Grano Arso

4.7
437 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Owned by husband and wife, Chef Joel and Lani Gargano brings contemporary Italian cooking to the heart of Chester. Chef Joel Gargano’s scratch kitchen focuses on local products with a modern yet familiar approach to traditional Italian cooking. At the heart of Grano Arso, Chef Joel mills native New England grains in house to
create an old-world approach to his pastas and breads. Coupled with warm and knowledgeable hospitality, Grano Arso is the neighborhood go-to eatery for wholesome cooking, Italian wine, local beers, and specialty cocktails. We invite you to come and experience what community means to us!
What 437 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A real gem, I hesitate giving too good of a recommendation so there will always be room but I have to say it was great.

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M
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is awesome. Lamott was awesome and very knowledgeable of the menu. Overall great experience. Will definitely be back and look forward to trying some of their special dinner nights.

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LS
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was very good. Recommend tasting menu! The restaurant is small and we did feel "squeezed." Our table backed to the bar and the two in our party seated on that side of the table were inconvenienced some. Would have been great having the booth next to our seat.

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NP
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was stellar & was an overall fun and satisfying experience.

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NW
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very charming place and excellent staff. Chester is a nice quaint New England town, something I treasure.

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s
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant never disappoints. Awesome meal and a nice bottle of wine.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I moved to CT from NYC about 12 years ago. One of the things I have always said is "I miss the food." This is one of those places that makes it so I don't miss NYC and it's food! We just visited here as a post Valentine's Day date with my wife. I'm a foodie she's much more cautious about what she'll eat, however we both love an adventure! We decided to go with the 6 course Tasting Menu and boy it did not disappoint! The food was marvelous! Honestly some of the best food I have eaten in CT ever! Honestly it's on par with some of the best food I've eaten period! From NYC to San Francisco to Singapore and Spain this place stacks up in the best way possible! This will become our new go to spot with out a doubt. The Tasting Menu had many things that we had never eaten, however we both enjoyed it immensely! Out of 6 courses there was only one dish I would not order again, but even that was still good to eat. I can not say it in any other words, this place is simply marvelous!

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a
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, atmosphere, cocktails were all fantastic. We will absolutely be back. Highly recommend !

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JG
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The BREAD!! I would go there just to eat the bread. They grind their own grain to make it!! Food was superb as well as the service. Only down side is that it's a tiny place and the tables are very close together so it can be noisy. Will definitely go again.

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SC
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a lovely Valentines Day dinner. Lamont was a very attentive server and a pleasure to chat with. The Sommalier was amazing. We ordered a wine pairing with our Prix Fix dinner and she was very informative and spot on with her choices. Lana welcomed us to her restaurant and the food was delicious! We wish you all the best!

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KH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been many times and will continue to return. Can’t say enough good things about the food, service, and hospitality.

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MB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We tried Gran Arso for the first time on Saturday night and really enjoyed the experience. The waiter, Zachary, was very friendly and knowledgeable and our food was delicious! They had an extensive drink list although not so many red wines by the glass (bottles were available). The restaurant is housed in a former bank so the dining room is not very big and also has a small bar with limited seating. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends and family. I would not recommend bringing children.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had lunch with friends. Warm friendly atmosphere, excellent food. Great drinks.

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MD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Grano Arso was recommended to us by my son and daughter-in-law. They had gone a few weeks prior and loved it. My husband and I went for my birthday and it was everything they had raved about! We had the Chef's Tastings and it was wonderful! Each dish was brought out by the chef himself and described in detail. Every single dish was so unique--from his Clam Chowder to the chocolate cake for dessert. And our waiter Lamont was so knowledgeable and friendly and his service was perfect.
Everything was top=notch and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We never felt rushed but instead each course was planned, plated and presented as a gift (to me--I did say it was my birthday!) and we leisurely savored every bite and sip. Those gnocchis were SO delicious, they melted in your mouth and the sauce was divine---mmm I'm thinking of it now!
We had a such a good time that we are planning a trip back in a few months with the whole family (adults only!)

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, locally sourced food. Fantastic service.

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L
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very high quality food. The best pasta I have ever had.

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TC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! Entrées drinks and the people that work there are fantastic.

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d
Naples
17 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome staff and manager... food was excellent and we are going back next week!

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C
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We were seated relatively close to our reservation time. Our waitress was pleasant and helpful, but somewhat casual in her service. There were substantial waits from our first contact with her, to her return for our drink orders, to her 2nd return to take our meal order, to the actual service of our drinks, so that the entire sequence was at least 30 minutes. She didn't seem especially busy, but rather just flitting about the room. All of which made it a bit annoying to have our check plunked down about a minute after our dessert was served.
The drinks were excellent, but both served in somewhat small glasses. The bread (and home-made) butter were outstanding. But like much of the meal, I felt they were a bit too salted. The delicious bread, in particular, had a very salty crust. The pasta was also excellent, perfectly prepared and served HOT to the table. And the dessert was excellent too.
It's a big, open room, which hurts the ambiance slightly, and with tables relatively close together (and a full house), it was on the noisy side.
Kudos the chef and team, however, for their sourcing and prep of as much as possible in-house.

