Eat It!

An alert (and hungry) “06880” reader writes:

A friend and I wonder how many restaurants there now are, and will be this fall with the new ones opening, plus the breakdown according to type of food and location. You’re the place to go to for this information. Maybe you should set up a page to rate them, too.

The answer is simple: Who knows how many? The Westport restaurant scene is like a video game: so much new stuff pops up all around, you can’t keep track of it all. So you concentrate on a few things, and hope you survive.

But crowd-sourcing is a good idea. Every Westporter — those with “227” phone numbers and those renting here for a week — can benefit from the wisdom (and taste buds) of others.

Here are a few categories; answer whichever you wish, and/or add your own. Click “Comments” — then make reservations.

  • Best casual restaurant
  • Best expensive restaurant
  • Best new restaurant
  • Best old place
  • Most underrated
  • Best ambiance
  • Best “scene”
  • Best place to take the kids
  • Best place without the kids
  • Best place for takeout
  • Place that most says “Westport” where you take out-of-towners
  • Restaurant for your last meal on earth
  • Make up your own categories
Sorry - voting is limited to current restaurants only.

Sorry – voting is limited to current restaurants only.

43 responses to “Eat It!

  1. Amelia Lehman

    Best Old Place – Mario’s

  2. Best casual place without question is Bar Taco and the best expensive place is Le Farm.

  3. Andrea Rourke

    Best healthy lunch is Aux Delices Salad Bar (choose 4) Dying to see this list!!

    Thanks Dan.

  4. Paula McInerney

    Love that picture! Where and when was it taken?

    Sent from my iPhone

    • The old Clam Box is now Bertucci’s. I found it on the internet (or maybe Facebook). For those who never knew it: It was a Westport icon. The upstairs room is where the town leaders’ “kitchen cabinet” often met to make important decisions.

      • geoff hodgkinson

        I was a bus boy at the Clam Box from 1963-1964 and became a seafood fanatic as a result. They had great clam chowder and fried clams, but my most vivid memory was of the head chef: a heavyset, ruddy character, slashing a pound and a half live lobster with one clean downward swipe of his cleaver on the chopping block. It rendered the lobster into two equal halves ready for broiling. I marveled at his artistry. He clearly knew his job and I was in awe.

  5. Bruce Nemirow

    Rizzuto’s is the most underrated

  6. Henrik Neuhaus

    Hi – love your blog but here’s something I don’t understand: what is special with a 227 number? Are these ‘old’ numbers rather number such as my own which is 454 so does the 454 mark me as a newbie? Curious to know. Best, Henrik

    • Great question. “227” was the original Westport 7-digit phone number (it was called “CApital 7” before the phone company went to all numerals). For years it was the only prefix. Then came 226, and — years later — 221. Then 454, and all hell broke loose. I’m not sure whether “227” numbers are being reused now, or if they’re all originals.

      People living in the east side of town, near Fairfield, had “259” (CLearwater 9) prefixes. Then came 254. And those on Saugatuck Shores had “VIctor 6” (846? I can’t remember) prefixes.

      And none of us had to dial “203” before making a local call.

      • Judi Simonetti

        And there was “222”! My dad’s number is still “227”. He’s had it since 1971, when he moved to Westport with my mom and brother … and I was in my mama’s belly! Comments on restaurants to follow! Oh, and our office number is “227” as well 🙂

        • Edward Bloch

          I believe “222” was issued to accommodate Stauffer Chemical Company when it moved into its corporate headquarters at Nyala Farm in 1972. Employees were given direct dial numbers and mine was 222-3456. People thought that was the company’s main line so I often had to explain why it was not. Also, “227” numbers were still being issued a few years ago. I obtained one as my fax number.

      • It doesn’t brand you as a newbie. When I got two new lines in 1998 I was assigned 2 numbers on same day, a 454 and a 227.

      • If you lived on Saugatuck Shores, you may have had a Norwalk 858 or 853 number. This mattered, as those numbers could reach Darien toll free, but not to Fairfield.
        -Dan Lasley

  7. mary hoffman

    the Bolognese at Tarry Lodge is amazing, my last meal

  8. Ruth Kalla Ungerer

    Our favorite old, Italian and best in town is Tutti’s!

