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Dining Guide: Barnwood Grill Providing Excellent Customer Service And Food



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Barnwood Grill, located at 5 Queen Street, opened its doors in February 2014.

Shkelzen “Denard” Kralani and his wife, Sofia Kralani, own the restaurant and specifically chose Newtown because of its friendly community.

“I’d known about Newtown for a while before deciding to open a restaurant [here], because I had my bagel shop in the neighboring town Bethel,” Denard said. “By talking to the customers from Newtown and the friends who lived in the area, I knew that Newtown would be the perfect place to open a business.”

Prior to opening Barnwood Grill, Denard had already gained 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry while working at a variety of places across the tristate area and Europe.

“I mostly worked at upscale Italian restaurants in places like Greenwich, Manhattan, and North Salem. However, I’ve also worked in steak houses and restaurants featuring French or Mediterranean cuisine. I realized that if I combined the knowledge I learned from all the places I worked at, I could make a successful restaurant,” Denard said.

When stepping into the Barnwood Grill, you are immediately awed by the aged wood laid across the ceiling, along with other pieces of decor that were designed to make the place feel warm and inviting.

“Some customers describe it as a New York City style restaurant that’s upscale but comfortable. Overall, the atmosphere feels vibrant and intimate, and it fits just about any occasion,” Denard said.

Not only that, Barnwood Grill strives to deliver excellent service and provide a welcoming environment for its customers.

“We don’t want to feel snobby or pretentious and, at the same time, we want to give the best service that we possibly can. That’s why we encourage our servers to be personable and genuine. We like forming connections with our customers and getting to know them,” Denard said.

As for its food, Barnwood Grill has chef Enrique Marocho serving up what the restaurant likes to call new American cuisine.

“America is a melting pot of cultures, and every culture has varying flavors and spices,” Denard explained. “We try not to limit ourselves to a specific style or taste so that we can explore the things that our customers like.”

He added, “This is why we put a lot of emphasis on our specials that we produce every week. With our specials, we focus on serving ultra-fresh food while also experimenting with new and unique flavors that our customers love.”

While Barnwood Grill has an indoor seating capacity of 150 and also has a patio area, Denard encourages patrons to make seating reservations, especially for the weekends and holidays, to ensure a table at a desired time.

Those interested in having the restaurant cater an event can do so by calling 203-491-2215 to discuss event details.

“We are open to all types of catering situations,” Kralani said. “We’ve even done large, fully serviced weddings where we provide the food, drinks, and servers.”

Barnwood Grill also offers the convenience of ordering takeout online by visiting its website, Barnwoodgrill.com. It has the option of curbside pickup where people do not have to leave their car to get their hands on delicious Barnwood Grill food.

Kralani is also celebrating the more recent December 2022 opening of his newest venture, Bora Restaurant at 68 Stony Hill Road in Bethel. Explore the new restaurant's website at borarestaurant.com.

A Sample Of The Barnwood Grill Menu:

Appetizers: Out of the nine appetizers, a standout dish is the Tuna Tartar with tempura avocado, red tobiko, crispy wontons, and light spicy Japanese sauce. It is vegan and gluten free.

Soups: The Vegetable Puree is a staple at Barnwood Grill and is also vegan and gluten free. Customers can look forward to the Soup of the Day option, too.

Salads: From the nearly half a dozen salad possibilities, the Spinach Salad is a popular choice. It is made with baby spinach, pecans, dry cranberries, Manchego cheese, crispy homemade bacon, avocado, and poppy seed honey-lime dressing.

Flatbreads: One of Denard’s favorite flatbreads is the Barnwood Norwegian with smoked salmon, capers, red onions, and fresh dill sauce.

In Hands: The Kobe Burger is a specialty of Barnwood Grill and has caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, truffle aioli, Vermont white cheddar, and toasted brioche.

Raw Bar: Barnwood Grill has a Raw Bar with Blue Point Oysters and Clams on Half Shell.

Sea: Customers cannot get enough of the Sea Scallops — pan seared scallops, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, grape tomatoes, and lemon white wine sauce — as well as the Shrimp & Grits — grilled shrimp, marinated sweet chili sauce, and cheddar jalapeno grits.

Land: The Beef Brisket is gluten free and cooked “low n’ slow.” It has tender and sweet light BBQ sauce, potato, vegetables, and coleslaw.

Pasta: The homemade Sacchetto is one of five pasta dishes on the menu. It has Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded short ribs, mushrooms, caramelized onions, creamy au jus, and fresh arugula.

Poultry: At Barnwood Grill, patrons can enjoy their famous Milanese Burrata with crispy chicken breast, arugula and Arcadian mix, fresh lemon, almonds, grape tomatoes, and balsamic reduction.

Brunch: Sunday Brunch takes place from 1 to 2 pm and there is a variety of items to choose from to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. The Brisket and Eggs Enchiladas is a popular choice.

Drinks: Barnwood Grill has its award-winning Pear Basil Martini, as well as an assortment of wines, draft beer, martinis, and spirits.

Dessert: Indulge in the homemade crème brûlée and the tiramisu.

Barnwood Grill, 5 Queen Street, has kitchen hours Sunday to Tuesday from 11:30 am to 9 pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 10 pm. The bar stays open until the last customers leave. For more information, visit barnwoodgrill.com and follow them on social media, Facebook @barnwoodgrillnewtown and Instagram @barnwood_grill. To contact barnwood Grill, e-mail barnwoodgrill2014@gmail.com or call 203-491-2215.

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