The next chapter
Olmo, meaning "Elm" in Italian, symbolizes the growth and evolution of the modern restaurant. Located in the former Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro, we made the decision to sprout new branches on the corner of Whitney and Trumbull while staying true to our roots of great hospitality, the freshest food, and love for the elm city community.
Olmo is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - for you. The average schedule doesn't give you time to join us for 2 hours each week to sit and enjoy yourself. We get it, we're busy too! Olmo wants to cater to your schedule with grab and go bagels each morning, sandwiches and salads at lunch, and prepared dinners that you can quickly reheat for the perfect at home restaurant quality meal.
If we get so lucky to have you join our dining room we'd love to have you sit around our open kitchen, dine with new friends at our communal tables, or even grab our pasta room for a family style dinner that is like no other in Connecticut.
We recognize the world is changing. Olmo is the next step to bridge high quality sourced ingredients and innovative quick service. We look to make your day easier, happier, and more delicious.
ZENA ALEXIADES - ASSISTANT MANAGER
Third generation to one of New Haven’s oldest pizza joints, Zena moved to the Elm City in 2014 to be closer to her big fat Greek family. Three years later and after completing her BFA, she joined Caseus as a server to work on the art of hospitality. Zena uses her experience in the arts to sculpt a different style of service at each table and looks forward to helping you pair your pasta with the Olmo wine list. A gluten enthusiast, Zena loves baking and is known to brighten the day with her homemade cookies, cakes, preserves, kombucha, and even candy! When not having a blast at Olmo, Zena finds new trails to hike with her mini-pitbull Jude - the true love of her life. Wave “Hi” to her as she’s cruising through town on her aunt’s vintage 1970s Schwinn Fair Lady Stingray!
TESSA COONEY - GENERAL MANAGER
Tessa is a Madison, CT native who spent years serving at the former Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro while studying Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation at the University of Connecticut. She found it a rewarding experience to work at a restaurant where sustainability, seasonality, and education were the greatest of values. Always a lover of travel, Tessa left New Haven to bicycle across Ireland, eat tajine in Morocco, and eventually moved north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. There, her passion for beer and hospitality grew as she would label beer bottles by hand for a local Norwegian brewery by day and bartend under the midnight sun by night. Upon returning to Connecticut, she found herself back at Caseus where she eventually became manager and beer buyer. Tessa joins the Olmo team as an analytical mind with a fantastic sense of guest happiness. She looks forward to continuously striving to create the best guest experience and the perfect Michelada for brunch! When not at the restaurant, Tessa can most likely be found at her Wooster Sq. apartment with her two cats, Bert and Grandpa.
SUMO HUGGINS - ASSISTANT MANAGER
A native New Yorker (if he hasn’t told you already) where he worked in various restaurants including the original Mile End in Brooklyn, Sumo moved to the Elm City in 2015 when he joined the Caseus team. An instant boost to the morale Sumo’s natural charm – that smile! – adds fun and generosity to Olmo’s sense of welcoming hospitality and his overall interactions with guests.
Outside the restaurant world, Sumo is a big music nerd, a die hard Yankees fan, and a master griller. He and his lovely wife can be found cooking and running around with their young son Teddy (future chef/Yankees starting pitcher/artist/astronaut).
CRAIG HUTCHINSON - CHEF / OWNER
Craig, born and raised in Bethany, never knew restaurants and hospitality would be his calling. After an Economics degree from Brown he saw an opportunity to express creativity in professional kitchens while also stimulating his interest to be in business. Craig told his parents not to worry about this decision, he had a plan. He worked under chefs Mary Dumont (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2006), Michael Schlow (James Beard Best Chef Northeast 2000), Gabrielle Bremmer (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2007), and Tim Maslow (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2015). It was Ribelle (Maslow) where Craig helped in receiving the coveted 4* review in the Boston Globe. Maslow redefined quality, innovation, and fine dining in Boston. The goal has always been to open up a different style of restaurant in his home city of New Haven and upon moving back Craig sat down with Jason Sobocinski and realized the impact a restaurant could have on a community. After some bagel and bread baking in Brooklyn, he teamed up with Lishchynky and Sobocinski to create Olmo. Olmo is the expression of 10 years worth of world class technique wrapped up in a small city vibe. Craig is supported by his fiance Cara - they met while in NYC and now live at Brewery Sq. on the Quinnipiac River.
JOHAN JENSEN - EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF
Johan Jensen, raised in Denmark, trained in Copenhagen, cooked in NYC, lives in New Haven. This journeyman found his way to the United States in 2016 where he met his wife Abbey, a CT resident, on Cape Cod. He moved to work in NYC at The Eddy, The Fat Radish, and Gloria - hopping around to gain more exposure. Johan joins the team with the same love for great ingredients, supporting local, baking, and putting love into his food. He’ll be working on roasting all of your meats each service and is so excited how to make some hand shaped pasta. Strike up a conversation in Danish or ask about his country’s history - we bet you smile.
