'Top Chefs' Tyler Anderson, Bruce Kalman To Open Glastonbury Pizzeria

Yes, chef and restaurateur Tyler Anderson is opening a West Coast restaurant with his Los Angeles-based buddy Bruce Kalman, his fellow contestant on the 15th season of “Top Chef.” But he wants the Connecticut restaurant world to know that he isn’t leaving the Nutmeg State.

Instead, he and Kalman are also teaming up on another project back East. Anderson is about to sign a lease on a space on Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury (he’ll announce the exact location at a later date,) he says, with plans for a pizzeria with coin-operated arcade games.

“[It will be] a pizza place with hopefully the best meatballs you’ve ever had, a couple pastas, a couple salads, salumi and cheese,” he says. The restaurant/arcade will also feature vintage video games from the 1970s and 1980s — classics like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and more.

“We feel like we have an opportunity to do this arcade thing a little bit because right now, the games we played, kids like them still,” he says. “Everybody is attracted to it.”

The pizzeria will be family friendly, he says, but after a certain time of night, “it’ll turn into a place to hang out at the bar and play games.”

The partners plan to handle their bicoastal projects by hiring directors of operation in both locations. Both restaurants are expected to open in 2019; Anderson hopes the Glastonbury pizzeria will open by midyear, with West, their wood-fired fast casual restaurant on Los Angeles’ Westside, projected to open around the end of the year.

Kalman’s expertise in Italian cuisine, most recently as executive chef of Union in Pasadena and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar, comes in handy for the Connecticut project. Anderson says Italian food is “probably what I’m least proficient at,” though the chef-owner of Millwright’s in Simsbury has pushed his comfort zone in recent years with barbecue as co-owner of The Cook and The Bear in West Hartford and Spanish-influenced tapas and dishes at Porrón & Piña in Hartford’s Goodwin Hotel.

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“We have very different styles of cooking, but at the base of what we cook, we appreciate each other’s style. In many ways, Bruce completes me and I complete Bruce.”

Kalman joins other ‘Top Chef’ contestants at Hartford’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser for No Kid Hungry at the Goodwin Hotel on Sept. 30.

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