Be jaded, be absent minded, be selectively attentive, but the third time you hear something, listen. Do this, and you may find yourself cruising down an arrow-straight length of Highland Avenue in Cheshire — like a bookmark holding its place at the midpoint between Waterbury and Meriden — and see nothing in particular, until you do.

Viron Rondo Osteria is bold. The first impression is someone has chosen to place the clubhouse of a country club on a long valley road dotted with low, commercial buildings. The scale of the restaurant is striking. On a perfect Thursday evening when I visit after taking some advice this spring, people have flocked there.

The space is landscaped and green, and multiple layers of patios with an outdoor bar make up the outworks. Enter through doors which could comfortably accept mounted cavalry, and you’ll be shown to a table in one of the dining rooms or the lounge area, where a square bar surrounds a chandelier the size of a small hot air balloon. The space you see is the dream of its owner, Viron Rondos.

Rondos moved to New York from his native Greece, and has been in hospitality his entire life, previously owning restaurants in Avon and Litchfield before opening the original Viron Rondo Osteria at the same location in 2014.

“We always had great food, but the space was not good enough,” he says, talking about his previous limitations while swirling a glass of wine at a table in the lounge. Now, after a 14,000-square-foot expansion which cost him nearly $8 million, he supposes he has what he needs.

He’s quick to credit everyone’s contribution to making the Osteria a reality when it reopened fully in October 2019: Litchfield County-based French designer Martine Longhi who conceived the interior and exterior spaces, Mueller American lighting of Collinsville, the artisans who restored the chandelier, which had hung in the theater of the New York Film Academy from 1969 to 2017, and his staff. “I have the best people working here, anywhere in the state. I absolutely believe this.

“We had a small kitchen, a small bar, it sat 13 people. Now, our kitchen” — here he pats the air with his hands, palms facing down — “it is underneath where our parking lot used to be, we built on top of it. There is room for everyone to work.”

I ask him what the capacity of the restaurant is now. “Six hundred and fifty,” Rondos says quickly, like he hasn’t just quoted the manifest for a small cruise ship.

“And then the shutdown happened,” I say, and he nods.

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