When you think of a rooftop restaurant, Manhattan may come to mind. Thank goodness you don’t have to hop on an hour long train ride to get that al fresco experience, for Bethel has their own Ecco Rooftop Eatery. Located upstairs from their equally great sister restaurant, La Zingara, Ecco offers a hip and younger vibe. A small restaurant, whose entrance is on the side of the building, boasts with a well-stocked bar, retractable glass roof and open kitchen, you may feel like you wandered into a modern speakeasy.

The drink menu is well rounded, with creative cocktails that include more unusual spirits like mezcal. The beer taps are filled by craft brews that rotate frequently. The food menu is seasonal, much like the restaurant which is closed from January-March, and there are always excellent specials to be had. The food is New American, with deep roots in Northern Italian, with a variety of entrees offered. I’ve sampled all over the menu but happen to enjoy the creative specials that they offer. Most recently, a quinoa and hot cherry pepper salad topped with perfectly pan-seared scallops. Their artisanal wood-fired pizzas are quite good as well, with the seasonal Bahn Mi pie topping the charts in terms of flavor and creativity. Having been on a taco kick lately, I had their fish tacos, which were great enough to make you forget all about California. Perfectly crisp batter with flaky white fish, topped with a slaw and served with fresh plantain chips. Whatever you end up eating as a meal, get the truffle fries. They are addictive and the umami flavor is out of control, your tastebuds will beg for more.

The ambiance and food being as amazing as it is, expect Ecco to be very busy on a summer night when the roof is retracted and the drinks are flowing. Call ahead to be placed on a wait list, because the wait is certainly worth it.

Ecco Rooftop Eatery

8 P T Barnum Square, Bethel, CT 06801 (upstairs)

(203) 744-7500