Litchfield County: Happening in the Hills
On Our Radar
Faces, places, treasures, and trends that caught our attention
Megan Haley

Authentic Italian

By Charles Dubow

“We have two ladies in their 80s who make our cavatelli. We go through pounds of it every day,” says Ralph DelBuono, co-owner of Roma Ristorante in Oakville. “Tommy brings them 50 lb. bags of flour, they make the cavatelli, and then he brings it back.”

That is the kind of attention to detail and love of traditional cooking that has earned Roma multiple awards for being the best Italian restaurant in Connecticut. Tommy Dadonna, the other co-owner, wouldn’t have it any other way. “Nothing we serve here comes out of a bag or a box,” he says with pride. “I source everything. We make our own meatballs. All our meat is organic. I even go to the docks in Boston to meet the captain of the boat that catches our fish.”

Ralph and Tommy are life-long friends, having grown up in the same Italian-American neighborhood in Waterbury. They bought Roma from the previous owner in 2016. Returning customers are greeted like old friends and new patrons are welcomed with genuine warmth.  The same familial feeling includes their staff. The chef, Steve Marcoux, has been there for 20 years. The headwaiter, Thomas Sergi, for 24, “I’ve been here long enough to wait on my customer’s kids’ kids.” While patrons have returned to Roma’s outdoor deck, main restaurant, and private rooms, Ralph and Tommy are exploring new ventures. “We have a mobile kitchen,” says Tommy. “We will come to your home or event, and cook everything from a 300 person Italian wedding to a pig roast.”

Roma Ristorante
179 Davis St, Oakville, CT
(860) 274-2558

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