Jose Gutierrez had been eating pizza for lunch for years at New Canaan Pizza.
So when word got out that former owner Tommy Romas was closing the local favorite, he jumped at the chance to purchase the restaurant at 53 East Ave., and to add something that he said was sorely lacking in New Canaan, authentic Mexican fare.
"I wanted to have the same pizza for the fans, but I wanted to offer all the Central American construction workers and residents who come to town food that they would love -- authentic Mexican," Gutierrez said.
It took awhile for Gutierrez to remodel and get the restaurant reopened, but now that he and his wife, Delam, have opened the doors he couldn't be happier.
"We are so excited," he said. "And, we are making sure to use the same pizza recipe with supervision from Tommy so people can have their favorite."
In fact, Tommy will be on site occasionally, greeting people and making sure that the recipe and the way the pizzas are made stays the same.
"That's very important to us," he added. "We want people to feel like they can still have their great pizza, but maybe try some of our Mexican too."
The family has lived in New Canaan for more than 30 years with Gutierrez working as a former driver at New Canaan Lawn Equipment on Cross Street before starting his still-active landscaping business.
Additions to the new menu include soft corn tortilla tacos with steak, chicken, spicy pork, chorizo or tongue ($3.50), tortas ($10), tacos dorados ($9), burritos ($10), tostadas ($9) and quesadillas ($8).
All of the recipes are his wife's that she brought with her from Mexico: "They are very authentic. Just wonderful."
A grand opening is planned for early April.
The restaurant can be reached at 203-966-3610.
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