Hungry Edison Kitchen customers ‘will come happy, leave happier’

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Edison Kitchen is a relatively new restaurant in downtown Bethel that promises “authentic” and “authentic” culinary temptations, and its owner/chef Chris Bruno is likely a very household name for many Newtown residents.

Bruno, owner of Foundry Kitchen and Tavern in Sandy Hook Village from 2013 to 2017, knew he loved the building at 186 Greenwood Avenue when he walked in. Architecture imposed itself on him.

Sitting at a corner table one recent afternoon, Bruno shared that Edison Kitchen opened in December 2021, after a lot of hard work creating the space.

“We did it ourselves,” Bruno said, looking at some of the exposed brick walls. None of the bricks were exposed until he and his team gutted the interior.

Only the kitchen was in good condition, says Bruno. In total, the renovation took six weeks. Now the space features a reclaimed wood bar, seating, and tables, all illuminated with mood lights.

To Bruno’s recollections, the building has always been a restaurant, at least since the 1980s. It sits on the corner of Greenwood Ave and Depot Place. Parking is available in the station’s public parking lot on Depot Place and across Greenwood Ave at the library. There is also street parking.

Bruno said the Edison Kitchen Oyster Bar has received great customer responses.

“We have, unequivocally, the freshest seafood and oysters in the region,” Bruno explained.

Edison Kitchen serves about eight entrees, eight entrees, steaks and half a dozen salads, as well as sandwiches.

It is open Monday to Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Brunch is served on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bruno, who now lives in Danbury and raised his two children – Meghan and Michael – in Bethel, said one of his favorite things about Edison Kitchen’s interior space is a mural. It reads, “Come happy, leave happier” and includes nods to certain places and memories from his past, as well as references to Bethel.

According to the restaurant’s website, edisonkitchenct.com, “Bruno has owned five very successful restaurants. He has also consulted or helped open over 20 additional restaurants in the Northeast and across Canada. After all his years in the hotel business, Bruno likes to keep it simple and let the food speak for itself.

While Bruno was talking, the restaurant staff were busy getting the restaurant ready for the day. Smiles could be seen across the space.

“They love what they do,” Bruno said of his “great team.”

A sampling of some of Edison Kitchen’s food options include: Portuguese fish stew, with prawns, calamari, clams, fish, potatoes, linguica, tomato broth; Wild Boar Chop, with a blackberry reduction with gin and poached pear; as well as the Togarashi Bowl, with tuna or tofu/quinoa tartare with marinated vegetables, avocado, ancho chili relish, wakame and spicy sesame dressing.

The restaurant also offers Ahi Tuna Salad, Sushi-Grade Tuna, Cilantro Pepper and Rosemary Dry Rub, House Tomato Salsa, and Chickpea Arugula Salad; Indonesian street chicken, spicy chicken with ginger pickles, curry mayonnaise and naan; and Seared Mahi Mahi with Kumquat Raisin Salsa.

“I love to cook,” Bruno said.

The first thing he cooked? Hot dogs with her twin sister Lynn when they were seven.

Chef John Setaro also serves food at Edison Kitchen.

Food offerings are both traditional and modern, and in the warmer months food is sourced from local farms. Bruno described Edison Kitchen as “authentic” and “authentic” with quality ingredients that can shine.

More information about Edison Kitchen can be found on its website, edisonkitchenct.com; his Facebook page, facebook.com/edisonkitchenct; and on his Instagram account instagram.com/edisonkitchen/?hl=fr.

Education Editor Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at [email protected]

Grace Muller, left, and Lisa Bara prepare the Edison Kitchen bar for customers just before the opening day on April 7. —Bee Photos, Hallabeck

Chris Bruno, owner and chef of Edison Kitchen.

One of the main interior spaces of Edison Kitchen in Bethel.

Edison Kitchen’s outdoor patio.

A mural inside Edison Kitchen reads “Come Happy, Leave Happier”.



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