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Sal E Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro Celebrates 18 Years Serving Community



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In 2023, Sal e Pepe is celebrating its 18th year serving the greater Newtown Community.

From the moment you enter Sal e Pepe and take one look around, the stage is set for a tasty good time: from the smiling hostess greeting patrons at the door to the friendly vibe of the guests seated in any of four dining areas, including the bar.

To the right of the entrance is a separate dining room, which is also available for private parties. There, guests have enjoyed birthday parties, bridal showers, wedding receptions, celebrations of life, and work gatherings, among other special occasions.

The main dining area beckons with warm red- and gold-colored walls and table settings finished off with glowing candles that create a cozy and inviting ambience.

Whether you are looking to enjoy a romantic dinner for two or a casual meal with friends and family, Sal e Pepe can accommodate all of your needs. And there is no need to worry about dietary issues. The restaurant is flexible in satisfying patron requests as well as serving vegan and gluten-free meals.

You can also choose al fresco dining on the patio during the warmer months. Enjoy a refreshing repast under the tent surrounded by beautiful, overflowing flower boxes.

The name Sal e Pepe is Italian for “salt and pepper,” so owners Angelo and Renia Marini have added a little whimsy to your experience by showcasing a different set of salt and pepper shakers at each table. Among Angelo and Renia’s collection, gathered from their various travels, are also those given to them by patrons, enhancing the neighborhood feel. What sets this restaurant apart from many others is that the owners are usually present, assisting their staff and engaging with patrons.

As Angelo tells it, the Sal e Pepe environment has a “come as you are” ambience where everyone can feel comfortable and have an enjoyable experience. The “polished casual” atmosphere serves a variety of customers, from those who just popped in for the first time to the many regulars who feel like friends and family to each other and the staff. Angelo and Renia have championed making Newtown a restaurant destination and support local sports teams and organizations. They are actively involved in the community they are proud to call home.

With so many repeat guests, Sal e Pepe created a loyalty program to reward frequent customers, which now boasts more than 10,000 members. These customers receive special discounts on their birthdays and anniversaries and also get five percent back for every $200 they spend. Be sure to sign up!

Since 2014, Sal e Pepe fans and followers have helped the restaurant earn more Connecticut Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards than any other restaurant, with a total of 59. Sal e Pepe was recently awarded Best Italian Restaurant in the state for 2023.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Newtown community for their support through the pandemic,” Angelo said.

A Sample Of The Menu

Appetizers: Nine options are available on the dinner menu. One of the most popular is Maine mussels, which come with a choice of Gorgonzola cream sauce or white wine sauce. Prices range from $6.95 to $13.95.

Soup: All soups are made fresh. Favorites include the Italian wedding soup and Tuscan peasant soup; the latter has a chicken base with sweet Italian sausage, pasta, beans, and vegetables.

Salads: Among the salads, a best seller is the Caesar. It includes house-made parmesan crackers (rather than croutons) and dressing. Prices range from $10.95 to $11.95.

Specials: Many customers solely order off the specials menu because of the constant variety. There are typically six to eight specials, which usually include a stew, a fish, a steak, and a ravioli special.

Lunch: Lunch is served Thursday through Saturday. Among the lunch options is a section titled “Pastabilities,” where any of Sal e Pepe’s 14 pastas can be matched with any of its 11 sauces. The dish is served with a soup or salad, all for $16.95.

Entrées: Entrées range in price from $19.95 for baked eggplant parmigiana to $32.95 for filet mignon. A top seller is the parmesan tilapia served over a green pea risotto, $24.95.

Pasta: There are a dozen pasta options on the dinner menu, with a customer favorite being the braised short rib ravioli made with a decadent sherry cream sauce with roasted red peppers and mushrooms. Prices range from $19.95 to $23.95.

Desserts: The desserts are made in-house. The Nutella mousse pie is the restaurant’s signature dessert. It has an Oreo cookie crust, caramel, Heath Bar crunch, dark chocolate ganache topping, and of course, a Nutella mousse center. Other dessert highlights include the key lime pie topped with fresh whipped cream, tiramisu, pecan bourbon bread pudding, and a revolving list of gelato and sorbet.

Kid’s Menu: All meals are $12.95, which includes a main course, a drink (a choice of soda, milk, or apple juice), and a “messy sundae.”

Craft Cocktails, Wine, and Beer: The craft cocktails include Sal e Pepe’s very own Mule Thyme, Spicy Margarita, Basil Martini, Aperol Spritz, Espresso Martini, and Limoncello Martini. Order from a selection of nearly 50 wines, some by the glass, as well as from a variety of beers.

Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro, at 97 South Main Street in Newtown, serves lunch Thursday through Saturday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Closed on Mondays. Delivery is available through Grubhub and DoorDash. Takeout is accepted by calling 203-426-0805. For more information, visit salepeperestaurant.com or facebook.com/salepeperestaurant.

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