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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Comings and Goings: Manolo Restaurant Takes Zest’s Place

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By Dave Matlow
A new restaurant will open next month on Westport’s Church Lane in space formerly occupied by Zest Café and Restaurant. WestportNow.com Image
Pedro Garzon holds a photo of his great, grand uncle who was a retired surgeon who earned a brigadier general rank in the Spanish Army. The new Cafe Manolo owner said their travels together through Europe exposed him to cuisines that influenced his career, profession and life. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Pedro Garzon, a former chef at the Barcelona Restaurant on Temple Street in New Haven, will open his own business as the Cafe Manolo at 8 Church Lane where Zest closed in April. (See WestportNow April 20, 2009)

Garzon said the food will have a “Mediterranean influence with classic European recipes made with local ingredients.” 

Garzon said his knowledge for these foods was influenced by his great grand uncle, a retired surgeon who earned a brigadier general rank in the Spanish Army, whom he visited in Barcelona as a child. 

His uncle traveled with him through Spain, southern France, northern Italy and other centers of cuisine.

He said Manolo, his first restaurant ownership, “will have a different feel from Zest, more of a wine cellar feel with mirrors and travel posters.”  WestportNow.com Image
Manolo Restaurant will open in June at 8 Church Lane, former site of Zest Restaurant & Cafe which closed in April. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

He said his menu concept is “a combination of family items, tapas, antipasta and classic French hors d’oeuvres.” 

Garzon, 44, born in Yonkers, N.Y., lives in Norwalk with his wife and two children, an 8-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl. 

Manolo which will open in early June, will serve dinners Tuesdays through Saturday and close on Monday. “Later on, we will serve lunch too,” he said.

As for opening a restaurant in tough economic times, Garzon is philosophical. “From great adversity comes ingenuity,” he said.

Posted 05/26 at 09:27 PM


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