Every morning Chef Cavagnaro visits local area farms to explore and choose which of the area’s seasonal foods will inspire the menus. Cavey’s works with over a dozen local farms to bring you the freshest produce and seafood available; seasonal morels, heirloom tomatoes, local cheese, Nantucket Bay scallops and native corn, all grace our plates at their respective peaks of flavor.
There are two restaurants to explore here. Upstairs, our cozy Northern Italian half serves up lightly-sauced handmade pastas with hearty Italian cuisine. The focus is on choosing the best ingredients and letting them speak for themselves in simple preparations. Downstairs, our French half serves modern cuisine and focuses on the careful techniques and complex platings adored by the French. These two schools of cooking share an intense passion for food and, ultimately, a common origin; Catherine de Medici brought a team of Italian chefs with her when she moved to France from Italy in the 16th century. This retinue of chefs set the stage for future generations to build upon. In much the same fashion, Cavey’s was originally an Italian restaurant, celebrating the Cavey’s Piedmont heritage. Having travelled Europe and explored the history and links between French and Italian cuisine, Chef Cavagnaro grew to love the French traditions equally, so after he took over the restaurant from his father in the late 70’s, he added the French side.
Cavey’s impressive French and Italian wine libraries house over 11,000 bottles. Ranging from easy-drinking and affordable to rare and complex, the lists here offer enthusiasts a wide variety of high quality, carefully matured wines. Our bottles are hand-selected by Chef Cavagnaro himself, and cellared in our climate controlled vaults for many years until the perfect moment when they are ready to drink. Our patience and extensive knowledge make our wine program the best in Connecticut.
We invite you to share our collection and attend one of our many wine events throughout the year as we explore both the French and Italian Restaurants. Our Library Dinners, held in the French Restaurant on the first Friday of every month, offer at least two rare or older vintages. It’s a wonderful opportunity to taste some extraordinary wines. Our Tuesday Night Wine Series, runs for three months twice a year in the Italian Restaurant and offers our diners a chance to try five wines with small plate pairings for a very reasonable $28. Each event has a theme, like wines from Burgundy or Rieslings from around the world, and an expert speaker who discusses the merits and history of each as we taste them.
THE CAVEY’S VISION
Drawing inspiration from places like Piedmont, Tuscany, Burgundy and Provence, and the traditions which his grandmother and father handed down while running the restaurant before him, Chef Cavagnaro is keeping the Cavey’s legacy going strong. He gathered most of his experience organically, being raised in the business and travelling through France and Italy for weeks at a time. Italian chefs love wood-fired foods, handmade pasta, fresh ingredients and simple pairings while their French counterparts push the boundaries of culinary artistry, wielding their ingredients, carefully, like individual strokes on a canvas. Combining seasonality, intimate preparation and modern technique, Chef Cavagnaro incorporates the best from each country into his menu.