NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Don't expect to find ketchup at Dere Street Restaurant, Bar & Bakery when it opens in mid-March. Instead, you'll find a very lovely Irish chutney, which Owner David Cooper said is similar, and in his view, tastier.
The mission behind his new Newtown restaurant is to offer a unique experience which revolves around an interesting combination of British and Italian cuisine. Ian Sampson, the chef, in fact, is English but spent the last 15 years in Wales where he was crowned best chef in the country in 2010.
Sampson is someone Cooper and his now deceased wife, Robin, met three years ago in their travels and always kept in the backs of their minds as a possible chef for their dream restaurant.
The European-stye restaurant, which will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even afternoon tea on select days, will also feature a separate shop for baked goods so patrons can buy sweet and savory items to go.
Cooper, a Newtown resident of 27 years, said he'd always had the concept in his mind to someday open a retail establishment. When the location on Main Street became available, he knew he had to jump.
"This restaurant will be for foodies," he said. "It will offer an experience unlike anywhere else in the County."
In keeping with his British roots, Cooper purposely named the establishment Dere Street after an ancient Roman Road that snakes through the English countryside as a homage to the British and Italian-influenced dishes that will be on the menu.
Dere Street Restaurant, Bar & Bakery will be open Wednesdays to Sundays starting at 8 a.m. with a traditional English tea served Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cooper is also excited to offer a classic roast meal on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. "Think of it as Thanksgiving every Sunday," he said. The meal -- roast sirloin with Yorkshire pudding and vegetables served family style -- is what you'd get if you were dining in London. To accommodate a myriad of tastes and diets, there will also be a fish, chicken and vegetarian option.
Cooper’s projected opening is March 12. There are 47 seats inside, along with room for 22 on the patio when warm weather returns.
The restaurant is at 33 Main St., (203) 304-9356. Check the Facebook page HERE .
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