With the power of social media and the use of hashtags like #foodporn, #foodart, #instafoodie, etc., more and more restaurants are being creative with the food they serve. Food has to be “foodogenic” (food + photogenic) as they’re being photographed and shared on social media instantaneously.
Nolita Ristorante East Hartford CT
Just off of I-84 Roberts St. exit, across from Margaritas restaurant, I’m very happy to discover this hidden gem in East Hartford – Nolita Ristorante, specializing contemporary farm-to-table Italian cuisine and craft beer.
I had ZERO expectations when I walked in this restaurant. The décor is a mix of casual and modern design with tables that have really bright contemporary pendant lighting. The bar area is nice and looks cool to hang-out in.
Why am I so giddy about this restaurant?
it’s the FOOD!
Showcasing Chef Greg Janus’ interpretive flair, this restaurant will surprise you with its bold flavors and creative cuisines that will surely capture your attention. It makes you want to grab your phone and just take pictures of the artful food presentation.
Bronzino, hmm… Italian? Sure? Why not?! Samurai… clearly Japanese!
Soon as I saw this on the menu, I had to order it. The sea bass was stuffed with sesame haricot verts (French for green beans) and wrapped with crispy rice paper that was also stuffed with shrimp and generously drizzled with soy sauce. The fish was artfully placed on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
I was so excited to see that the fish still has its fin. So… it made me think. I would make a special request to have the whole fish served for my next visit. Yup, I want the entire fish, with the head and bones!
I sent Nolita Ristorante a private message on their Facebook page and expressed how happy I was with their food. I would love to come back and order the samurai bronzino again, but I want the entire fish. I was so happy when I received a “YES” from the manager.
Second visit, the whole fish! It’s beautiful, reminded me of home.
Yankee Pot Roast – braised Angus beef, herb-smashed potatoes, roasted baby carrots and French onion jus.
The meat was fork-tender and juicy. It was so good. It was infused with lots of comforting flavors that makes you want to ask… “Did Grandma slave herself all day to prepare us this delicious meal?”
Parsley Risotto Escargot
Here’s a dish with a multitude array of delicious flavors. It’s creamy, buttery, smooth, rich, just simply elegant and satisfying. The nutty warmth of parsley risotto makes a perfect accompaniment to the earthiness of escargot. The bell pepper coulis added nice heat and lusciousness to this high-end comfort food.
Give me a cup of red bell pepper coulis and freshly baked rosemary bread, I’m a happy camper.
Za’atar Brick Chicken – pan roasted ½ chicken, spinach & ricotta brick, lemon-thyme crema
This was such an exotic delicious treat. I want this chicken right now! The chicken was cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. It had all the bursting flavors of Middle Eastern and Italian herbs and spices that were complementary rather than just contrasting. The spinach and ricotta brick tasted like a gourmet mac n’ cheese. I couldn’t stop from eating it.
Famous Carrot Cake with Chai Shot and Carrot Gelato
Isn’t this pretty or what? Their carrot cake alone is good enough reason to make you want to try this restaurant. It’s heavenly, nutty and delicately spiced. I simply can’t get enough!
Godiva White Chocolate Mousse – strawberry sorbet, white chocolate goblet
Yum, yum and yum!!! Need I say more?
I hardly go to East Hartford, that’s why it’s lovely to find a restaurant that offers excellent service and exquisite contemporary cuisine.
“Their food presentations look as heavenly as they taste, making Nolita Ristorante one of my favorite fusion/contemporary restaurants in Connecticut.”
Don’t forget to check out their happy hour menu!