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Bagel Crossing Owner Opens Barnwood Grill in Newtown

The rustic restaurant is set to open on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Barnwood Grill opens on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, on Queen Street in the Caraluzzi Shopping Plaza in Newtown, Conn. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Barnwood Grill opens on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, on Queen Street in the Caraluzzi Shopping Plaza in Newtown, Conn. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Written by Gary Jeanfaivre

Excitement has been building for the opening of Newtown's newest restaurant. And come Wednesday, the wait will be over when Barnwood Grill opens its doors for the first time. 

Situated in the end unit of Caraluzzi's plaza, next to Bottle Stop, Barnwood Grill is Denard Brahimaj and Simi Polozani's first restaurant. But the two are no strangers to Newtown, or food service for that matter.

Brahimaj is the owner of Bagel Crossing in Bethel, and Polozani lives in Newtown. The business partners, who originally hail from Albania, say they are excited to offer residents a new place to eat, drink and gather with friends and family.

The name Barnwood Grill is inspired by the fact that much of the interior decor is accented by reclaimed barn wood from Kent, Conn. The restaurant's high ceilings provide ample space to show off the rustic wood beams, which stand in contrast to the floor-to-ceiling brick that is also incorporated into the design. 

A fireplace adds an air of warmth to the long and narrow dining area, and also serves as a divider to the bar area, which has seating for 30 people. The restaurant has a total capacity of about 130.

And while they've put a lot of work into the decor, Brahimaj says it's the food that will set Barnwood Grill apart.

"And a great chef," he says, referring to his cousin, Jay Brahimaj.

Barnwood is a contemporary American restaurant with a mix of some continental offerings. 

"It's not a high-class restaurant," Brahimaj says. "It's more trendy with a bar and dining room. Not expensive," he continues. "Affordable. We have a kids menu."

Entrees will range in price from $16 to $28, he says. And among the items on the menu will be:

  • Crab meat dumplings as an appetizer
  • Oven baked Chilean sea bass wrapped in potato sheets with a mustard dijon sauce
  • Barnwood Chicken: chicken and shrimp sauteed with mushrooms 

Other offerings include steaks, burgers, fish and a few pastas, as well as a variety of appetizers. Barnwood will also offer a four-course prix fixe menu for $28.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. A website is in the works, as is a Facebook page.

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