Ethnic Eateries, Rich Dining Experiences Abound in Waterbury

By Pamela Coyle on June 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm EST


Waterbury’s rich ethnic heritage surfaces in some of the tastiest ways.

The city is rife with restaurants that reflect waves of immigrants as well as new twists on old classics. Drescher’s Restaurant, 25 Leavenworth St., serves up authentic German cuisine with some seafood and pasta tossed in for variety. The Caribbean Kitchen on Walnut Street offers Jamaican; Portuguese cuisine comes courtesy of Lisboa Restaurant on Lafayette Street. Brazil Grill on South Main and Peruvian Corner on Meadow Street are self-explanatory.

For cheap eats, La Cazuela Restaurant & Lounge provides Dominican staples such as cod patty, meat-filled potato balls, sweet plantains and cassava for pocket change.

Yet the Italian influence still has a firm hold on Waterbury’s restaurant scene.

A four-course Italian feast dubbed “Roman Night” costs $20 at San Marino Ristorante Italiano on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The family-owned and operated restaurant has graced Waterbury for more than 30 years.

San Marino, which specializes in Old World classics, and Avventura Meat & Deli, which builds grinders that draw customers from afar, are among the eateries in Waterbury’s Italian section called Town Plot.

The recently opened Vintage Restaurant on Bank Street offers new twists on New England classics. The knuckle sandwich is made from lobster and served on brioche. It’s a fine dining sort of place, with specialty champagne drinks and a variety of desserts including homemade ice cream.

In search of steak? Carmen Anthony Steak House on Chase was the first upscale restaurant by Carmen Anthony Vacalebre, who now has restaurants in several Connecticut cities.

And check out International Food Inc. on South Main Street, which has fare from around the globe. You never know what you’ll find; one week, the proprietor had Australian goulash in a can ... if you like goulash in a can. If you don’t, stop by Drescher’s.

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