TRUMBULL, Conn. -- If you want to watch a chef prepare a sizzling steak in a cast iron skillet, head over to Marisa's in Trumbull.
There you will witness chef Attilio Marini cook sizzling cuts of meat in a steaming skillet to create his signature crusty on the outside, tender within 4-pound powerhouse porterhouse for two.
It is Marini's signature dish. He slices the meat from the bone then places it in a sizzling skillet along with potatoes, butter and roasted garlic.
“I don't like the taste of charbroiled meat," he said of his unique cooking style.
“I knew there had to be a better way to make a steak."
The skillet style of making steak is actually "an old way of cooking with a new twist," according to Marini.
Cast iron cooking requires very hot ovens and stove tops. At Marisa's the steak dish is presented at the table in front of patrons.
Ansonia resident Tom Purcell, who frequents the restaurant, enjoys the process.
“It’s incredible the way they cut it,” he said.
“When it arrives, you admire it for a bit before digging in. And the caramelized garlic, wow.”
Recently he ordered a 2-pound ribeye steak with the bone in presented in cast iron.
A wedding customer at Marini recently displayed two powerhouse porterhouses on each table for guests to photograph.
“The presentation was amazing,” said the bride’s mother, Roberta Jurik.
“It’s one of the best steaks in my life, and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve had steak at the best places in Manhattan. Every bite of Attilio’s steak is delicious.”
The restaurant is named for his mother, affectionately known as "Mama Marisa," born in Torice in the province of Frosinone, about 50 miles southeast of Rome.
Marisa, her husband, Renato, and sons Attilio and Mario opened their family-run restaurant in Bridgeport in 1988, drawing professionals and families.
The business grew and needed a new space so it took over a new building and home in Trumbull 20 years ago on Main Street.
The restaurant is at 6540 Main St., Trumbull.