CT restaurants that have opened in 2022 (so far)

Connecticut has already seen a slew of new restaurants debut in 2022, with fresh options for tacos, pizza, breakfast sandwiches, Korean rice dogs, Jamaican and Vietnamese fare, Spanish tapas and even dumplings on demand.

Other noteworthy openings are in the works, with projected late-spring highlights including Fair Haven Oyster Co. and Philly's - A Taste of Philadelphia in New Haven, and Dave's Paletas in Shelton. Wildacre Rotisserie in Cos Cob hopes for an early June opening, the same month the owners of G-Monkey Plant-Based Fast Food plan to open in West Hartford.

Haven Hot Chicken, a Nashville hot chicken concept, is opening a second location in Orange later this year, but no opening date has been announced. The Place 2 Be also has two new locations under construction: a New Haven restaurant in the former Box 63 space on Elm Street, and another in Springfield, Mass. near the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

Here's a look at some of the eateries that have hit the scene this year.

The Taco Project
Stamford

The Taco Project's menu features tacos with fillings like classic ground beef, free-range chicken, skirt steak, tempura-battered shrimp, and fish tacos with choice of sauteed or battered and fried cod.

The Taco Project's menu features tacos with fillings like classic ground beef, free-range chicken, skirt steak, tempura-battered shrimp, and fish tacos with choice of sauteed or battered and fried cod.

Jesse Rinka / The Taco Project

The Taco Project opened in Stamford April 12, with a menu of tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, salads, desserts and cocktails. 

Tacos are available with 10 different fillings: classic ground beef, free-range chicken, skirt steak, tempura-battered shrimp, and fish tacos with choice of sauteed or battered and fried cod. Others include BBQ pulled pork, marinated in housemade barbecue sauce; chorizo with potatoes, braised pork belly with pineapple glaze and a Cajun salmon with wasabi slaw.

This is the fifth Taco Project, with four others in Westchester County (Bronxville, Pleasantville, Tarrytown and Yonkers.)

1111 High Ridge Road, 203-703-9495, @tacoproject.

Riko's Pizza
Stamford

Eduardo Sanchez slices a stinger pepper and sausage pizza fresh out the oven during the opening day at Riko's Pizza in Stamford, Conn. Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Riko's Pizza opened a new location at 2010 West Main St. in Stamford on Tuesday. The menu features a variety of thin crust pizzas, including the famous hot oil pizza, as well as salad pizzas, hot wings, and a full bar with an innovative cocktail menu.
Eduardo Sanchez slices a stinger pepper and sausage pizza fresh out the oven during the opening day at Riko's Pizza in Stamford, Conn. Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Riko's Pizza opened a new location at 2010 West Main St. in Stamford on Tuesday. The menu features a variety of thin crust pizzas, including the famous hot oil pizza, as well as salad pizzas, hot wings, and a full bar with an innovative cocktail menu.
Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media

Riko's newest Stamford location opened April 5, as the pizzeria known for its thin-crust pies moved from its original Selleck Street location to a new, larger building on West Main Street

Customer favorites include Riko's signature hot oil pie, and others with clams, chicken, vegetables and a meat lovers' option with pepperoni, ham, bacon and sausage. "Salad pizzas" feature pizza crust with tomato sauce and customers' choice of salad on top, like Caesar, spinach or antipasto.

Riko's also offers oven-baked wings, desserts and cocktails, and new items include a Nashville hot chicken pizza with pickles, a Nashville hot chicken salad pie and Nashville hot dry-rub chicken wings. 

2010 West Main St., 203-674-8970, facebook.com/rikospizzastamford.

Uptown Eatery
Ansonia

Uptown, a new bar and eatery, a rebranding of the former Crave restaurant at 102 Main Street in Ansonia, Conn., opens with a soft launch on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Uptown, a new bar and eatery, a rebranding of the former Crave restaurant at 102 Main Street in Ansonia, Conn., opens with a soft launch on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

Owner Libby Meissner recently rebranded the former Crave restaurant as Uptown Bar & Eatery in early April, with a new menu she describes as “new American food” that's eclectic and represents the diversity of America. Crave’s Latin-fusion fare has been replaced by dishes with Asian and Mediterranean influence, like crispy rice with spicy tuna, halloumi fries, chicken tikka masala and ramen noodles, and other entrees include pastas, fish, seafood, a “Mexican Blues” burger with chipotle mayo, queso and fried jalapeños. A “butcher board” option offers customers’ choice of steak, sauce and potato and vegetable sides.