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CN
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

...don’t hesitate. It’s worth every penny and it’s everything you’d want. Quant, flavorful, kind and delicious. So cute. I love quant small places. It’s honest, sweet, so pretty and the staff is fast, attentive and willing to help. Yum!! Yum yum. Try it!! You will not go wrong. My friend and I called each other the next day to talk about the food and wished we had left overs. It was too good to stop eating at the time. It was incredible! Make reservations, it fills up fast. Wow!! One of the best.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful,exceptional dining. It was my birthday and it was made very special.

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FH
New England
29 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I took our 2 -15 year old granddaughters for a birthday celebration. The restaurant was very accomandating. The food and service were great. I plan to go there for Valentine's Day.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and terrific service! Everything we tasted was amazing!

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TT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my wife and mother in law there for their birthdays. The place is warm and inviting. We were given complimentary Prosecco because of the birthdays. The food was amazing. Best bread ever.

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w
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we entered the small but charming dining room we knew this would be a special evening. We had a fun and very knowledgeable waiter and the food was exquisite! I would say the best Italian in Connecticut. I can not wait to go again!

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TF
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All I can say is WOW! This place just got it all right. See my scores above. Although it is an hour away down winding roads, we'll be back, soon and often

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T
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time eating at Grano Arso - my Dad picked it out to celebrate his 81st birthday, with my sister and myself. He - and we - were so happy with the whole experience! The staff was warm and welcoming, and everything we ate and drank was tasty, in just-right proportions. The noise level was not as bad as at other restaurants (if Dad didn't complain, it wasn't a problem); but we did find the lighting a little dim to read the menus. But we certainly found drinks and meals that satisfied us, and now we're looking for another "excuse" to return.

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s
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the salad,bread and butter. Tasty entrees, attentive service, and nicely decorated restaurant. Wonderful evening and will return.

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MA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never fails to impress. Joel knows how to put interesting flavors together to make a sensational dining experience

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JD
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable experience. The staff is very detail oriented and the food was outstanding!

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SG
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I thought the food was good, however, I was disappointed that we were quoted $42 for a bottle of wine and when we got the bill, we were charged $52. The waitress should have checked and given us the correct price.
My husband didn't care for the food or the selection of food at all, but I think it's because he's not used to that kind of food. My dish was good, but not outstanding.
Also, we loved the bread and asked for more. Then we were charged extra and we were told that the extra bread charge was stated on the menu - and it was - but the print was so small I didn't even notice it. They basically serve 1 slice of bread and cut it in 1/2 for 2 people. For a place that has "grains" in the name, they should be giving more than 1 slice of bread for 2 people.
All in all, we were disappointed and will not be going back, nor will I recommend it to my friends.

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DB
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in CT. EXCEPTIONAL FOOD AND EVER CHANGING CREATIVE MENU.

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FJ
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Joel,Loni,Tiffany and Zak are Fabulous..Our 4th time dining and always Teriffic..
Farm to Table Great..But Their Bread to DIE for..Thank you,Thank you..Can't wait to try
Loni's Vietnamese Food Night..Keep UP the Good job!
Our very Best
F and F

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AL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was incredible from the moment we walked in the door. We were welcomed warmly.
Our server was knowledgeable, attentive, and intuitive. We lacked for nothing. When she offered a club soda so I could continue to enjoy my camomile ice cube after my drink was finished I was completely sold on the impeccable service.
Our tasting menu was paced well and delicious. I loved that the Chef brought our dishes out to explain them to us.
Well done Grano Arso.

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M
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had been talking about going to Grano for over a year and it was worth the wait - what a great experience! The entire staff was amazing, from the hostess to the server to the chef to the owner - we had pleasant conversations with everyone. And the food was amazing - get your reservations ahead of time as they fill up quickly (as they should!).

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L
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I like the unexpected..and this restaurant, billed as Italian, serves up a limited, unexpected menu. Not your typical Italian restaurant by far..but the 2 pasta items were delicious...all pasta made on the premises..very special..all menu items locally sourced. Great appetizers, vegan choices...I had delicious scallops..chicken there for the non adventurous. Friendly, welcoming staff..crowded so service was a bit slow. Bread made from ground flour done on premises..simply delicious. Small restaurant so reservations a must.

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DS
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Loved it, great birthday! Food was amazing! Thank you

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C
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had the tasting menu, and each dish was excellent--well composed, interesting, out of the ordinary. The menu as a whole could have been more balanced: almost all the courses were quite rich. A salad course or something more vegetable-forward would have helped, or at least a dish or two with less butter or cream--and I love butterfat. But some contrasting flavor profiles would have worked better. That said, I hope to go back as soon as possible.

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j
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 3

Love the place will go back soon

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KH
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oustanding food. Quality, creativity, preparation, just delicious. Service also excellent. The brussels sprouts with taleggio adn the spaghetti with clams were both particularly outstanding. INteresting and fun cocktail menu. Great staff, such a pleasure to see and talk wth the chef, just great. Special call outs to Wes, Haley, Brody and Seth for their warm welcomes and excellent service. Grano is a great restaurant!

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