By Mike Lauterborn
Wilton, CT – Wilton area residents were glad to see a hot new restaurant open up Thursday night right in their area. Fairfield residents should be glad, too, as Cactus Rose Cantina is a must-go destination with a wonderful Southwestern flair.
Located at 5 River Road in Wilton, the new restaurant is owned by Katrina Pertesis and her daughter Maria. The pair, in collaboration with leading representatives from cb5 restaurant group, which helped develop the Cactus Rose concept, held a preview cocktail reception at the venue from 7 to 9pm. The event was designed to introduce locals and media to the space, drink selections and food. More than one hundred people attended included Channel 12 television newsman David Smith and Easton’s First Selectman Tom Hermann.
The space is immediately inviting, with accents that include hanging terrariums, candle sconces, timbers in the ceiling in the center of the main dining area in the shape of a wagon wheel and an Old West style iron chandelier. Making the room cozy on a chilly night was a wood-burning fireplace of an adobe construction.
Red sangria, Mexican beers, margaritas and vanilla bourbon milkshakes were the favorite libations, which all paired well with an abundance of passed hors d’oeuvres including lamp chops, tostones with cilantro pesto, beef empanadas, tuna tostada, cactus tempura and pecan tarts. These servings can all be found on the menu as appetizers, ranging in price from $8 to $14, but hovering around $10.
Entrees, which were not sampled, include ancho glazed free range chicken, southwestern pork loin and barbecued wild salmon. Dishes in this column run $19 to $29, the latter tagged to a cowboy rib eye steak.
Fajitas, served sizzling on a black iron skillet, are also available, priced between $15 and $24.
Sides include fresh guacamole, tres salsa and several other options to delight the palate, prepared by Executive Chef Lisa Varnberg and her kitchen staff.
Cactus Rose Cantina, 5 River Road, Wilton, CT.