Restaurant, Italian Market and Gelateria to Open at
150 Wooster Street During Phase One
Rooftop Bar to Open Later This Fall During Phase Two
Gioia, a new concept from long-time New Haven restaurateurs Tim Cabral and Avi Szapiro and partners Anthony and Gerard Bianco (A&G Contracting), today announced that its restaurant, market and gelateria will be opening October 19 at 150 Wooster Street, New Haven. The 5000 square foot space is a celebration of Italian food, beverages, fun and more in several unique destinations.
“We are ready to welcome the community to our fun and casual space, whether its dining in our restaurant, grabbing a prepared meal or provisions from our market or enjoying a sweet treat from the gelateria window,” said Cabral. “We’ve leaned into our namesake of ‘Gioia,’ which means ‘joy!’ in Italian, in our food and beverage menu, décor and more, and we promise that this colorful, spirited environment will be one you want to visit time and time again.”
The food menu at the restaurant, located on the first floor of the space, will feature delicious and fun interpretations on several Italian classics, many utilizing a wood fired grill and rotisserie. With much of the seasonal menu inspired for sharing, it includes boards such as Salumi & Cheese; appetizers ranging from eggplant parm bites to smoked carrots to arancini; salads and pastas offered in sizes for individual or larger, shareable portions; square pizza – lovingly called “Wooster Squares” – with options including clam, potato and tomato. Wood-fired dishes such whole local mushrooms, grilled chicken picatta and Italian sausage; and larger “for the table” choices such as rotisserie chicken and whole stuffed fish. The dessert side celebrates the sweeter side of Italy with Tiramisu, panna cotta, housemade gelato, coffee options and more.
The beverage program will further celebrate the fun of Italian lifestyle with house wine options (by the glass or bottle) from Italy and beyond, cocktail options categorized by bubbly, bright, bold and ristoritivi (non-alcoholic), beer and soda options.
“Our open kitchen will invite guests to feel like they are part of the magic, feeling more like they are dining in the comforts of an Italian home than in a restaurant,” added Szapiro. “I am looking forward to celebrating the flavors of Italy while drawing inspiration from New England and its seasons to offer an accessible, shareable menu made for fun! With food including options for vegetarian, vegan and other special dietary needs, our doors will be welcome for all to enjoy a delicious, exciting and unique experience.”
The market concept, also located on the first floor with a dedicated entrance, will offer Italian provisions, house made pasta and sauces to cook at home, prepared grab-and-go items, artisanal serving ware, a section focusing on regenerative-agriculture-based products as well as a fun section for kids and other everyday items as a convenience for those living in the neighborhood. The market will also be available in the evening for special events, offering a private dining area with a communal table.
The gelateria streetside window (located on the corner of Brown and Wooster Streets) will offer a rotating selection of several house made gelatos, with traditional gelato flavors such as hazelnut, pistachio and chocolate, as well as flavors inspired by the seasons. Sidewalk benches will invite sweet lovers to enjoy the dessert and neighborhood.
The restaurant was designed by Atelier Cho Thompson; architects Ming Thompson and Keith Appleby brought the founders vision into a reality. The concept considered the rich history of the neighborhood bringing zest to the heart of New Haven’s already-vibrant Wooster Square, continuing a tradition of hospitality begun in this space by Tony & Lucille’s, a cornerstone of Wooster Square dining for over 50 years. The restaurant interiors embrace the simple, honest and casual qualities of the historic neighborhood. To step into Gioia, the design aims to replicate the nurturing atmosphere of a mothers’ cherished home kitchen. Guests dine over tables of reclaimed local wood; glazed tiles reflect the light of the kitchen’s wood-fired grill; a central skylight pours natural light into the dining room and allows plants to flourish along a cushioned banquette and portraits of the owners’ mothers grace the walls of intimate booth seating. Local millworker Jessie LaRock from Restoration Woodwork built the impressive bar at GIOIA. Szapiro and Cabral also worked with Cambium Carbon, a company that saves trees from landfills, to support a regenerative supply chain. Rob Bolduc from Bold Wood Interiors designed and built the tables. Jamie La Jones designed the mural and some of the interior artwork. A&G Contracting served as the projects General Contractor.
Later this Fall, the 1900 square foot rooftop, the first in the historic Wooster Street neighborhood, will open offering a completely unique menu from the restaurant downstairs. The three-season space will welcome diners of all ages to enjoy seasonal food and beverage in a casual and fun environment.
Gioia will be open six days a week; the restaurant will invite guests in for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 4-9pm, Friday from 4-10pm and a dedicated late night bites menu from 10-11pm, Saturday for brunch from 11am-2:30pm, dinner from 4-10pm and late-night bites from 10-11pm, and Sunday for brunch from 11am-2:30pm and dinner from 4-8pm. Happy Hour will be celebrated Tuesday-Thursday from 4-6pm with food and drink specials. The market will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-6pm, and Sunday from 10am-5pm. The gelateria will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30am-8pm.
The restaurant accepts reservations via its website and Open Table, or via phone at 475-250-3451. Private dining and special event space is available after hours in an intimate area of the market for 34 seated guests. A dedicated parking lot offers easy parking, along with street parking in the neighborhood. Takeout will be available in the coming weeks.
Gioia – meaning ‘joy’ in Italian – brings the vision of a fun and delicious Italian restaurant, market, gelateria and rooftop space from beloved New Haven restaurateurs Tim Cabral and Avi Szapiro, and partners Anthony and Gerard Bianco (A&G Contracting), to life. The focal point of the casual and fun setting includes a restaurant serving a seasonally inspired menu of delicious interpretations of Italian classics. Using a wood fired grill and rotisserie, the menu also features homemade pastas and pizzas, house made gelato and vegetarian/vegan offerings, coupled with a robust beverage program with a nod to Italy. Further contributing to the DNA of “Little Italy” with Italian provisions, grab-and-go meals, artisanal serving ware, the market conveniently serves those living in the neighborhood and beyond, and the gelataria window invites local residents and diners to enjoy housemade gelato. Opening in phase two later this Fall, the rooftop will create a unique three-season destination with its own food and beverage menu. Located at 150 Wooster Street, Gioia offers takeout and private event spaces. For more information, visit https://www.gioianewhaven.com/ or its social channels (‘@gioianhv).