Tasty ribs, fresh seafood await patrons of Gary's Rib House

If just the thought of St.Louis-style ribs makes your mouth water, there's a restaurant in New Milford you may want to try out.

Gary's Rib House offers ribs of juicy meat falling off the bone, lightly coated with a Bar-B-Q sauce, with sauce served on the side.

That is the keynote dish of the restaurant opened at 475 Danbury Road (Route 7), near the Elephant's Trunk flea market, by Gary Frey, a Newtown resident with more than 20 years' experience in high-end restaurateuring around the country.

"I started as a teenager working in restaurants in Iowa," said Mr. Frey. "After college, I was a riverboat pilot on The Mississippi for some time. After serving in the armed forces, I married and began managing upscale restaurants from the Florida Keys to Seattle to Stamford."

For those who patronized the four-star Aus Boi Je Don Restaurant at the former La Pavione Deluxe downtown hotel in Stamford during the 1980s, they would be familiar with Mr. Frey's influence on the restaurant and hospitality end of that business.

Last fall, he fulfilled a longtime dream of opening a small restaurant and bar that could be entirely family run and that he could pass on to his sons and daughters.

A daughter, Tara, manages the bar and dining room. Another daughter, Tracey, works on weekends at the restaurant and a son, Gary Jr., 15, helps in the kitchen on weekends.

Gary's wife, Barbara, helps oversee the business as she has with other restaurants managed by Mr. Frey.

With the former riverboat pilot in the kitchen, Gary's Rib House offers specials of the day. Whether it be half a duck in an orange sauce or yellow fin Ahia tuna flown in from Hawaii, the food is fresh and tasty, Mr. Frey said.

"If you come in Friday or Saturday night for my seafood special, chances are it was swimming around Thursday," he said, with a smile.

A bevy of old-fashioned, red rose bushes greet you as you drive up to the rib house. The restaurant's white-picket fence motif invites patrons into a remodeled and redecorated interior.

Lunch is served Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with prices ranging from $8 to $18. Dinner is served Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4:30 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 4:30 to 10 p.m., with prices from $17 to $22.

The Sunday dinner menu is served all day from noon to 8 p.m.

Coupons for lunch and dinner special pricing accompany bi-monthly newsletters e-mailed to customers when they sign up at www.garysribs.com.