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The Duck Gets Its Due

A good-sized crowd was on hand last night at the Black Duck.  That’s not unusual.  But the attraction this time was not the burgers, steamers or nachos.

Nor did the TVs show the Yankees or Mets. In what may be a Duck first, the sets were turned to The Food Network.

“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” — one of the network’s most popular shows — featured the Black Duck.  Customers hooped and hollered as they watched the restaurant, the food, even themselves on national TV.

It was so loud, owner Pete Aitkin had a hard time hearing.  But the words were all good:  kudos for the clams casino and steak au poivre.  Back-and-forth banter between Pete, host Guy Fieri and chef Tim Miller.  And plenty of props from satisfied patrons.

The show didn’t just happen.  A “local radio personality” — the network would not reveal more — suggested a feature on the Duck.  Pete was asked to send menus, photos of the food and restaurant, even a copy of his latest Health Department report.

A camera crew spent 2 days at the Duck last October.  It was a homecoming of sorts for Guy.  As a kid he visited relatives in Weston, and fondly remembered riding his bike to Westport Pizzeria.  (Delighted to hear it’s still here, he asked Pete how to get there.)

Several hours of filming was edited down to 8 minutes.  But the result pleased Pete, his staff and his regulars.

It will also please Pete’s purse strings.  This morning, he fielded several calls from people needing directions.  One man lives out by the casinos.

The show was first scheduled for January, then April.  Like a table at any good “diner, drive-in or dive” — or the Duck — it was well worth the wait.

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