102 Main St., 203-735-3300, @uptown.ansonia.

Post Oak Barbecue Co.
Fairfield

Owners Steve Garrett, left, and Eric Patterson at Post Oak Barbecue Co., in Fairfield, Conn. April 7, 2022.

Owners Steve Garrett, left, and Eric Patterson at Post Oak Barbecue Co., in Fairfield, Conn. April 7, 2022.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

Post Oak Barbecue Co., which had its soft opening on March 29, blends a variety of cooking styles and flavors that brings a new take on barbecue to the table.

Post Oak's menu offers classic smoked meats like baby back ribs, pulled pork, turkey, chicken and sausage, done in Texas and North Carolina barbecue styles. Other dishes have Asian and southwestern influences, like crab rangoons, sizzling char siu pork, pho bo, pork belly banh mi, nachos and queso blanco.  

93 Post Road, 203-220-5100, @postoakbbqco.

 

Port of Call
Mystic

A sampling of small plates at Port of Call in Mystic, all inspired by global port cities.

A sampling of small plates at Port of Call in Mystic, all inspired by global port cities.

Lisa Nichols/Hearst CT Media, Lisa Nichols / Special to Hearst Connecticut Media

Port of Call, the nautical-themed two-level bar on Water Street next door to Oyster Club, is a collaboration between Dan Meiser's 85th Day Food Community restaurant group and The Real McCoy Rum brand. The new concept opened March 16.

The experience is a sail around the world, complete with meaningful decor touches from the region's maritime history. Beverage director Jade Ayala’s cocktail menu works hand-in-hand with executive chef Renee Touponce’s lineup of street foods, all inspired by port cities in the United States, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and southeast Asia.

15 Water St., @theportofcallct.

Toasted Oat Cafe
Newington

Toasted Oat Cafe, a popular Canton breakfast and lunch spot, just opened its second location in Newington Center with build-your-own breakfast options, salads and sandwiches. Specialties include burritos, scrambles and breakfast bowls; a “Canton Cuban” on an inverted Portuguese muffin and a “Collins Bleu” crispy chicken sandwich with ham, Swiss and spinach on a Kaiser roll.

1110 Main St.,  860-665-7848, @toastedoatcafe.

The Quarter
Newtown

The Quarter, which opened in Newtown Feb. 11 from the owners of Lucas Local, features Southern coastal cuisine with dishes like gumbo, shrimp and grits, jambalaya, maque choux scallops, oyster po'boy and beignets. Cocktails offer a slice of NOLA, with a Hurricane, Sazerac, Boulevardier and Vieux Carré.

48 S. Main St., 203-491-2992, facebook.com/thequarterct.

The Russell
West Hartford

Hugh Russell’s Jamaican restaurant, a staple in Hartford for nearly two decades, has a new West Hartford location in the former Harry’s Pizza space. Menu items feature favorites like jerk chicken and pork, curry goat, escovitch fish, codfish fritters, ackee and saltfish and vegan “one pot rasta pasta” with ginger coconut curry. Like its Hartford counterpart, the West Hartford restaurant also offers martinis and cocktails with Jamaican rums and tropical juices.

39 South Main St., 860-519-0138, @therussellct.

Oh-K Dog
New Haven

A menu displyed at the recently opened Oh K-Dog & Egg Toast on College Street in New Haven lists the egg toast choices on February 25, 2022.
A menu displyed at the recently opened Oh K-Dog & Egg Toast on College Street in New Haven lists the egg toast choices on February 25, 2022.
Arnold Gold/Hearst Connecticut Media

Korean rice dogs and egg toast have come to New Haven, with the addition of Oh-K Dog on College Street. The menu offers a trendy take on corn dogs, with skewered hot dogs, mozzarella blocks and rice cakes that are battered and fried. “Potato dogs” feature hot dogs or mozzarella rolled in crispy diced potato or sweet potato, and the eatery offers assorted seasonings and sauces like mustard and gochujang to customize each item. 

208 College St., @ohkdognewhaven.

The Cottage
Greenwich

The maple bacon and eggs dish at The Cottage in Greenwich, Conn. Thursday, March 3, 2022. Chef Brian Lewis' restaurant The Cottage is opening a new location in at 49 Greenwich Ave., joining its original in Westport.
The maple bacon and eggs dish at The Cottage in Greenwich, Conn. Thursday, March 3, 2022. Chef Brian Lewis' restaurant The Cottage is opening a new location in at 49 Greenwich Ave., joining its original in Westport.
Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media

Brian Lewis debuted the second location of The Cottage on Greenwich Avenue March 22, joining its original sibling in Westport. The new location will spotlight some of the Westport menu’s favorites, like Wagyu beef brisket steamed buns, duck fried rice, spicy squid and broccoli and The Cottage burger with Comté cheese, sriracha aioli and bacon and onion jam. But new features in Greenwich will include "la grand frutti di mare," a selection of raw bar and seafood items like chilled oysters, cocktail shrimp, king crab and sashimi, and a menu of sundaes, using a new ice cream machine.

