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A New Rose Blooms in Peoria -- Connected Restaurant by Troy Ummel

by Bill More-- Your Secret Chef
(Peoria, IL )

What a delicious find we uncovered the other night in the heart of Peoria:
Connected Restaurant at 3218 N Dries Lane, just across the street from the Landmark Recreation Center. This spot was formerly Po' Boys Restaurant which closed recently.

Troy Ummel is the owner/chef and master restauranteur of the place.
It is warm, intimate, the entire waitstaff is dressed in tuxedos and while Ummel calls the place "A Classic American Restaurant with a lot of Italian flare" it is all that and more. The entire menu is infused with a solid Italian influence. Here are but a few examples. Chef Ummel has had extensive background in the restaurant and hospitality businss for years and has brought the expertise gained back to his Peoria roots.

Carpaccio Di Manzo--Thinly sliced prime filet mignon with flakes of Parmesigiano Reggiano cheese, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Calamretti Fritti-- Squid lightly coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, fried to a golden brown, served with marinara sauce

Rigatoni Alla Zozzona -- Ritatoni served in a light cream sauce with shredded Italian sausage.
Spaghetti Al Pomodoro -- This dish reflects the freshness of ripe San Marzano tomatoes with fine herbs and virgin olive oil.

Protein Entrees:
Il Branzino -- Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass served over shrimp risotto with lobster tarragon sauce and crispy parsnips.

Vitello Con Funghi Morel -- Veal scallopine sauteed with morel mushrooms, julienne of prosciutto, a touch of cream, Brandy and Marsala.

Pollo Al Quattro Fromaggi -- Boneless breast of chicken dipped in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, pan fried, topped with fresh tomato sauce, fine herbs and four types of imported cheese.

Are you getting the idea you went to sleep in Peoria and awakened in Napoli? Many of these are tried and true Italian classic dishes but Ummel brings a freshness to the table that the area has not seen in a while.

There are also a number of dessert options that are available, a more than adequate wine list that will help provide a more than memorable evening for the Peoria dining scene.

I would urge a visit. Locally owned and operated restaurants need to be supported locally, and Connected deserves more than a chance. It deserves a visit for introduction, then many visits after, like you are at the home of a friend who wishes to pamper you.
Connected Restaurant -- Passion for Exceptional Dining.

Give it a try!!

Comments for A New Rose Blooms in Peoria -- Connected Restaurant by Troy Ummel

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Aug 09, 2010
Diamond in the Rough

4 of us went and all had a wonderful meal. Soup was a little salty or would be a 5. We will go back. Waterfall should be in by now.

Jul 19, 2010
by: Anonymous

I was somewhat disappointed in Connected for the following reasons.
1. I ordered Dewars scotch from the bar abd they were "out" of Dewars. I then ordered Johnnie Walker Red and they were "out" of this.
2. The saladI received was not even close to the salads description in the menu. Salad was supposed to have several kinds of nots, etc. and really all it was was lettuce w/ rasberry viigarette.
3. My veal scallopini was supposed to be cooked with "wild Morrel Mushrooms" according to the menu. I couldn't find the muchrooms in the dish.
4. Veal was served with no veggies at all. Only extra was "polenta" which is nothing but a somewhat tasteless corn flour cake.
5. Decor was not impressive. Discolored and severly cracked concrete floor.
6. While the owner/chef greeted and talked to everyone and was very nice, it was obvious he had not spent much time in the kitchen---No spots or food stains on his chefs outfit and all of his time seemed to be spent in the dining room. I would suggest he forego the PR in the dining room and spend more time making sure that the food and bar are properly taken care of.
8. After all of this, the bill for my wife and I was almost $100!1

Ido not plan to go back.

Apr 28, 2010
by: Anonymous

I worked at Connected and Troy ummel is the most unsanitary person I've ever worked with.He never washes his hands and he tastes the food and then returns the utensil back into the pans.

Mar 25, 2010
by: Anonymous

I recently enjoyed a great meal @ Connected and loved everything. We will be going back soon.

Jan 26, 2010
by: Anonymous


Jan 26, 2010
Bon Appetit
by: Mickey

My husband and I stumbled upon this restaurant & now I can't stop dreaming about the chicken parmiagianno. It ia a portion enough for two and absolutely perfect. They serve a wonderful eggplant spread with their softly baked bread. We were greeted at the door by Chef Ummel and the service was impecable. The atmosphere is cozy yet sophisicated. And every woman gets a long stemmed rose upon exit. My birthday is coming up and I usually don't go for italian, but there is no doubt in my mind where I will be going this year!
The best food I have had in Peoria!

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