Fairfield restaurant to offer casual dining experience

Restaurant owner Nick Racanelli is looking to bring Fairfield foodies a unique dining experience when he and his family open The Sinclair Bar + Kitchen this summer.

Racanelli, along with his father, Nick Racanelli Sr. and cousin Paul Garbuio, is planning to open the restaurant in the Brick Walk at 1229 Post Road by June. The restaurant is expected to bring a casual, any-time-of-day dining experience among the array of restaurants in the commercial plaza, serving lunch, dinner and late-night dining and drinks.

Racanelli said The Sinclair will also serve a brunch special on weekends.

“We really want people to drive through the Brick Walk over here and see nice, lively, active restaurant and bar and enjoy,” he said

The Sinclair’s menu will feature a mix of small and large plate selections, but the owners are expecting the restaurant’s mussels-in-a-pot and kettle cooked items to be a hit with customers.

The former can be ordered with an array of sauces including white wine and garlic-infused mariniere. The kettle cooked items include Southern classics like chicken and sausage gumbo and jambalaya that Racanelli said can all be seen from the open kitchen concept in their layout.

The restaurant will also boast a list of craft cocktails and wines. “We’re not really defining a specific cuisine; it’s from all over the place,” Racanelli said

He and his family have been in the restaurant industry for 30 years, starting in New York before moving their business to Fairfield County. His father, who is a partial owner of Molto within the Brick Walk, was responsible for brands like Stamford-based Dolce and Lugano in Greenwich, among others, which he eventually sold.

Garbuio also brings 25 years of experience to the table, owning and operating restaurants in New York.

The family-run restaurant will open in the former Taberna restaurant, which closed March 12. They are expecting to hire roughly 30 employees.

The interior is being revamped so it can be filled with low-slung booths with chesterfield furniture coming from New Haven-based Bold Wood Interiors and New England Seating.

Once finished, the restaurant will feature sliding glass doors that Racanelli said will be open during the warmer weather.

They also have an outdoor terrace overlooking the Brick Walk that customers can access from the bar area when the sliding doors are open. The terrace will have a mix of dining and lounging areas.

“It’s going to be a complete open concept where the outdoor patio is going to roll into the main bar area and into the dining room,” Garbuio said. “It’s going to be a full open-air experience.”

“It’s not a night club or anything like that but just a place where people can come if they want to come on a nice summer day and just have cocktails and not eat, that’s cool with us,” Racanelli added.

Right out the gate, Racanelli and Garbuio said they plan to promote a series of specials and deals to offer customers a welcoming atmosphere.

Along with promotions like their half-off bottles of wine on Sundays and bottomless mimosas and sangria during brunch, Garbuio said they want to create an affordable dining experience that will be on par with fine-dining restaurants.

“We want to be extremely approachable for the neighborhood and for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are on a tight budget, you can still come in and enjoy a great experience,” Garbuio said.