Monday, April 15, 2013


      Joe Mango, Michael Sayers, Christopher Polack (Top to Bottom) in "Molto Buffo"

For 75 years, Consiglio's Restaurant on New Haven's famed Wooster Street has been an Italian jewel, noted for its fine cuisine and friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  For the past three summers, it has been identified as a favorite venue for comic antics as playwright Liz Fuller staged her famous and infamous Spaghetti Musicals outdoors on the back patio.

In celebration of its milestone birthday this month, Consiglio's is moving the fun indoors on Friday, April 26 as it presents "Molto Buffo," Italian for "very funny."  Billed as an evening of cabaret, it will include great songs, comedy sketches, a variety show, Frank Sinatra karaoke talent contest and a psychic with all-knowing powers to solve mysteries. As if that weren't enough, there will also be a performance by Guiseppe Decibello Forte, the great comedic opera singer known to his intimate friends as Joey Loud Mouth.

Wrapped around this evening, that prides itself on active audience involvement, is †he sumptuous food Consiglio's serves.  In this case, you have a grand choice to design your feast.  For appetizers, of which there are five, you might select fried calamari tossed with an array of Italian herbs and a side of marinara sauce or pannecotto- escarole, beans and Italian bread with parmesan cheese.  As a main course, of which there are eight tempting dishes, you might have Veal Parmigiana, layered with marinara sauce and mozzarella over linguine or sole Florentine, fresh sole over a bed of baby spinach finished in a lemon, garlic and white wine sauce over linguine. For a sweet ending, you will have to decide between Godiva tiramisu or chocolate mousse cake.  Beverages, tax and gratuity are extra. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.   For reservations ($55), call Consiglio's, 165 Wooster Street, New Haven at 203-865-4489 or online at

For Michael Sayers, actor and playwright, he will be on the playbill for the comic antics. You might remember him as "Tony Bob" in the last two summer patio performances.  He describes "Molto Buffo" as a "mix of music, comedy and audience participation that the folks love about the summer shows.  There's no plot: it's a variety show format and it will be a little different each time it's done."

Sayers, who has written over sixty mysteries for the Camelot River Murder Cruises, hopes to offer mystery nights as well, since this winter has found them a great success.  Guests should come prepared to sing along with Joe Mango, a computer genius from the valley, who does cartoon voiceovers and has a cartoon "Mango" named after him, Christopher Polack from Middletown who knows computers too and is a big blogging favorite on Facebook as well as Michael Sayers himself from New Haven.

For Sayers, "humor is what keeps us going," and he loves the interaction with the wait staff at Consiglio's as well as "the chance to acknowledge the guests, sit down and yak with them and guarantee there's no wall between us."  His show "Murphy's Wedding," where nobody gets to eat the wedding cake but lots get to wear it, is a big production he hopes to put on in the future.  Right now he takes his mystery shows to private gigs, corporations and to colleges and universities, from Maine to Maryland and as far west as Ohio.

For more birthday fun go to and print a free gift certificate for dinner from April 7 to 21 for $19.38 in honor of the year Consiglio's was founded.

If you fancy yourself a chef or have aspirations to be one, sign up for one of Consiglio's famous cooking demonstration classes.  Be warned:  they sell out!

In May, on Thursdays, the 9, 16 and 23, the menu will be fettucini tossed with a roasted garlic sauce, caprese salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette, filet of sole and shrimp Florentine and poached pears in puff pastry with port wine.  Menus and dates through August are already posted on the website The complete four-course meal is demonstrated right before your eyes, step-by-step, and then served to you.  Classes start at 6:30 p.m. and are $65.

If you haven't discovered Consiglio's yet, don't let another minute go by as great food and grand fun await you at 165 Wooster Street. Mangia!

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