49 Greenwich Ave., 203-769-1220, @thecottagegreenwich.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Storrs

Bacon, egg and cheese breakfast dumplings from Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.

Bacon, egg and cheese breakfast dumplings from Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.

Courtesy of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

The New York-based dumpling restaurant with automated service opens its first Connecticut location Feb. 22 near the UConn campus. Menus feature more than 30 types of dumplings, with creative flavors bundled into each wrapper: Reuben, Philly cheesesteak, pastrami, lamb gyro, mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, “breakfast” dumplings with egg and cheese and even dessert options.

When a guest’s order is ready, the customer will receive a text notification to pick it up from a marked, temperature-controlled locker, which opens automatically once the customer scans a provided barcode.

108 Royce Circle, @brooklyndumplingshop.

The Crafty Stir Café 
Mohegan Sun

The Crafty Stir Cafe at Mohegan Sun serves a "humungous one pound donut." 

The Crafty Stir Cafe at Mohegan Sun serves a "humungous one pound donut." 

Courtesy of Mohegan Sun

The new cafe off the Sky Tower hotel lobby offers hot and iced drinks, a variety of spiked coffees, pastries, cupcakes, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and grab-and-go items like salads and yogurt. A “Humongous One Pound Donut” is a signature item, for $7, and guests can enjoy a “barista bomb,” or any pastry spiked with a pipette of alcohol. 

Zuppardi's Slice Shop and Takeout Apizza
Ansonia

Owner Jim Ormrod makes the pizzas at the new Zuppardi's Slice Shop and Takeout Apizza at 58 Beaver Street in Ansonia, Conn. on Wednesday, February 3, 2022.

Owner Jim Ormrod makes the pizzas at the new Zuppardi's Slice Shop and Takeout Apizza at 58 Beaver Street in Ansonia, Conn. on Wednesday, February 3, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

The renowned West Haven pizzeria opened its new takeout-only space in the Valley Feb. 2, serving whole pizzas, salads, meatball and sausage sandwiches, minestrone and garlic bread, with housemade biscotti and Libby's Italian ice for dessert. Pizza slices are available during lunch hours.

58 Beaver St., 203-751-9006, facebook.com/zuppardis.apizza.

DeTAPAS Spanish Gastrobar
Westport

Barcelona native Carlos Pia opened his gastrobar in early February, bringing what he calls “an authentic and modern” Spanish experience to Westport. DeTAPAS’ menu features classic tapas like patatas bravas (crispy potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioli), gambas al ajillo (shrimp sautéed with garlic and brandy sauce) and other specialty dishes like grilled octopus and Ibérico ham croquettes. Paellas are prepared with skirt steak, chicken, fish and seafood, and the bar serves a variety of Spanish wines.

180 Post Road E., 203-557-0257,  @detapas_spanishgastrobar.

PhoGo
Avon

The Vietnamese restaurant, which got its start at Hartford’s Parkville Market food hall, opened a second location in Avon Feb. 1. The menu offers several types of pho with beef, chicken and shrimp; banh mi sandwiches, rice and noodle bowls and Vietnamese salads with assorted proteins; and meals featuring grilled marinated pork chops and lemongrass chicken thighs. Other items include fresh spring rolls and fried egg rolls, wings, dumplings and tacos.

41 East Main St., 860-321-7693, PHOGO of AVON | Facebook

Berkins on Main
Hartford

Berkins on Main, in Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, celebrated its grand opening Jan. 21. It’s the third location for owners Doug Barber and Andréa Hawkins, who also own and operate Berkins Blend Cafe in Glastonbury and Berkins on Oak in Hartford. The menu features coffee, tea and espresso beverages, and will expand to offer sweets from local baker Disheveled Diva, sandwiches with coco bread from Nyam Bakery and Berkins’ own salads and pastries. 

600 Main St.,  860-838-4134, @berkinsblend.

VivaZ Cantina
New Haven

A Chile Relleno at the new VivaZ Cantina Mexican restaurant at 161 Park St. in New Haven Feb. 10, 2022.

A Chile Relleno at the new VivaZ Cantina Mexican restaurant at 161 Park St. in New Haven Feb. 10, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

The former Viva Zapata is home to a new Mexican restaurant. VivaZ, which opened Jan. 6 — Three Kings Day — aims to continue being a great place to hang out and drink margaritas, mojitos, micheladas and such, owner Bernardino Lanche said.

