Chef Rick O'Connor of Cugine's Italian, located
in Stamford, Connecticut provides a delicious taste from the
attractive new restaurant owned by John and Morgan Nealon,
which opened at 121 Towne Street in June 2022, with his recipe
for Cugine's Italian Mussels with Calabrian Chili Butter and
Grilled Bread, to tempt your palate into making a reservation. The
restaurant is open for Dinner Thursday through Sunday, and Brunch on Saturday
and Sunday. Bon Appetit!
We had the
pleasure of meeting with Chef Rick O'Connor after having a long and leisurely,
and very tasty, Saturday Brunch on June 25, 2022. The attractive restaurant has
a "speakeasy" vibe, cool music to set the ambience, a diverse culinary menu
that will inspire lots of tasting and shared plates, and creative cocktails.
a wide range of their delectable menu items including The Bagel Spread, house-baked
Popup Bagels, pepper-crusted lox, smoked whitefish spread, dill cream cheese,
cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers and onions, and capers; Frittata,
roasted red peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, fontina cheese, and arugula; Eggs
Florentine, Potato Gnocchi with Wild Boar Ragu; Capellini Al
Limone, and for dessert, Tiramisu, and Pistachio Cannoli, all
paired with creative cocktails.
Chef Rick O'Connor
enjoying Brunch, Chef Rick O'Connor took time from the kitchen to speak with
Luxury Experience. This talented and creative chef grew up in Greenwich,
Connecticut where he was active in sports and was on the high school wrestling
team. While he loved food, during wrestling season, he had to maintain a
special diet, so when his father took him and a friend to the famed New York
restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, for a birthday celebration once wrestling season
was over, it changed his life. Previously unsure of his future career path,
after experiencing the culinary excellence at Gramercy Tavern he made the
decision that he wanted to learn to be a chef. Now the question was whether to
enroll in culinary school or go directly to work in a restaurant. A friend
advised him to work in a restaurant first, as he could always go to culinary
Chef Rick O'Connor, Owners John & Morgan Nealon
his culinary craft working at such top restaurants as Marea, Chef Michael
White's Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, at Moderne Barne in
Armonk, New York, and at Kawa Ni in Westport, Connecticut, before joining restaurateurs
John and Morgan Nealon's culinary team. When not working in the kitchen, Chef
Rick O'Connor likes to spend time at the beach near his home and of course,
eating great food.
O'Connor graciously shares a delectable taste of Cugine's Italian with his
recipe Mussels with Calabrian Chili Butter and Grilled Bread, to tempt your
palates into making a reservation at the Stamford, Connecticut restaurant.
O'Connor - Cugine's Italian Recipe - Mussels with Calabrian Chili Butter and
Mussels (0.45 kilogram)
Butter (225 grams)
Calabrian Chili (75 grams)
White Wine (177 ml)
Note: Chef Rick notes to use a good white wine.
Method: First prepare the Chili Butter. Get a half-pound of butter to room
temperature. Stem and seed the chilis before rough chopping them and folding
them into the room temperature butter.
two cloves of garlic, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan or pot you
will steam the mussels in, and lightly sauté the garlic before adding the
mussels along with the white wine.
mussels are steaming, toast or grill a few slices of the baguette, and use the
remaining garlic clove to rub against the bread once they are toasted to impart
the mussels are opened and fully cooked add 4-ounces of the Calabrian Chili
Butter to the pan and stir to create an emulsion with the mussel broth. Turn
the heat off, chop the mint and add it into the pot.
the mussels and its broth to a serving vessel and garnish with the baguette
slices and more mint.
time, cheers and bon appétit!
also like to read about our dining experience at Cugine's Italian in the Restaurants
Italian is open Thursday and Friday from 5:30 pm until 1:30 pm, Saturday from
11:30 am until 1:30 am, and Sunday from 11:30 am until close.
parking as well as its proximity to the Stamford Train Station, make it a
highly desirable restaurant location.
information on Cugine's Italian, please visit the restaurant's Instagram page: www.Instagram.com/cuginesitalian
Street (Harbor Point neighborhood)
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