Cast Iron Chef Attilio Marini, that is.

Attilio Marini has added mouth-watering sizzle to the menu at Marisa’s in Trumbull, CT a unique cooking process that features cuts of meat presented in steaming cast iron skillets blending a sensual marriage of crust on the outside with tenderness on the inside.

His signature is the 4-pound powerhouse porterhouse for two, sliced off the bone delivered in a sizzling skillet with potatoes, butter and roasted garlic.


“I don’t like the taste of char broiled meat,” Chef Marini says. “I knew there had to be a better way to make a steak and creating the perfect crust, which is my signature. When you dine with us the experience is a memorable meal at a tasty price below the cost of high-end steakhouses. This is an old way of cooking with a new twist,” he says of preparation in cast iron.

Cast iron cooking requires intensely hot ovens and stove tops. The jaw-dropping presentation at the table doubles the delight of dinner customers, according to Tom Purcell who travels from Ansonia in the Naugatuck Valley to the restaurant on a regular basis for the beefy experience.

“It’s incredible the way they cut it,” says Purcell. “When it arrives you admire it for a bit before digging in. And the caramelized garlic, wow.

When it comes to beef at Marisa’s Purcell does not discriminate. On this particular night he was cutting into a two-pound bone-in rib eye also presented in cast iron.

At the request of the bride’s mother at a recent wedding hosted by the restaurant Marini put on display two powerhouse porterhouses on each table. Guests pulled out their cameras and phones to capture the moment.

“The presentation was amazing,” says the bride’s mother Roberta Jurik, a realtor in Greenwich. “It’s one of the best steaks in my life and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve had steak at the best places in Manhattan. Every bite of Attilio’s steak is delicious.”

Chef Marini comes from solid cooking stock. The restaurant is named for his mother affectionately known as Mama Marisa born in Torice in the Province of Frosinone about 50 miles southeast of Rome. Cooking with love of food and family, Marisa, her husband Renato and sons Attilio and Mario opened their restaurant in 1988 establishing a popular eatery for professionals and families on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport.

With success came growth and the need for a new building and new home in Trumbull for the past 20 years on Main Street. Young Attilio honed his craft as a chef studying the science of cooking to complement the taste buds of customers.

In time his skill in a skillet crafted cuts of meat like no other chef in the business presented in sizzling cast iron skillets. The Cast Iron Chef emerged pioneering a culinary style that dropped jaws and celebrated the senses. The payoff was more than just a memorable meal, a dining experience without the cost of high-end steakhouses.

Attilio, his mother and the rest of the family are all still on the job every day at Marisa’s where Chef Marini does his own butchering on site.

And, by the way, if you love lamb, pork, chicken or fish, Chef Marini does those dishes in cast iron too.





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