Chef Mike Pietrafeso
Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee
Define innovation: To me, my techniques aren’t innovative, but I think my concept of chef-inspired made-from-scratch food, fast, is not your typical offering in Fairfield County. I’m trying to elevate breakfast and lunch for our customers; providing them with seasonal food combinations they might not expect.
Your first memorable dish: I was about 14 years old and I asked my Nonny if she would teach me how to make her famous cavatelli and meatballs. She would make them practically every Sunday in her kitchen, along with another four or five traditional Italian dishes. My Nonny doesn’t measure anything and explains a lot in her Italian dialect, but I was able to catch on pretty quickly. She has always been my inspiration.
What’s next for you: Later this year we plan to open a sister store in Darien called Roost.
Roost will be a very similar concept to Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee, but is my opportunity to create and define my own brand. It will also have seats. The seasonal menu will include dinner, small plates and more kid-friendly items. You will see many of the favorite Ada’s items on the board, along with some new ones, and we will continue to support local purveyors, including Path Coffee Roasters and The Kneaded Bread in Port Chester, NY, and Aroyga in Westport, CT, for teas.
Favorite local restaurant:
I love the food at The Whelk. The best meal I had recently was a crab and corn dish. It was perfectly balanced and had great attention to detail. The crab was fresh and the acidity and salt were perfect.
Photos by Bruce Plotkin