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Tula to Deliver a New Take On Italian Cuisine

A new Italian restaurant will open on Main Street

Lisa Morale, a part-time hairstylist of 20 years, and her co-workers at Salon Jo-Davi in Trumbull enjoy conversations on a variety of topics, including good places to eat.

"Many people have been saying that there's never anywhere new to go," Morale said.

This inspired Morale, her husband Umberto, Thomas Carney and his wife Anita to open Tula, a restaurant and lounge with a twist on old Italian cuisine.

Many have passed Tula's black sign with a yellow leaf. It may conjur up images of the heroine in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding for some, but for the four partners of the soon to be opened restaurant the name has another meaning.

"Tula is all of our initials together," says Morale. "My husband's parents are from Rome, from Torino, and we were told by his mom, after we had named it, that it meant table in their dialect."

Inside is a series of warm neutral colored booths and dark tables. The seating is supplemented by an outdoor patio set-up making the place look warm and inviting.

"I feel like people always have to travel to find something,” says Morale. "So I wanted to bring them a meeting place with great food."

Set to open in a couple of weeks, Tula's menu will be comprised of "eclectic cuisine with an Italian twist."

"Italian is our forte, but all of Monroe is Italian so we wanted to focus on being eclectic with a lot of fresh, organic ingredients," says Morale. "We all love good food, know good food, and enjoy good food!"

Of the four partners, two have experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Umberto Morale, originally from Rome, comes from a family that owns hotels and bed and breakfasts in Italy. He himself has experience managing restaurants in Fairfield.

Partner and chef, Thomas Carney, originally from Yonkers, was trained in the top culinary institute in Northern Italy. He was well known for putting a unique spin on dishes when he worked in the kitchen of Spazzi's Restaurant in Fairfield. It's that same cooking style that makes up many of the dishes at Tula. In addition, they will be serving homemade breads, mozzarella, pastas and desserts, including Carney's renowned apple tart.

"It's hard to say what our signature dish is now, because usually they evolve," says Carney.

"I also think the customers are the ones that really decide what a restaurant is known for," adds Morale.

"We've been friends for 20 years," says Morale. "We always wanted to open a restaurant together, but the timing never seemed right."

For the latest news regarding Tula, visit its facebook page. The restaurant is also currently working on designing a website.

sickofit August 04, 2011 at 11:39 AM
Could it be, possibly, that she meant Italian eateries - not people, in Monroe? Think outside the box folks!
Cindy August 06, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Went this afternoon, the place is beautiful, the food was awesome, the wait staff very attentive without being intrusive. A definite plus for Monroe.
Steve Kirsch August 06, 2011 at 06:03 AM
My wife, son, and I went on Thursday night. Arrived about 7:45 pm, and the parking lot was full so we had to park across the street. Hostess was very pleasant, told us it would be 20 min wait for inside table, so we decided to eat on the patio which turned out to be very nice. We had two different types of salads and three different entrees and all were very good. We will definitely go back.
Sean McLaughlin September 04, 2011 at 04:08 PM
I took my parents and my two children (ages 1 and 4) to Tula on Saturday. We got there around 5:30, just in time to beat the rush. Although they do not have high chairs or a kids menu, they were very accommodating and helpful with the kids, and made sure they did not feel unwelcomed. I greatly appreciated this, and the fact that my kids behaved remarkably shows to me that they appreciated it too. Our server, Joe, was on top of everything and made sure that we were always taken care of. And of course.....the food was great. We had everything from a burger to seared chicken breast to lobster roll, and it was all fantastic. By the time we left, the place was packed and cars had to be parked across the street, so I would suggest going a little bit before the rush. But overall, we all (including the little ones) had a great time and I'll be coming back in the near future (as well as suggesting Tula to everyone I know)!
blackie September 05, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Love, love TULA. I've been there 3 times for dinner already. The atmosphere is lovely and inviting, with a contemporary NYC feel and the food is awesome! Every dish is freshly and creatively prepared with high quality ingredients, just delicious!! And to top it off, the prices are very reasonable!

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