Terra prepares for opening in Hotel Zero Degrees Danbury
Updated 6:39 pm, Thursday, January 5, 2017
DANBURY — Dozens of trainees cleaned glasses, set tables and shined forks on Wednesday afternoon as they learned the Z Hospitality way in preparation for the restaurant group’s opening of Terra Ristorante Italiano in the new Hotel Zero Degrees Danbury.
The restaurant, the eighth for Z Hospitality, will open for dinner on Tuesday. Management said it hopes to be open for lunch as well starting the following week. Terra has 130 seats and, when weather permits, an additional 60 seats in an outdoor area, which will include its own bar and kitchen.
“It has a nice feel about it,” Ramze Zakka, owner of Z Hospitality, said. “The ceiling heights are amazing and I love the modern look to it. Outdoor dining will be really exciting, too, come spring.”
Albert DeAngelis, executive chef and Z Hospitality partner, added: “The design is really great. I love the baguettes (round tables) and we can’t wait to open the outside area.”
Terra Ristorante Italiano will serve northern Italian fare, including wood-fired pizza. The menu also includes soups, salads, gluten-free options, appetizers and main dishes, such as Amish chicken, flat iron steak, grilled bronzino and linguine with clams.
“We try to provide chic, high-quality experiences, but also keep it very comfortable and casual,” Adam Zakka, director of operations for Z Hospitality, said. “It will be warm and cozy with pastas and a wood-fired oven for pizzas. Prices span the spectrum.”
The restaurant will employ about 30 people.
Terra Ristorante Italiano joins Z Hospitality’s seven other restaurants: Terra, in Greenwich; Sole, in New Canaan; Eastend, in Greenwich; Aurora, in Rye, N.Y.; and Mediterraneo, in Greenwich, Norwalk and White Plains, N.Y.
Eastend and Mediterranea of White Plains opened within the last year.
“It’s been a busy year and a half for us,” DeAngelis said.
Zakka added: “We’re very excited about being in Danbury. It’s a great town and we feel it’s slightly underserved with the number of people who are here. This is a great opportunity for us to come in and be a part of this community.”
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who said in his State of the City address last month that “we enjoy a good meal in Danbury,” said Z Hospitality has a good reputation and he is eager to try out its first restaurant in the city.
“It’s another great restaurant that is adding its products to Danbury’s food lineup,” Boughton said. “We’re excited to have them here.”
Mediterraneo in Norwalk is also located within a Hotel Zero Degrees. Zakka said the majority of the restaurant customers are not hotel guests. He hopes people in the Danbury area do not shy away from Terra Ristorante Italiano because it is located within a hotel.
“There’s a trend of people going to restaurants in hotels. The stigma of being a hotel restaurant is passé,” he said. “We’re really a separate entity and business. We have the privilege of serving hotel guests and doing events for the hotel, but we are open to the public, as well.”
Terra Ristorante Italiano is located at 15 Milestone Road across the street from Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut. It may be reached at 203-730-9200.