  9. Jonas Shapiro

    Best Food Consistently and very
    “Westport”- Dressing Room
    Best “Traditonal” Pizza – Joes Pizza
    Best “New School” Pizza- Tarry Lodge
    Best Egg Sandwich- Commuter Cafe at train station.
    Best Seafood- The Whelk
    Best new restaurant – Thai place next to old Peters in Saugatuck. Rainbow?
    Best old place- Golds
    Most underrated- Tarantino or Red Hen in Westport Inn.
    Best place to take the kids- Sherwood Diner or Shake Shack
    Best French Fries- Joey’s by the Shore (Summer) or Spotted Horse ( all year)
    Best place without the kids- Le Farm
    Best Ice Cream- Carvel

  10. Judi Simonetti

     Best casual restaurant – Dunville’s! London broil with béarnaise sauce on toast points, well done crinkle fries and Stoli O with club soda is one of my favorites! They have a great kid’s cheeseburger for my daughter and I know my husband would probably have the London broil as well! Kick back with great music and know I’m surrounded by the best people!
     Best expensive restaurant – Pane Bene … love it there!
     Best new restaurant – Spotted Horse
     Best ambiance – Arezzo, love eating on the water and the food is delicious!
     Best “scene” – For me it’s always been Dunville’s (again!), but I don’t get out anymore. From what I understand, Bar Taco is great these days too!
     Best place to take the kids – Westport Pizzeria. It’s kept the same look forever (in a good way). I sat at the counter with my mom when I was a wee lad in the early 70’s, have a number of great memories there through my teens, twenties, thirties, etc., and now my daughter (too small still for the counter) eats there with me now! I love that fresh pizza!!
     Best place without the kids – Aqua … love Aqua for date night!
     Best place for takeout – Sakura!! YUM! It’s a very nice treat we indulge ourselves with. I love the hibachi experience, but it’s nice to just get it to go too. They take great care of their to go orders.
     Places I miss most – Big Top, Ships, Pearls and, most recently, V.

    • Holly Wheeler

      I believe Dunville’s closed.

    • Temi Weissman

      HI JUDI,
      WE TOOK YOUR ADVICE & WENT TO DUNVILLE’S LAST NIGHT AT 7:00 P.M. ( I WAS SO EXCITED AFTER READING WHAT YOU YOU WROTE, … MY EXPECTATIONS WERE REALLY HIGH….ALL THOUGH MY GRAMMY ALWAYS SAID, ” DON’T HAVE EXPECTATIONS, SO YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!! BIG MISTAKE…. THIS PLACE IS DARK….DIRTY…….DINGY…, AND SO DREARY. THE OTHER COUPLE WE WERE WITH WALKED OUT OF THERE BEFORE I COULD EVEN SHOW THEM THE MENU!! I FELT SO BAD. I PICKED THE PLACE, & THEY THOUGHT I WAS NUTS! IF THERE FOOD IS GOOD, NO-ONE KNOWS……IT WAS 7:00 ON A SATURDAY NIGHT AND ONLY ONE COUPLE WAS SITTING IN THE CORNER OF THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT…. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?
      SORRY……….YOUR PLACE NEEDS ROBERT IRVINE BADLY!!!

  11. I’m not sure exactly what categories they fit into, but I will call out the Westport Pizzeria, Gold’s Deli (you CAN sit down there, after all), and Art’s–which is not a restaurant, but given the perfection that is an Art’s Combo, who cares?

  12. Terry brannigan

    As a member if the lauded Allen’s Clam and Lobster House I am offended by the preferential treatment shown on this site to the Clam Box!

  13. Love this idea – will help us think of places to go that are out of our “usual zone!”
    Casual – the Duck
    Expensive – Splash
    New- Spotted Horse (soon to be Post 154 I think)
    Old – Mario’s & Arts
    Under-rated – Tarrantino’s
    Ambiance- Splash
    with kids – Rizzuto’s or Bobby Q’s
    w/o kids – Pane e Bene
    Take out – Wspt Chinese, Matsu or Westfair
    Best thin pizza – Acqua
    Thick pizza – Jordan’s

    When’s lunch – I’m getting hungry!!!!!

