After a couple of months of downtime, the former Portofino restaurant has been transformed into a Red Rooster Pub. While the owner, Tony Ramadani, remains the same and the kitchen staff much the same, this is a new restaurant with a new, somewhat more informal menu.
Ramadani owns two other Red Rooster Pubs, one in Ridgefield and one in Newtown. While the menus are much the same among the 3 restaurants, the Wilton pub adds an extra page of Portofino Classics, including Chicken Parmesan, Rigatoni Con, Capellini Piedmontese, Mushroom Ravioli, Jalapeno Chicken, Shrimp Papardelle and Seared Salmon, priced from $20 to $24, and a kid’s menu.
Their main menu is simpler than in the Portofino days, with appetizers including wings, tacos, chili, 8 salads (plus make your own from a checklist). The Mains section is just Fish and Chips, Mac and Cheese, Baby Back Ribs, New York Strip Steak and Fried Clam (strips) Platter with only the steak over $20.
Completely new is the In Hand menu of grilled chicken, veggies, steak, pulled pork, Reuben, DLT (duck bacon, lettuce and tomato), turkey wrap, French Dip, two Chicken Wraps all reasonably priced and mostly under $15. They also have 16 different “burgers” on the menu, several of which we have to try soon. All come with fries or onion rings.
The popular Portofino pizzas haven’t gone away either: there are still a whole page of pizza choices available.
Their beer list includes 8 on draft an about that many more bottled craft beers, and their wine lists includes about 10 red and white choices by the glass. Their dessert menu is simple but just what you want to go with this menu.
The Wilton pub opened last Thursday, and we understand it was packed all weekend, so we went Monday evening. At 5:45 there were plenty of tables, but by the time we left, almost all of them were full, which would seem to indicate that they have a success on their hands.
For our first meal there (but not the last) we ordered an excellent Mediterranean Salad ($12.95), which would seem to be more or less a Greek Salad with Baby Mixed Greens, Pickled Red Onion, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Feta Cheese, Olives, and Balsamic dressing. It was sizable and there was plenty for us to share. If you just want a little salad, you can get a “Sub Side Salad” for $2 with any of the In Hand menu items.
Then, one of us ordered the Shrimp Papardelle ($23.95) which was almost enough for two in itself. That night it was served with linguini, as they ran out of the wider papardelle noodles. Its served with shrimp, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and pesto sauce. The shrimp were tender and flavorful and the pesto plentiful.
But we had to try out one of their new burgers, so we ordered the French Burger ($15.95) with mushrooms, caramelized onion, Brie, lettuce and tomato, and served with piping hot French Fries. Onion Rings and Sweet Potato Fries were also available, but these French fries were outstanding. And the Brie and caramelized onion worked very well on this enormous burger. We finally had to resort to a knife and fork to finish it, but every bite was worth it.
We didn’t have room for desserts, but we will sometime in the future.
This restaurant looks like a winner for Wilton and for Ramadani and we wish them well. Oh, and they take credit cards!