Lorenzo Colella

Recent Articles

Beef Stew for Emergency Responders in Snow Storm: A Legacy Endures at Joe’s Pizza

Lorenzo Colella awoke Tuesday morning to the same winter storm news as fellow New Canaan merchants: What had been predicted as two feet of snow would come to about half of that total. Despite the still-hazardous road conditions, the Joe’s Pizza owner decided to open at 11 a.m.

And he decided to do something else. “I just thought about these guys being out there and I figure they’re on the roads and need some food, so maybe I can help them out and give them a little extra kick in their step,” Colella told NewCanaanite.com. That kick came in the form of a beef stew, and from a recipe near and dear to the 1995 New Canaan High School graduate. With potatoes, carrots, beef, onions, cumin, rosemary, salt, pepper, thyme and brown gravy, the stew that Colella offered up to New Canaan police, firefighters, EMTs and public works crews was his mother’s. Continue Reading →

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Annunziata ‘Nancy’ Colella, 66, Loving Wife and Mother, Longtime New Canaanite

Annunziata Colella, age 66, a resident of New Canaan for over 45 years died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 at Norwalk Hospital with her loving family by her side. Born Nov. 5, 1950 in the Marcanise province of Caserta, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Pietro Gaudino and Filomena Musone. She was the wife of Giuseppe (Joe) Colella. Annunziata, better known as Nunzia or Nancy came to the United States in 1971 and immediately joined her husband Joe at their small business, Joe’s Pizzeria in New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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‘The Vibe Is Awesome’: Gates Reopens

Some 10 months after closing its doors for the first time since launching in 1979, Gates restaurant is re-opening this week under new ownership, with a fresh look and menu. Though no formal word went out about it, New Canaanites descended on the Forest Street institution for a hopping bar scene Monday night, while an invite-only dining crowd filled the newly configured main floor at Gates—complete with a food bar overlooking a wood-fired oven and open kitchen. The bar now will be open nightly, while the restaurant is on track to open for dinner service this weekend (by reservation only), according to Jay Luther, an owner of Gates with fellow town resident Paul Tully. It isn’t clear yet just when Gates will open for lunch—stay tuned. “It’s fantastic,” Luther said of the long-awaited re-opening. Continue Reading →

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Love, Laughter and Lasagna: At the Table with Nancy Colella

[This is the final installment in a four-part series “Matriarchs of Main & Elm,” published in December 2015 and profiling the women behind New Canaan’s great business families.]

Annunziata Colella—known to locals by her Americanized name, “Nancy”—on Tuesday afternoon sat at her long family dinner table in the kitchen of this brick exterior ranch-style house on Main Street, the family’s home since she moved in with a young daughter and husband in 1974. She rested her hands atop a poinsettia tablecloth set with fresh yellow lilies, the doorway connecting to the living room beyond adorned with garlands draped around columns, potted poinsettias on side and coffee tables, tall candleholders in the form of angels placed on the floor, and large framed family photos on a fireplace mantle, beside Christmas cards and stockings. Complimented on her holiday décor, Nancy shook her head and said in the Neapolitan accent that she’s had since she arrived in the United States—and started learning English—in 1971: “Oh, thank you, but this is nothing. I’ve hardly done anything.”

On the contrary. Resilient, warm, intelligent and resourceful, Nancy Colella—wife of Giuseppe “Joe” Colella, founder of Joe’s Pizza—for nearly a half-century has conducted herself at home and at work with a sense of pride, responsibility and commitment that’s transformed a mom-and-pop pizza shop into a cherished New Canaan fixture. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm last week fielded a call on Buttery Road about an injured hawk in a pool. At about 1:21 p.m. on Sept. 21, Halm, now head of the NCPD Animal Control section, responded to the call and found that the bird had perished. Halm also noticed that the bird was actually a kestrel, or small falcon sometimes called a “sparrow hawk,” and contacted an area museum that typically wants (as in this case) the carcass for taxidermy. The bird species is said to be declining in numbers in New England. Continue Reading →

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