NAUGATUCK — A familiar face in Naugatuck has opened a new eatery.
Aldo Dasilva opened The Bronx Deli at 628 New Haven Road in late August. Dasilva operates another Bronx Deli in Oxford. However, that is not where Naugatuck residents may recognize him from.
Dasilva worked as a chef at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant in Naugatuck for 16 years before taking over the Bronx Deli in Oxford from his brother three and a half years ago.
“I was a chef for 18 years. Being a chef is hard. You work late, until 11 p.m. or later. I’ve been working hard all my life. This is easier. It’s just sandwiches and cold cuts,” Dasilva said.
Dasilva, a Prospect resident, said he has seen a surge in business since taking over the deli from his brother. He said a lot of his customers at the Oxford location are people from Naugatuck who remember him from Jesse Camille’s. So, he said, opening a deli in the borough was a logical choice.
“I have a lot of people from Naugatuck that come here,” Dasilva said from the deli in Oxford. “So, I’m hoping to do it over there.”
Dasilva added, “A lot of people know me from Naugatuck because I’ve been around forever. I was there 16 years just at Jesse Camille’s. That’s a lot of time in the same place.”
Dasilva was born in Brazil and immigrated to America in 1989. He was taught all he knows about cooking while working in restaurant kitchens.
“I was a farmer. I used to milk cows in Brazil. I moved up here and I tried construction, but I didn’t like it that much,” Dasilva said. “I was washing dishes. I was 20 years old and married. It was OK at that time but I saw the guys cooking and I said ‘I think I’d like to cook.’ I asked to give me a chance. I said ‘help me a little and I will learn pretty fast.’ So I started learning and I stayed.”
Before moving to Connecticut, Dasilva lived and owned a Mexican restaurant in Newport, R.I. After coming to Connecticut, Dasilva worked at Hemingway’s Restaurant in Watertown and Country Gate Restaurant in Middlebury before cooking at Jesse Camille’s.
Although he now owns a deli, Dasilva does not let that stop him from cooking. He makes a variety of sandwiches using his own recipes.
“I make a few things nobody makes the same,” Dasilva said. “It’s my own recipe. Nobody knows how to make it but me.”
While he has just opened this deli, Dasilva is already looking to the future and the possibility of a third deli in Southbury.
“I hope I do well in Naugatuck. I want to open another one, but I’m happy with just this one,” Dasilva said.