Eric Felitto, a Fairfield chef who appeared in the “Breakfast Battle” episode of the Food Network’s TV show “Chopped” last year, was among the celebrity chefs at a Monroe Restaurant Week event at Victorinox Swiss Army’s headquarters in Monroe Thursday afternoon.
Felitto and Monroe chefs Jamie Zuniga, of Osteria Romano, and Constantin Crama, of Monroe Social, performed cooking demonstrations for hungry visitors during an event featuring several vendors and music.
“I brought meat to make The Banker Sandwich,” Felitto said. “It’s named after my business partner, who was a financial advisor for Fairfield County Bank. It has braised brisket, two eggs, Swiss cheese and a spicy aioli served on a Parker House bun from the Bronx.”
Felitto, owner of The Tasty Yolk, said it is his most popular breakfast sandwich. He recently opened a restaurant at 2992 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport and had three food trucks that go to 1916 Post Road in Fairfield, Brookside Drive and Mill Plain Road in Fairfield and 4700 Park Avenue near Sacred Heart University. A fourth truck caters for parties.
Thursday’s event was the second one promoting Monroe Restaurant Week, which is going on until this Sunday. Around 26 participating restaurants and eateries are offering special prix fixe menus and discounts. For restaurants and special menus, click here.
It is the third annual Monroe Economic Development Commission event, meant to highlight the town’s restaurants. The EDC had a Community Kickoff event in the Veracious Brewing Company parking lot last Sunday before Thursday’s event in Victorinox Swiss Army’s parking lot.
“Our residents are coming out to learn more about the kind of diverse restaurants we have in our town,” said Ray Giovanni, chairman of the EDC.
He praised the restaurants who participated in the two promotional events, which are new this year. “It speaks to the character they have and support for the town of Monroe,” Giovanni said.
Rachel Olivera, marketing manager for Victorinox Swiss Army and a Monroe resident whose husband Herman serves on the EDC, said, “we were happy to partner with the Monroe Economic Development Commission to put on an event during Restaurant Week and bring some awareness to our factory store.”
Among the food venders were Dave’s Mobile Planet Pizza truck, owned by Dave Kuban. It can normally be found at 607 Main Ave. in Norwalk. DrewbaQ, a barbecue restaurant in Trumbull, also had a truck.
Veracious Brewing Company, a Monroe business, had craft beers, including Bloobs, a blueberry wheat beer; Jack’d Up Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Shortcut to Napi’s New England IPA.
Little Kernel’s Kettle Corn and Victorinox Swiss Army had tents, and Think Pink Monroe, which is raising breast cancer awareness throughout October, had a table, along with the Monroe Playground Foundation, which is promoting the project to upgrade the Kids Kreation Playground at Wolfe Park.
Meet Monroe’s chefs
At Monroe Social’s table Crama grated an apple. “I’m making a full avocado salad with shrimp,” he said. “It has feta, apples, red onion, salt and pepper, fresh squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.”
Beside Crama, Zuniga, of Osteria Romano, prepared flour for his pasta maker. He was making a butternut squash ravioli.
Veronica Condon, of Monroe, had stopped to talk to him.
“We went Monday night for Restaurant Week and I had the chestnut ravioli,” she said. “They were amazing. They were so delicious. The first time we went to Osteria Romano was two years ago, when my brother was visiting. He went to restaurants all over the country, around the world, in New York City, and he said this is the best Italian restaurant he ever went to.”
While Condon knows what she likes, Blanca Wake, a substitute teacher for Monroe public schools, and her husband only moved to town from Glastonbury last August. She said, “I’m considering trying some of the restaurants, learning about the town and seeing what it has to offer.”