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Exquisite Italian with a Side of Relaxed Ambiance

Published Dec 31, 2018 • Last Updated 02:16 pm, December 31, 2018

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Three years ago, Rusit Cecunjanin and Valon Advimetaj opened Café Fiore in Branford after 18 years in the restaurant business. Conveniently located on East Main Street in Branford, Connecticut, Café Fiore offers a sophisticated yet relaxed ambience–just the right setting to enjoy their exquisite Italian dishes with your favorite wines and cocktails.

Chef Rusit "Rusty" Cecunjanin worked for world-class Italian restaurants in New York, Hartford, and New Haven before bringing his culinary talents to Café Fiore. Rusty provides an incomparable dining experience, ensuring that their dishes are prepared with his exact recipes and the highest standards, resulting in an unparalleled combination of quality, quantity, and always fair pricing.

Many claim "location, location, location" is the key to restaurant success, but isn't it really a question of getting the right restaurant for the right space? That's why some restaurants might flourish in a location, good or bad, where others waste away. You're likely to always see the parking lot full at Café Fiore.

If the name sounds familiar, you may have visited their sister "Fiore" restaurants in Middletown, Westbrook, and Old Saybrook, but Rusty and Valon had a different vision for Café Fiore, selling no pizza, grinders, or the like. After a year-long renovation, the restaurant's interior corresponds beautifully to their firmly upscale offerings. The main dining room has hardwood floors, a lovely white marble fireplace, and brown swag window treatments, while the angular bar is anchored by a black-andpink granite counter.

Despite its high-end intentions, Café Fiore delivers impressive value. There may be live piano and singing when you visit. Service is always on the ball. Virtually everything is housemade. Few appetizers exceed $10, few entrées $20. House wines are available by carafe and half-carafe as well as glass. Factor in their popular crescent roll-like garlic knots and complimentary house salads with balsamic dressing and gorgonzola (that Olive Garden would kill for) and meals here seem like a true bargain.

For the winter months, Café Fiore recommends entrées like their house-made linguini with clams sauce, sourced with great ingredients and portioned generously, their signature veal and shrimp in pink vodka sauce that is topped with eggplant, asparagus, and sharp provolone, or their fresh shrimp and scallops.

This story was provided by Café Fiore, located at 420 East Main Street in Branford. For more information, visit or call 203-208-4690.

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