Category Archives: Restaurants

The Duck As You’ve Never Seen It Before

You can count on a lot of things at the Black Duck: Great wings. A down-home vibe. Sports on TV.

Almost always, that means men’s sports.

But tonight the TVs were tuned to the Women’s World Cup semifinal.

When Carli Lloyd stepped up to take a penalty kick late in the scoreless match, everyone — including the bartenders and wait staff — stopped to watch.

Black Duck - Women's World Cup

She nailed it. The US added an insurance goal, to beat Germany 2-0.

We play England or Japan on Sunday.

You know at least one place to watch the championship game.

Cops Descend On Westport In Search Of…

…good Italian food.

Forget donuts. In 2015, police officers have a much more discerning palate.

Even so, Celia Offir was impressed — but not surprised — to see motorcycle cops from 4 different towns parked outside Gaetano’s the other day.

Gaetano's

Gaetano’s

Never heard of it? Gaetano’s flies under the radar. But in just a year the Italian deli near Super Stop & Shop has gained a fervent following for fantastic food, great service and a very friendly vibe.

Don’t believe me? Check out these Yelp reviews.

Or just ask a cop from Westport. Or Fairfield, New Canaan or Trumbull.

Steam May Evaporate

An urgent email from Steam — the organic coffee bar at the eastbound Westport train station — says they need $3,000 by Tuesday to stay in business.

So they’re throwing a fundraising party tomorrow (Sunday, June 28, 8 a.m. to 3 pm.) at their place.

They’ll offer food samples, coffee cupping (with local brewer Donny Raus), tea tasting, music and yoga.

A coffee bar is a tough business. The location — the “wrong” side of the tracks, in terms of when most people buy their joe — is not easy either.

But Steam has always been very community minded. This may be our chance to give a little something back, to a hard-working local business.

Steam sign

Downtown Changing Daily

With Bedford Square construction kicking into high gear, Westporters are treated to scenes we’ve never seen.

Like this view of Bobby Q’s patio, from Elm Street:

Bobby Q patio

Meanwhile, across the way in the Baldwin parking lot, workers are busily converting the Kemper-Gunn House into the home of Serena & Lily:

Kemper Gunn house

Want a different view? Developer David Waldman offers 2 drone videos of downtown.

The first (click here) shows the Bedford Square project and environs. The second (click here) is a broader perspective, including the Saugatuck River and former Save the Children property — the next property set for redevelopment.

A view of downtown, from David Waldman's drone.

A view of downtown, from David Waldman’s drone.

Harvesting Mario’s

Renovation work proceeds at the former Mario’s. This afternoon, the interior looked like this:

Mario's interior

The old facade is still up. But signs in the window call the new restaurant — Harvest — “a fresh take on our lifelong commitment to satisfying meals and loyal guests. Custom cuisine from farm to fork.”

The new spot opens in September.

Mario's exterior

Robeks Runs Out Of Juice

With its fellow Compo Acres tenants, Robeks endured weeks months years of construction.

Robeks logoFinally, it’s over.

But so is Robeks.

Today, the smoothie shop stands empty.

Don’t count on traffic to ease up for long in the notoriously difficult parking lot, though.

Chipotle opens soon.

The Last Lobster

Workers on Riverside Avenue are busy turning the former Mansion Clam House into Parker Steaks. That’s bad news for seafood lovers — but good news for diners who miss the mainstay of Mario’s, now closed around the corner.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

And The Newest Osprey Nest Is …

… atop the cell tower near Merritt Parkway Exit 41.

Osprey in cell tower at Exit 41 - Jo Ann Davidson

This pair — you can see an adult in the photo above, on top of the middle antenna — has an eye for real estate.

They’re close to the Y and the Red Barn. Not far from downtown.

Plus they’ve found a great way to beat the Merritt and Wilton Road traffic.

(Hat tip and photo: Jo Ann Davidson)

Al’s Angels’ Special “Ades”

Just over a decade ago — a few days after his 10th birthday — Aaron Gaberman was diagnosed with 2 rare and aggressive brain tumors.

His life suddenly became a blur of doctor visits, spinal taps, blood tranfusions, surgeries and long stays in the ICU.

But he never gave up. Thanks to indefatigable courage, a strong will to succeed, and the loving support of family, friends and community members, Aaron forged on. He played baseball, golf and the violin, while becoming an excellent student, good friend, leader and inspiration.

Aaron was the 3rd patient in the US to participate in a new clinical trial. The results were good — but 3 years later a routine MRI revealed a growth behind his right eye. It was removed in a lengthy procedure, and Aaron persevered with his quiet resolve and unflagging determination.

Cancer survivor Aaron Gaberman leads a very active life.

Cancer survivor Aaron Gaberman leads a very active life.

In December 2013, after his 1st semester at Marist College, another regular MRI detected a spinal nerve tumor. Once again, Aaron endured lengthy surgery. Despite pain and loss of mobility, he made the dean’s list.

But the tumor grew back aggressively. Another operation was successful. Through lengthy physical therapy sessions and conditioning workouts, Aaron grows stronger every day.

To pay forward the many kindnesses he’s received, Aaron and his family joined Al’s Angels. The Westport-based non-profit provides assistance to children and families suffering hardship due to life-threatening illnesses or poverty.

In founder Al DiGuido, they saw a true “angel” whose organization provides hope to many. They were particularly impressed that after an exhausting trip home from the hospital, Al’s Angels surprised them with a Thanksgiving dinner. Now, they help prepare holiday food baskets for others.

Al’s Angels depends on the generosity of local residents. This month, we’ve all got some clever — and fun — ways to help.

On Saturday, June 6 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), over 100 lemonade stands will pop up in front of stores, and in residential neighborhoods, throughout Fairfield County.

The “Angel-ade” stands will include lemonade products donated by Newman’s own, and cookies from ShopRite and Westport-based Nothin’ But.

Al's AngelsIn addition, dozens of national retailers and local merchants — including
Bartaco, Castle Wine, Coffee An’, Downunder, Edge Fitness, Fetzer Tire, Freshii, Garelick & Herbs, JoyRide, Saugatuck Rowing Club, Saugatuck Sweets, SoNo Baking Company, SoulCycle, Splatterbox, Stiles Market, Vespa, Viva Zapata, Westport Hardware, Westport Wash & Wax and the Westport Family YMCA — are donating products or retail space for each stand.

Throughout June too, more than 25 Connecticut bars and restaurants will offer “Angel-ade cocktails.” They’ll donate $2 per cocktail to Al’s Angels. Local sites include Blue Lemon, Bobby Q’s and Spotted Horse.

Kids have done the toughest things: persevering through horrible illnesses. Al’s Angels have done the next hardest:  helping them.

Now all you have to do is buy some lemonade, or a cocktail.

Life is really not that rough.

Subway Series

Westport’s Subway station restaurant has closed.

The old Subway...

The old Subway…

But don’t worry, supposedly-healthy food fans. It’s reopening.

And you won’t have to change anything about your routine. The new location is just a few foot-longs away.

The old Subway was across Cedar Street from Starbucks, in a tired strip mall with almost no parking.

The new one is just as close to Starbucks — across the Post Road, in what used to be the Boccanfuso building. It’s newer, brighter, and parking is better.

...and the new.

…and the new.

Someone busily renovating the new site said it would open as early tomorrow — if it passes inspections today.

(Hat tips: Mary Hoffman and Tina Piccolino)