Rizzuto’s Wood-fired Pizza Kitchen & Bar in Bethel, CT is thrilled to be celebrating their 10-Year Anniversary. Owner Bill Rizzuto opened this neighborhood Italian restaurant and gathering place in December of 2004, transitioning from accomplished hotelier with such hospitality industry greats as Disney Corporation and Hyatt Hotels, to passionate restaurateur.
To celebrate their 10-year anniversary Rizzuto’s will be offering special prix fixe menus, January 25 thru February 21. $10 Lunch (10 years!) and $20.04 Dinner (opened in 2004!).
Rizzuto’s Wood-fired Pizza Kitchen & Bar was inspired by Bill’s experience while dining at Café Citti in Kenwood, California, a casual wine country Italian trattoria featuring wood-fired rotisserie chicken, pizza, and fresh simple preparations of house made pasta, and rustic Italian fish and meat specialties.
“I fell in love with the restaurant model immediately and felt I could bring that concept home to Connecticut, “says Bill, a long-time Bethel resident, “We opened to a receptive audience, fine-tuned our offerings with the help of customer feedback, and the restaurant took on a life of its own.”
In 2007 Rizzuto’s enlarged its space to include a full bar and additional high-top seating. With a new bar menu in place, including small plates, craft cocktails, local beer and the restaurant’s signature wine program, Rizzuto’s’ little neighborhood bar became the go-to place for happy hour, watching the games or catching up with friends and neighbors.
Upon the success of Rizzuto’s of Bethel, Bill continued to grow the brand, opening restaurants in West Hartford in 2008, Westport in 2009 and Stamford in 2011. While each location continues to strengthen their individual identities, Bill’s focus on quality food at a great value, consistency, and genuine hospitality remains at the forefront and is the cornerstone of Rizzuto’s longevity in a now saturated restaurant market.
“Our restaurants continue to evolve, and Bethel is no different, “says Bill, “I hope our customers feel that we are responding to their input, as well as the changing food scene around us. We will continue to work with our local farmers and artisans. I even hope to bring back the rotisserie chicken, which may not have been so popular ten years ago, but it may be time now – and change is good.”
Some things don’t ever change, however. And that is Bill’s unwavering commitment to his community throughout the years which has included field side BBQs to support Bethel Baseball Association’s Jimmy Fund and other sporting events throughout the town, as well as generous contributions (and food!) in support of the many charities he feels strongly about and his desire to give back to a community that has become an extension of his family.
“I raised my family in Bethel, coached my son’s baseball team here and watched the town and its families grow, “Bill reminisces, “The restaurant has been a blessing for me and is truly where the Rizzuto’s Restaurant Group all began. I am a lucky guy.”