This new iteration in the space offers authentic Mexican specialties, such as costillas en salsa verde (Mexican pork ribs in a green tomatillo sauce) and quesabirria (a spiced beef quesadilla served with beef consommé for dunking.)

161 Park St., 475-238-6390, @vivaznewhaven

Take Tea
Avon

The new British-style tea room opened Jan. 1 and offers two-hour, reservation-only tea seatings, with a prix-fixe menu offering tea sandwiches, canapes, scones, breads and small desserts. Take Tea serves tea selections from Harney & Sons, and guests may BYOB while the tea room waits on its beer and wine permit. 

Take Tea has instituted COVID precautions: the tea room is operating on reduced (50 percent) capacity and welcomes fully vaccinated (boosted) guests who are 12 and over.

19 East Main St. (Old Avon Village), 860-404-2538, Take Tea on Facebook.

Surfridge Brewing
Centerbrook

Surfridge Brewing Company in Centerbrook

Surfridge Brewing Company in Centerbrook

Courtesy of Surfridge Brewing

This new taproom and restaurant, which opened in December, naturally has a California vibe to it. Steve and Jennifer Lieberman started the Surfridge brand out in beachside El Segundo, and had the opportunity to open an East Coast outpost, in the Witch Hazel Works property in Centerbrook. The brewery fare is anything but pedestrian, with oysters (raw or baked), salads, charcuterie, wood-fired pizza and “hearth to table” dishes like seared shishito peppers, pork belly, octopus and duck confit.

6 Main St., 860-662-4038, facebook.com/SurfridgeBrewingEast.

Magic 5 Pie Co.
Norwalk

The team behind The Spread and El Segundo restaurants in New Haven and Norwalk have branched out into pizza, opening Magic 5 Pie in mid-December. The menu offers a lineup of gourmet pies with toppings like fig jam and goat cheese, al pastor-style pork and pineapple and burrata with prosciutto, truffle ricotta and arugula. Magic 5 Pie also features salads and raw bar options, including oysters, littleneck clam and shrimp cocktail.

230 East Ave., 203-354-3109, @magic5pieco.

Los Rivera Cafe
Danbury

Mari Cruz Rivera, sous chef, slices meat in the kitchen of Los Rivera Cafe, at 1 Ives Street, in Danbury, Conn. The restaurant is owned by her daughter-in-law, Diana Rivera , who opened the restaurant, after her husband came up with the idea because of his mothers great cooking. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food. Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Chef Juan Ladino watches.

Mari Cruz Rivera, sous chef, slices meat in the kitchen of Los Rivera Cafe, at 1 Ives Street, in Danbury, Conn. The restaurant is owned by her daughter-in-law, Diana Rivera , who opened the restaurant, after her husband came up with the idea because of his mothers great cooking. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food. Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Chef Juan Ladino watches.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

Los Rivera Cafe, which opened in December, spotlights authentic Mexican food: tacos with fillings like grilled steak, pork al pastor, fish, shrimp and tripe; bistec Azteca and chicken in mole sauce. Quesadillas, tostadas, burritos and enchiladas round out the menu, with brunch offerings including huevos rancheros. A molcajete dish with assorted meats, rice, beans and nopales (cactus) is served in the traditional stone mortar and pestle.

1 Ives St., 203-826-7931, facebook.com/losriveracafee

Çka ka Qëllu
Stamford

Views of Albanian restaurant Cka ka Qellu that recently opened on Clark Street in downtown in Stamford, Conn., on Tuesday April 12, 2022.

Views of Albanian restaurant Cka ka Qellu that recently opened on Clark Street in downtown in Stamford, Conn., on Tuesday April 12, 2022.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Albanian cuisine has now joined the diverse lineup of cuisines in Stamford, with the introduction of Çka ka Qëllu late last year. Veal is a staple on the menu, with veal sausage dip for an appetizer or veal dumplings for an entree. For those looking for lighter fare, owner Ramiz Kukaj said the salads are “very authentic,” made with olive oil and “everything that was raised back home,” like tomatoes and cucumbers, plus homemade cheese. 

15 Clark St., 203-354-0735, @ckakaqellu.

Chef Jiang
Farmington

Chef Jiang opened in November in a shopping plaza near the Westfarms mall, with Szechuan and Hunan delicacies like chongqing style fried chicken, dry pot dishes, dan dan noodles, whole fish preparations and xiaolongbao (soup dumplings.) 

1600 South East Road, 860-352-5353, @chef_jiang.