MONROE, CT —Nicholas “Nick” DeVellis, 26, a Trumbull native, has worked in restaurant kitchens since he was a teenager, preparing pizza pies, penne alla vodka, chicken marsala and other Italian dishes, most recently at his father’s restaurant, Giove’s Pizza in Trumbull before it closed in July.
Now, DeVellis and his father, Idilio, opened a new restaurant at Clock Tower Square, 477 Main St. in Monroe, in the same space last occupied by Carl Anthony Trattoria. Marcello’s Italian Eatery celebrated its grand opening Thursday evening.
The restaurant, named after Nicholas DeVellis’ late grandfather, is his first venture as owner of a business.
“It took a lot of thought and effort to get this far,” he said. “But I’m excited to show people what I can cook and to give them a slice of Italy.”
Idilio DeVellis was born in Strangolagalli, Italy, and Marcello’s and Nicholas incorporated his family’s old world recipes into his menu, naming dishes after his grandfather and his mother, Sharon, who passed away in 2020. His father and grandmother, Ada, were among the family members at Thursday’s event.
First Selectman Ken Kellogg participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony, along with State Rep. Tony Scott, R-112th, Community and Economic Development Director William Holsworth, and Ray Giovanni, who heads both the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Monroe Economic Development Commission.
Town Councilman Terry Rooney and several chamber and commission members also came to show their support for the new restaurant.
Giovanni said Marcello’s Italian Eatery is one the newest Monroe Chamber of Commerce members.
“We’re very happy that this has happened,” he said. “The former restaurant was such an institution in our town. We’re looking to sustain that same, great dining experience for our Monroe residents, and visitors from other towns, to enjoy.”
“We’re extremely happy to have them,” Kellogg said, “continuing the tradition of a great restaurant here, run by a family that’s well known in the business — and I know they’ll do a great job.”
Carl Anthony Trattoria was owned and operated by Sam DeVellis, a cousin of the family who opened Marcello’s. He has promised to announce a new location for Carl Anthony’s early this year.
Idilio DeVellis said the space at Clock Tower Square has been in his family since 1998, adding his father, who was a lifelong carpenter, and uncle built the bar and the cabinetry.
Prior to opening Marcello’s, Nicholas DeVellis said he renovated the interior to put his own stamp on the restaurant, which includes the bar and a spacious dining area.
Marcello’s Italian Eatery is open Sunday and Monday from 4 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.
“We plan to open for lunch and for family buffet-style dinners on Sundays,” Idilio DeVellis said. “Those are just ideas we’re planning to do.”
He said they will also offer catering and host parties upon patrons’ requests.
Idilio has worked in the restaurant business since 1980 and owned Giove’s Pizza since 1990, before it closed last July. Of opening Marcello’s with his son, Idilio said, “this is what he wants to do, so I helped him do it.”
“We’re excited to be here,” he said. “I like the way the place turned out. It’s been wonderful so far. People have been like family to me.”