is an experience of ‘traveling in Italy’

MILFORD — The ideal compliment a customer can give new Strega restaurant proprietor Danilo Mongillo just after tasting the foods is to explain to him, “I’m back in Italy,” as they remember the preferences and vibes of excursions there.

“It transpires routinely,” Mongillo claimed. “We want to give the expertise you get when you’re traveling in Italy. It is a little something Connecticut deserved.”

For Mongillo, the aim is to serve the tastiest genuine Italian delicacies — which can be distinct than Italian-American cuisine numerous are accustomed to in America, he reported.

As an alternative, he makes use of fresh new specialty substances, several of which are flown in weekly from Italy, these kinds of as black Italian truffle and buffalo mozzarella, built from the milk of a rare buffalo that has survived in a single region.

Mongillo, who grew up in a significant relatives in the little village of Puglianello exactly where the cooking flowed and he had the benefit of mother and father from distinct areas — thus additional tastes — 1st opened Strega Restaurant in Branford in 2016.

Danilo Mongillo, left, co-owner and executive chef at Strega, and co-owner Vinnie Behal are photographed in the dining room of the new restaurant on River Street in Milford on June 18, 2021.

Danilo Mongillo, remaining, co-operator and government chef at Strega, and co-proprietor Vinnie Behal are photographed in the eating room of the new cafe on River Road in Milford on June 18, 2021.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

Enterprise experienced been amazing and he was setting up to open up a second restaurant in Milford, but then the pandemic hit. He tried to make it on takeout orders in Branford, but it wasn’t sufficient to support his family members of a wife and two youngsters.

In addition, the pandemic afflicted the incredibly cornerstone of his dishes — foodstuff things imported fresh from Italy.

He went by way of with the opening in Milford June 3 at 9 River St., choosing Standard Manager Vinnie Behal to enable “improve all the functions of Strega Milford.”

Presently he’s witnessed many clients from Branford as very well as packing in new ones.

“The food is reliable and superb. It is not the normal Italian menu that you see all in excess of Connecticut, you will find one thing new and delightful for confident,” claimed Erica Cricchi, a client of Branford — and now, Milford. “The components are fresh new and pretty frequently you will be served anything imported from Italy that you can’t come across somewhere else.”

She explained Mongillo is “hands-on with his clientele to be absolutely sure that they enjoyed their meal,” and the atmosphere is warm, like remaining with household.

“I’ve been a purchaser for yrs and under no circumstances at the time experienced an encounter that was anything less than wonderful,” she explained.

The new Italian restaurant Strega, on River Street in Milford photographed on June 18, 2021.

The new Italian restaurant Strega, on River Street in Milford photographed on June 18, 2021.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

Mongillo mentioned the shoppers are supportive, being familiar with and that definitely can help him.

“I’m a minor rusty, I’m a little nervous and worn out,” he claimed. “They say ‘congratulations’ — I require that.”

Barbara J. Miriam

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