Gaspar's New American Cuisine: A New Experience
By Brittany Bousquet
New London Main Street Intern
August 7, 2012
Downtown New London is teeming with restaurants, each one of them a little bit different than the one before it. Gaspars New American Cuisine stands out from them all, because of the quality of the food and the overall dining experience there.
Gaspar Stantic and Andrew Bell chose to open Gaspars in New London for several reasons. They see New London as an up and coming community with exciting things happening. They also wanted to bring a different type of restaurant to New London, something that offered more upscale dining. In this, they have succeeded.
At Gaspars one can enjoy New American Cuisine which is a combination of many types of cooking with an American flair. Fresh produce plays an important role in the menu, and the menu is as organic as possible. None of the food is pre-prepared. Instead it is all made to order and made from scratch. Gaspar believes that passion and love are needed to make food the best it can be, and Gaspars magic makes the food unique.
At Gaspars, not only is the focus on the food, but also on the experience. Gaspars is all about creating a fine dining atmosphere. They have no signature drink nor do they have t-shirts for sale. Instead, the focus is on the food. Gaspar is the only chef, and he makes all the food to order. Gaspar and Andrew want their customers to enjoy the food and the ambiance. Eating at Gaspars should be comfortable and pleasant, like eating at home. The emphasis is on dinner and about pleasing people with delicious food. Gaspar and Andrew dont count how many customers who come in; instead they count how many leave happy.
One customer who left happy was Penny Parsekian, New London Main Streets former CEO. Penny shares, Its exciting to have a restaurant of this caliber open in downtown. Gaspar is masterful. My recent dinner at the restaurant was superb. Risotto is not easy to make, and his was perfection. Everyone in our party was thrilled.
Its no surprise that everyone in Pennys party was thrilled. Gaspar has forty plus years experience in the food business. He likes to be on stage and to make people happy. He also enjoys the bond you feel when cooking for others. Gaspar is a native of Switzerland. He has worked around the world and has accomplished so much. To start with, he is a Master Chef. He has worked with Chef Luis Outhier in La Napoule France at the Oasis Restaurant (Three Michelin Stars). He has been the Executive Chef at Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and at Helmsley Palace in New York City. He has 26 First and Grand Prizes in various world culinary competitions; he also earned gold medals from the 1968, 1972 and 1984 Culinary Olympics. In 1985 the Swiss Culinary Federation recognized Gaspar as Chef of the Year. He has cooked for Queen Elizabeth both in Hong Kong and in Kuwait. Zagat has highly praised his restaurants, ranking his restaurant First Place for the NAC in 1991.
Andrew Bell was born in New London and raised in Waterford. He has worked as a commercial video producer and photographer before partnering with Gaspar. He takes care of the business side of the restaurant, running the front of the house and handling the marketing and advertising aspects of the business.
Both Gaspar and Andrew have found the New London community to be welcoming and supportive. The demographic they have been attracting is mostly forty and older and largely business professionals. They also serve lots of locals from New London and the surrounding communities, as well as foodies who are looking for good and interesting cuisine. Business for Gaspars has been good with both repeat business and new customers who come in on recommendation. They have both website and a Facebook page.
Gaspar also writes cookbooks, and while I was there he gave me a quote from one of them. It is as follows.
For Gaspar: Cooking is a holistic process of planning, prepping, dining and sharing food. I place food at the center of humanity as it nourishes not only our physical bodies but also our emotional and spiritual lives. Food is truly a cultural phenomenon that informs out traditions and our relationship with the Earth. I genuinely think that food connects us all.
Address: 385 Bank Street, New London, CT
Hours: Monday 5pm to closing, Tuesday closed, Wednesday Sunday 5pm to closing
Phone: (860) 440-3663