From its founding in 1926 through the end of the 20th century, Christie’s Country Store had strong Westport roots. The Masiello family — first Christie herself, then her nephew Don — owned the Cross Highway landmark, for nearly 7 decades.
Christie’s is still around — and its Westport roots are deeper than ever.
John Hooper — who bought the place this fall — has a family deed dating back to the Indians. He’s kept the Jazz Age Masiello photos on the wall — and added a genealogy chart of the Nash’s, 1 of Westport’s founding families. An old chest bears the name Sipplerley — another famed local name.
New chef Dan Renzulli — how’s that for another old-time Westport family? — laid out a great spread last night, introducing guests to the catering menu. There was tempura scallop and spring onion with lemon cilantro cream; crab and asparagus beignet with orange beurre blanc; grilled tenderloin of lamb with arugula and peppercorn demi-glace; smoked salmon napoleon, and more.
But don’t worry — Christie’s hasn’t gone all frou-frou. You can still buy sandwiches, burgers, salads and burritos. There’s a breakfast menu — hey, the tables might make a great spot to hang out and drink coffee! — and on weekends, a flat-screen TV shows cartoons for kids while parents shop and schmooze.
“We want to give people more than they expect,” John’s wife Renee Hooper said last night.
They do. The Hoopers, Nashes and Sipperleys of the 1600s might not understand bagels. But they would be proud.