Ponza Italian Kitchen & Pizza in Norwalk Carries on a Family Tradition

Published April 12th 2021

Refreshed Restaurant Concept Pays Homage to Owner’s Culinary Lineage

Named after Italy’s most beautiful Island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the western coast of Italy, Ponza Italian Kitchen & Pizza is deeply rooted in hospitality and bringing people together around the table over great food and drink. A family-owned and operated restaurant since 1980, locals have been enjoying comforting Italian cuisine and the restaurant’s signature pizza over the years when the location at 690 Connecticut Avenue was originally known as Pasta Fair and eventually John’s Best Pizza. Owner Victoria Sandolo, the second-generation restaurateur whose father John Sandolo started the family restaurant business upon coming to the states in the 1960s, is excited to share the restaurant’s refreshed concept which embraces the simple rustic cuisine prepared in households on the Island of Ponza.
Ponza Italian Kitchen & Pizza is a casual and inviting neighborhood restaurant. Its unique bi-level space is wrapped around a live ficus tree (weeping fig) with cascading branches throughout the space, creating one of Norwalk’s most distinctive locations. The second-floor private dining room and event space overlooks the restaurant’s multiple dining areas, adjacent patio, and open kitchen where Ponza’s fresh baked bread and pizza welcome customers upon entering.
“The foundation of what has made this a beloved family restaurant over the years remains, “says Veronica, “New menu items include Italian tapas, more pasta, seafood, and chicken dishes, paninis and tavern fare, homemade desserts, and craft cocktails. We have also expanded our take-out and catering menu. It’s a new day, and Ponza is providing a menu and a service for how people are eating today.”
The dining experience includes appetizer favorites such as seafood stuffed clams, arancini filled with gouda cheese, and fresh seafood salad with olive oil and lemon. Hearty salads include a classic Greek or Caesar which can be topped with chicken or shrimp. Mouthwatering entrees run the gamut from eggplant parmigiana, chicken or veal sautéed with mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce, zuppa di pesce brimming with clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari with a choice of red or white sauce, jumbo shrimp with a seafood and cracker stuffing, pork chop scarpariello with white wine sauce and cherry peppers, market-fresh fish prepared with tomatoes and kalamata olives, and decadent gnocchi al gorgonzola with broccoli and sausage. And of course, there is that amazing pizza – classic or fancy, white or saucy, with a choice of meaty or veggie toppings.
Adhering to the strictest of sanitization practices, utilizing state of the art sterilization equipment, barriers, and mandatory PPE gear, Ponza offers multiple safe space dining options from high top tables and comfy booth seating to a semi-private dining room, heated patio, and private second-floor dining.  The space is warmed by dark wood furnishings, exposed brick, wheat field murals, and Italian decor accents throughout.
Ponza features live entertainment Thursday-Sunday, hosting a variety of the area’s most talented artists. Entertainment is available to those dining on the restaurant’s spacious heated patio. Sport watching on the restaurant’s many large screen TVs and weekday Happy Hour which includes extensive food and drink deals that can be enjoyed tableside, a perfect way to spend time with friends, family, and coworkers.
As this Norwalk neighborhood institution evolves, including the makeover of the restaurant’s iconic sign, customers can look forward to more great food, special offers, and fun events. Experience the new Ponza Italian Kitchen & Bar.
690 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk, CT (next to HomeGoods/Walmart)
203-866-7444, www.ponzaitaliankitchen.com
Be social @ponzaitaliankitchen