We are an award winning restaurant offering Northern Italian cuisine. Your dining experience will be in a friendly, family atmosphere where your food is cooked to order using the highest quality and freshest ingredients. An extensive menu, great service and an inviting atmosphere are ingredients for a great dining experience. That's exactly what you will find at DeNovellis Restaurant.
We highly recommend making dinner reservations on weekends; call (860) 563-4474.
Rocky Hill Chamber of Commerce "Best Of" Awards:
2008 - Best Italian Restaurant 2012 - Best Restaurant
2009 - Best Restaurant 2014 - Best Restaurant
2010 - Best Restaurant
2011 - Best Restaurant
"Quality and freshness are worth the wait"
944 Cromwell Avenue (Rt 3)
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Phone: 860 563-4474
Fax: 860 563-4484
Tuesday thru Friday: 11 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Reservations Recommended on Weekends
Can accommodate special events - please call
Special Prices Offered for After Funeral Gatherings
Permittee: Enzo DeNovellis
Rocky Hill Life, June 2006
Business Family Restaurant with an Italian Flavor Opens
by Alicia B. Smith
The owner argues that there is no better place for food in the world than his native Italy. “The food there is just wonderful,” he said. But since getting there is a bit expensive and time consuming, he offers the local DeNovellis Family Restaurant in an effort to bring a little bit of Italy closer to home.
Enzo DeNovellis lived in Abruzzo, a town about two hours south of Rome. When he was eight years old his family moved to this country, settling in Hartford. During his adolescence, he worked for his cousins who ran a pizza/grinder shop, Franklin Giant Grinders. Mr. DeNovellis eventually opted for a change and opened a café that he ran for eight years. He then took a break from the food industry. But he’s back.
His family, wife Debra, and children, David, Devin and Danielle all convinced him he should get back to owning a restaurant. After doing some research, he convinced the owner of Il Fratelli to let him purchase the business. With the transaction final and some new paint and décor, the new restaurant opened on April 19, 2006. “We made it really warm and welcoming,” Mr. DeNovellis said of the work done to get the business up and running to his satisfaction.
He is hoping the business will become a true family restaurant, where mom and dad can enjoy a nice veal dinner while the children have some of their favorite macaroni and cheese. Mr. DeNovellis described his restaurant as the kind of place where “you don’t have to wear a suit and tie to have a good dinner.”
Having been open just a short time, customers are coming in and Mr. DeNovellis said the weekends have been busy. There are several menu choices to select from with a wide range of pizzas and grinders, salads, seafood dishes, veal, chicken, pasta and grill selections from which to choose. “Our food is the freshest,” Mr. DeNovellis said, adding that nothing is frozen. He added that the menu is affordable, with prices ranging from $10.50 for a large pizza up to around $20 for the dinner selections, many of which are served with a salad, bread, and pasta.
There are specials offered daily including the likes of scallops florentine, roasted veal and grilled eggplant. There are also some dishes that Mr. DeNovellis is planning to add to the menu in the near future.
Some of the menu items are named for places or people near and dear to the owner’s heart. For instance, the rigatoni di Abruzzi is in honor of the town where he grew up. This dish is comprised of rigatoni pasta sautéed with bacon, onions and prosciutto in a light cream tomato sauce. The chicken di Nona is named after his grandmother and is a dish of filet chicken rolled and stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach and sausage in a light marinara pesto cream sauce.
“I just hope they enjoy their meal,” he said of his customers. “That’s my main concern, that people are happy with their food. I’d love to have them approach me about what they think of their meals.”
Family is a large part of the business and Mr. DeNovellis is surrounded by his wife and children, who help out in the kitchen and at the front counter. “It’s nice being able to see them grow. Hopefully they can learn the business, hopefully take it over one day,” Mr. DeNovellis said. “They are good kids, have a good head on their shoulders.”
David DeNovellis, 21, grew up in the restaurant business much like his father did. Now he works alongside his dad and is in charge of making the pizzas and grinders.
“I love to hear people say it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had,” said David. “I try to outdo myself every time I make something.” At one time a customer wanted a baked potato pizza. David admitted it was an odd request.
“We did it,” he said. “We baked up a potato and threw it on there.” He said many customers are finding the restaurant’s Buffalo chicken pizza to their liking. It is a combination of chicken in a spicy sauce, grated parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Another popular item is the BBQ chicken pizza that comes with chicken in BBQ sauce. It’s something David said that is not found in too many places.
Currently David is taking courses in physical education, but said he has been enjoying the restaurant business.
“I love doing it. It’s the only thing I’ve been doing since I’ve been old enough to work,” he said. But he has been learning much of the behind-the-scenes things from his father. Things like calling in orders or checking on shipments; "the things only my father currently has a handle on", David said.
He added that working with family can be interesting, as there are moments when family members “bump heads from time to time.” “Most of the time its nice,” he said of having family around. “Everyone is comfortable with one another, we know how things work.” Family even extends to the employees, which Mr. DeNovellis described as being “one, big happy crew.” RHL