A chef who has already served fresh, authentic Italian food to a Massachusetts city for nearly two decades is expanding to two all-new locations in Connecticut.
The owners behind Gran Gusto, a restaurant located in Cambridge, Massachusetts at 90 Sherman St. since 2007, will soon be opening two new locations in both New Haven and West Hartford, Connecticut, according to owner and partner Cait Danahy.
The West Hartford location is expected to open in April at 111 Memorial Rd. in Blue Back Square, and the New Haven location will open soon after in late April or early May at 278 Park St. on the Yale University campus, Danahy said.
Both Connecticut locations will continue to give visitors a classic Italian-style menu and concept that the Cambridge restaurant is known for, but with a more modern look and feel.
The three locations will be led by Fairfield County resident and Executive Chef Giuseppe Castellano, who grew up in Naples, Italy, and imbues the Gran Gusto menu with dishes inspired by both southern and northern Italian cuisine.
Castellano, an Ospitalità Italiana-certified chef who lives in Ridgefield, said that it is important for him to make food that is "very high quality and natural."
"I’m the kind of chef that makes everything in-house," Castellano said, adding that he focuses on using fresh ingredients in his dishes to provide an authentic Italian experience.
This includes using fresh, locally-grown vegetables and meat that is hormone and antibiotic-free and free-range.
The new Connecticut Gran Gusto locations will feature a similar menu to the Cambridge location, which has grown popular in its community in the 17 years that it has been open.
Menu highlights include Neapolitan-style pizzas such as Margherita, Arugula, and Capricciosa pies, as well as several kinds of in-house-made pasta such as Chitarra, a kind of thick spaghetti, and lasagna.
In addition to the classics already served at the Cambridge location, the upcoming larger West Hartford location will add new experiences like a raw bar that will serve fish and rotisserie-style meats.
As Gran Gusto expands to the all-new locations though, the core philosophy of providing a classic Italian style will not change, Castellano and Danahy said.
Until the New Haven and West Hartford locations open, fans of Italian food can visit the Cambridge location every day of the week besides Monday.
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