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Benvenuti, Batali!

“Abbondanza” is Italian for abundance.

Mario Batali

“Abundant” certainly describes Mario Batali’s empire.  The restaurant owner, chef, cookbook author, TV personality and philanthropist has created restaurants — and buzz — in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Singapore.

Now, add Westport to the list.

On Friday, according to Skip Lane of Cushman & Wakefield, Batali closed on the former Abbondanza property.  The popular restaurant/speciality food store — across from the Charles Street office building in Saugatuck — closed last April.  (It reopened in August, in Fairfield.)

No details on Batali’s newest venture are available yet, such as a projected opening date or name.  He prefers Italian names — Babbo Ristorante, Lupa Osteria Romana, Pizzeria Mozza — and of course for nearly a century Saugatuck was a vibrant Italian community.

Something honoring renowned Saugatuck families might work — Santella Ristorante perhaps, or Pizzeria Nistico.

“06880” readers are invited to submit their own suggestions.   Click “Comments” above — we’ll pass them along to Signore Batali.

(Posted 12:40 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7, 2011)

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