ALEX LISHCHYNSKY - CHEF / OWNER
Hospitality and cooking flows through Alex's veins with a family background of chefs and amazing home cooks. He recalls the first lesson at a Sunday dinner where his Mom taught him to dress a salad by flavoring the bowl itself with crushed garlic, olive oil, coarse ground pepper, and salt. He learned to care for garden fresh ingredients in his hometown of Southern Pines, NC and by 13 was telling his "Nanny" that he would be a chef to which she advised him to do what you love and never settle for less. Alex moved to Boston when only 18 years old, skipping college to achieve his goals. His first professional kitchen was Radius, a 4* Globe rated white table cloth restaurant under Chef Michael Schlow (James Beard Best Chef Northeast 2000). There he learned fundamentals and high standards from Adrienne Mosier and Stefanie Bui, two chefs pushing the Boston food scene to this day. From there, Alex became Gabrielle Bremmer's (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2007) Sous Chef at Salts in Cambridge. Classic and modern techniques melded into a style that never compromised flavor profile. Alex became head of pastry, a part of this industry not many savory chef's can say they know much about. In 2013 he took on the ultimate challenge and moved to New York City. il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (3* NY Times) ran by Chef Justin Smillie (James Beard Semi-Finalist Best Chefs in America 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). Smillie preached there are no rules; you can do anything with food; never be scared to try. Alex is most excited about never knowing where he'll stop learning. He believes that stagnant menus become forgotten and all great ingredients should be featured on his menus. Mature beyond his years, he is out to make Olmo more than food. The food menu can create a fun environment where friends and family can meet up to create new memories. "To me Olmo is the ever evolving restaurant. My kitchen will not be afraid of taking risks and always trying to better itself. Olmo is the stage i finally get to perform on with everyone eagerly watching."
KEVIN MCGUIRE - SHOP CHEF
Kevin can be seen wearing a winter hat in front of a live fire on a 90 degree day with 110% humidity and yet seems to be cool and calm the whole time. Kevin has the organization of a Navy chef, because he began his career on a submarine cooking under pressure and underwater. He has stories of climbing over and between palates of boxes to get to the salt, because it was quicker than rearranging dry storage. He worked his way through some corporate catering and kitchens until he found his spot at Caseus. Kevin worked his way from prep, to grill, and then Sous Chef - each step along the way having an "I'll do anything" mentality. He is self taught at the art of charcuterie and sausage making, becoming a resource for young and experienced cooks to learn from. Kevin takes over the Olmo shop with the intention of opening his own restaurant in the near future. He draws inspiration from his Filipino culture and shares his love for cooking like his grandmother with all of Olmo. He and his husband Seth reside in Wooster Sq. where they have a dog, a lizard, and a beautiful garden.
CARA MINICHIELLO - PHOTOGRAPHER
Cara is a New York native who developed a love for photography while in high school and has grown as an artist since. She spent her free time at concert venues and parks with her camera capturing the essence of what surrounds the lens. Olmo is her first restaurant has clearly had a great eye for food all the while. As resident photographer, Cara gives Olmo the opportunity to update the community through images and content from behind the scenes. Cara is a social worker at Silver Hill Hospital by day working with psychiatric patients on the acute care unit. She teaches chef Craig the essentials of large Italian family cooking in their home kitchen located in Fair Haven. You can find Cara on Facebook and Instagram at CaraEvePhoto and her talents are a great complement to events.
JASON SOBOCINSKI - EVENTS / OWNER
Jason is everyone's best friend. The kind of energy that fills a room when he walks in. But it didn't come easy, over a decade of dedication towards the hospitality industry to turn him into one of the most well know restauranteurs in Connecticut. Growing up in Wooster Sq., Jason began his career being an everything kind of guy at Chestnut Fine Foods on State St. After graduating from Boston University, Jason piqued a curiosity in cheese while working at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. Upon leaving Formaggio to come back to his home city, Jason had become a cheesemonger - aka, cheese expert. And thus, a vision for changing New Haven's food scene was born. Although Jason's official title of his first restaurant was "Bus Boy", he saw an opening in the Elm City and approached it with passion. Jason opened Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro on the corner of Whitney and Trumbull - yes, where Olmo now lives. Caseus became an instant hit with a world class cheese selection, French and American classics executed with the best ingredients, and a laid back yet chaotic atmosphere way ahead of its time. Caseus, and working for Jason, became a restaurant that has turned out many young entrepreneurs all across the country. But it was not always about the cheese and the food, Jason preached great hospitality is what gets guests back through the doors. He learned this from his uncle Tony at Tre Scalini and to this day, that experience of learning how to treat your guests is still one of the most exciting times he had ever been a part of. Jason is driven by the image of the perfect service - one where the dining room is buzzing with energy and the kitchen is humming like a well oiled machine. Many have asked Jason why he closed the doors of Caseus to help be a part of the opening of Olmo, he answers by yelling loudly, "Brunch! Bagels! The future! Vegetables on Coals! Smells! Cheese!" Jason is the proud father to three children and a great dane with is wife in Hamden.