An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 31, 2013
07:12 AM
The Connecticut Table

The Savory Star on Late-Summer Menus: Fresh Eggplant in Creative Dishes

The Savory Star on Late-Summer Menus: Fresh Eggplant in Creative Dishes

Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times.

Involtini of eggplant with garlic,beets, goat cheese, haricots vert and tomato vinaigrette at West Street Grill in Litchfield.

As we transition from the dog days of summer to the crispness of fall, eggplant comes in season. When this versatile veggie is fresh, any eggplant dish — from classic to creative —becomes even more delicious.

For rich menu items featuring eggplant, Italian restaurants are your go-to — and the choices are endless.

Vito's Restaurant in Wethersfield (860/563-3333) offers a hot salad of breaded eggplant cut into strips and accented with garlic, peppers, Calamata olives and capers.

You’ll find the best eggplant rollatini around at the always good Consiglio's Restaurant in New Haven (203/865-4489), or try La Tavola in Waterbury (203/755-2211) for an appetizer of eggplant torta, perfectly cooked layers of eggplant, mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers and baby spinach, in a tomato-butter sauce.

Amici Italian Grill in Avon (860/677-7089) serves myriad eggplant dishes, including panini made with kettle-fried eggplant, roasted peppers, marinara sauce and mozzarella on Italian bread— and succulent eggplant lasagna, made with six imported cheeses. At Amici’s Middletown location (860/346-0075), the bar menu features grilled eggplant and Vidalia onion bruschetta seasoned with thyme and garlic, topped with pecorino Romano and olive oil.

For that perennial favorite, eggplant parmigiana, wonderfully done, reserve a table at Bin 300 in Wolcott (203/879-5858). Or, for something a little different, at Oliva Café in New Preston (860/868-1787), order the Moroccan eggplant, roasted with olive oil then stewed with garlic, cumin and many other spices, served with pecans and pomegranate seeds.

Several sushi rolls at the award-winning Miya's Sushi in New Haven (203/777-9760) contain eggplant, such as the “Voompa” roll: spicy, crunchy eggplant seasoned with Persian gormeh sabzi herbs, goat cheese, avocado and scallions. Roasted eggplant sits atop the “Howe Street Block Party” roll, and appears in the “Warm Grapes Falling on a Happy Head” roll, too.

Those in the mood for Middle Eastern cuisine, head to Layla's Falafel in Stamford (203/461-8004) or Fairfield (203/384-0100) and be sure to try a plate of traditional baba ghanoush, a regional staple: chunky purée of roasted eggplant, tahini sauce, garlic and lemon juice. The list of ways to enjoy eggplant is never-ending — which will be your favorite?

The Savory Star on Late-Summer Menus: Fresh Eggplant in Creative Dishes

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