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Lepri's Grill Coming to Tolland

Ellington residents Frank and Deborah Lepri will be opening a steak and seafood restaurant at Zest's previous location.

Frank and Deborah Lepri, successful restaurant owners in Ellington, will be opening steak and seafood restaurant Lepri's Grill at the former location sometime this spring.

"We've been looking for a venue like that for a long time," said Frank, praising the quaintness of the building and its outdoor gardens. "It's a great location."

The Lepris already run Lepri's Burger Bar and Trattoria da Lepri in Ellington, which Deborah said has been a fantastic experience.

"It's a great area," she said. "The people in this area are so kind and supportive."

The Lepris explained that the new restaurant will focus on steak and seafood that uses as much locally produced food as possible.

"It's crazy how different the flavor is," Deborah said of locally produced food. Frank said he goes to the market three times a week and that at least 70 percent of Trattoria da Lepri's food is from the region, a number which increases in the summer.

The Lepris already buy local products from Charter Acres, Burke Ridge Farms, Cabin Hill Greenhouse, Topmost Herb Farm, Hop Top Organic Tillage, J.T. Farms , Connor's Farm and Renaissance Farms.

The restaurants also use produce and herbs grown from their own gardens. 

And while the menu may differ from their previous restaurants, the Lepris say that their famous chalkboards will have a place at the new grill.

"It's such a conversation piece for people that we put one in every restaurant," Deborah said.

She explained that the huge chalkboard in Trattoria da Lepri was installed to recall the trattorias of Italy where she says the menu is written daily. While the menu items generally change seasonally in their own restaurants, Deborah said that her father painstakingly writes the menu in his impeccable handwriting for the restaurants, a tradition that will continue in Tolland.

Lepri's Grill will likely feature a raw bar with oysters, lobster, shrimp and Alaskan king crab legs. The restaurant may also start a weekend brunch with unique dining options.

More information on Lepri's Grill will be available on the Trattoria da Lepri website in the next couple of weeks. Residents can also call 860-875-1111 for more information.

MaryAnn January 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Can't wait for it to open. The closing of Zest was a real loss, so this is good news!
Peter Glyman January 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM
This is great news! Both the burger bar and trattoria are two of the best restaurants around. Nice to see the Lepris coming to Tolland. Looking forward to the brunch!!
Irene January 24, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Excellent!! Looking forward to more dining options in Tolland. Tolland residents, be sure to support your local businesses-it's the only way they can succeed!
Erin Belden January 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Happy to hear we'll have some more varied dining options in Tolland! I've heard great things about the two Ellington restaurants.
John Durand January 24, 2012 at 09:09 PM
We look forward to welcoming the Grill to Tolland. I'm with Peter, can't wait to the brunch.
Stacey Sullivan, New England Steam Clean January 24, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Such great news! Looking forward to trying this out! So exciting to have something like this new in Tolland. Congratulations!
lisa thibodeau January 25, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Yay!!!! A new place to eat!!!! Be supportive of our local business!!! Never have been to Ellington location but definitely excited and can't wait to try it all out!!
Steve Lambert January 25, 2012 at 05:53 AM
I love your other Ellington locations. Can't wait to try this one!
LaFrance January 25, 2012 at 08:19 AM
GREAT! Can't wait!
Margaret Krause March 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM
We were honored to be the first official customers on Thursday March 15, 2012. We had a wonderful dinner and look forward to enjoying many more. We wish you many successful years in Tolland.

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