New restaurant coming to Long Hill Green

The Long Hill Green improvement project is expected to continue through 2020, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light in question, though, could well be the glow from a brick oven or the gleam of a custom bar top.

Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar told a small group of residents this week that the redeveloped plaza at 6540 Main Street, commonly called the Marisa’s plaza, would include a new restaurant.

“The restaurant is called Ecco, and it’s owned by the people that run Molto in Fairfield, and Spiga in New Canaan,” Bakalar said. “These are people who have a lot of experience in running a restaurant.”

Work at the site is expected to continue at least through the year, and possibly into 2021, she said. When complete, the new plaza will be worth the inconvenience that residents are currently enduring, she said.

“There’s a lot going on in the Long Hill Green area,” she said. “Anyone who has lived through a house renovation, that’s bad enough. But this is a whole neighborhood.”

Improvements so far include parking, additional green space and an enlarged patio in front of Franco Gianni’s. More work, including stormwater management planters that will capture water runoff, are coming, she said.

The highlight of the new development at the former Marisa’s site will be a new salon and the new Ecco.

“That group is great at running restaurants,” Bakalar said. “They have a great vibe in their places.”

The Ecco ownership group operates three restaurants in Connecticut, and one in New York. The closest current location is Pizzeria Molto in Fairfield. Molto is best known for its square brick oven pizza, fresh mozzarella and its 40-foot Carrera marble top bar, according to the company website.

Spiga Wine Bar & Salumeria also features handmade pastas and brick oven pizza. The company also touts its zinc bar and craft cocktails.

Located in Old Greenwich, Lugano Salumeria & Wine Bar is named for the only Italian speaking town in Southern Switzerland. The restaurant’s website prominently mentions its custom marble-topped bar.

The company’s lone New York location, Racanelli’s Pizza & Brew in White Plains, features brick oven pizza, seafood and steaks, and craft beers on tap.

While not disclosing what kind of custom bar Ecco might include, Bakalar said construction would begin “very, very soon.”

“We’re very excited that they’re coming,” she said.