JRego’s Gathering Place is the newest restaurant in Ellington, offering the flavors of Mexico, Greece, Italy, China, Brazil and the United States.
“It’s an American bistro, but really fusion, with chilaquiles, flatbreads, sesame short ribs. And crepes, sweet-tooth crepes and dinner crepes,” says co-owner Jessica Pierson-Regan said. “There’s something for everybody.”
Pierson-Regan, who has worked in events and marketing since the 1990s, co-owns the restaurant and bar with her husband Kevin Regan, who grew up helping with his father’s catering business. From 2015 to 2021, he owned Hometown Pizza in Ellington.
JRego’s, which opened Jan. 28, is in Meadowview Plaza, where Cold Creek Tavern used to be, a few doors down from Hometown.
“We’ve always opened our home to everyone. This is an extension of our home,” Pierson-Regan said. “I wanted to create a gathering place, where people get together to enjoy memorable moments and good food.”
Providing that food is chef Ricky Sharma of Madison, who also is chef at Turtle Café, a popular breakfast-brunch-lunch spot in Westbrook.
Food & Drink
The menu begins with shareables ranging from $1- to $16, including mussels, calamari, chicken and waffles, wings, chilaquiles, a Brazilian steak appetizer, sesame ribs, meatballs, Brussels sprouts, sliders and a hummus-feta-pita plate. Flatbreads, from $10 to $14, come in pesto-goat cheese-spinach; three-cheese; smoked salmon; and chicken-bacon-cheese. Paninis, at $11 or $12, are Cuban, turkey and veggie. Entrees, from $13 to $18, are New York strip steak, salmon, chicken, gnocchi and pappardelle.
Crepes — also a specialty at Turtle Café — come in four varieties: wild mushroom, chicken, spinach, asiago, with a lemon herb crème beurre blanc; chicken, chorizo, spinach and cheddar in a cilantro cream sauce; veggie with feta; and Nutella-banana-apple-strawberry-whipped cream. They range in price from $13 to $15.
Burgers, salads and sides round out the menu, which also offers a variety of wines and beers.
The 3,000-square-foot space has seating for 94 people, at tables and at the bar. The atmosphere is both mellow — with soft lighting and music — and homey, with one wall covered with photos of Ellington.
JRego’s is the third new restaurant to come to this small town in the last few months. Backroads Smokin’ BBQ, which graduated from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar on Sandy Beach Road;and DiFiore’s, an east-of-the-river outpost of the long-running Rocky Hill pasta-sandwich shop, both opened in 2021 to huge popular success.
JRego’s Gathering Place is at 175 West Road in Ellington. Hours are Monday to Wednesday 4 to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday 4 to 8 p.m. The restaurant will be open for lunch, too, when staffing is complete. For more information go to jregosgatheringplace.com.
Susan Dunne can be reached at email@example.com.