  14. ◾Best casual restaurant Black Duck
    ◾Best old place Red Barn
    ◾Most underrated Tarrantino
    ◾Best “scene” Black Duck, Rizuttos
    ◾Best place for Wings Black Duck
    ◾Place that most says “Westport” where you take out-of-towners Black Duck
    Best Burgers – Black Duck
    Best Place to Relax and Watch the (Good/Bad Weather) Black Duck
    Best Bar -Black Duck
    Can you tell I am biased? 🙂

  15. Holly Wheeler

    And … Big Top and Chubby Lane’s for 1960’s style fast food. BTS hot dogs to die for. Ditto Chubby’s hamburgers.

  16. Best by far is the incomparable Chez Pierre. And if anyone writes that it’s closed, it’ll always be open in my memory. There never again will be a trio like Pierre, Horst and Brendan. Any other CP fans out there?

  17. Temi Weissman was having trouble posting this comment. She asked me to do it for her:

    RE: Your Fav. restaurants question…. We all know Golds Deli, as far as Kosher, rules in Westport. But some think Oscars on Main is a close 2nd. Here’s the problem, without any other foods involved… They now store their HUGE pickle tub in the center of the deli… not behind the counter. I personally was there 2X, and saw children stick their hands/stuffed animals in this massive pickle tub. HOW GROSS & UNSANITARY!!! I complained to “MANAGEMENT” who blew it off quickly, although their fellow co-workers came over and also saw what happened and agreed with me and my friends that having the pickles there was a bad idea. This was over a month a ago and nothing changed. SO NASTY! We even suggested a cover perhaps w/tongs? No such avail…. Go check it out, Really bad idea. Maybe a nice picture on 06880 will show them this really bad hygiene, people in line to pay or get drinks at lunch time lean right over this “open” pickle germ infested tub. People will get sick….

  18. Sally Campbell Palmer

    Dinville’s is not closed and is still one of down home Westport’s best places. Check out Steve Carpentieri’s cocktail slinging skills and original drinks!

  19. Cathy Smith Barnett '66

    Red Barn still a mainstay in Westport and still enjoyable. Nobody mentioned Chinese so I’ll add Tiger Bowl to this list. It’s on the Southport Line but I think it qualifies as a Westport restaurant. When we eat there it’s usually with my vegetarian relatives and they are very accomodating there. We all seem to like it better than the place that closed in Saugatuck a while back. I have eaten at Tiger Bowl with carnivores as well and the food and service are always great.

  20. Dunville’s is very underrated – their specials are very good, and there bar is always jumping, especially on Wednesday after the sailing races. Better than the Duck IMO.
    Sakura’s hibachi is a great place to go with a group.
    -Dan Lasley

  21. Great to hear everyone’s restaurant preferences. Without getting to tangential, I just want to add a footnote about Westport phone numbers from the way-way back. When we moved to town in 1949 (I was just a wee girl) our phone number was a simple 2-6694.

  22. Cathy Romano

    I agree with Pam, our number was 24578 and my brother still has the same number. My cousin has had her same 227 number for at least 80 years. Some things change and some things never do. We are 227ers also.

    • Cathy Smith Barnett '66

      My mom’s Westport phone # has a 227 prefix and she’s lived there since 1956! Here’s to old time Westporters!

  23. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Best casual restaurant—-D’Ville or the Duck
    Best expensive restaurant—Le Farm
    Best new restaurant–BarTaco
    Best old place—The Duck—(BIG TOP ;-(
    Most underrated—Duck or D’Ville
    Best ambiance—BarTaco
    Best “scene”—BarTaco/The Whelk/Spotted Horse
    Best place to take the kids—Shake Shack– Or Bobby Qs
    Best place without the kids—Le Farm/The Whelk
    Best place for takeout—Art’s Deli—Combo is GOD!!!/Fried Clams at WestFair.
    Place that most says “Westport” where you take out-of-towners—in no order)1. Art’s Deli for a Combo, 2.Black Duck 3. The Whelk. 4. Stew Leonards(granted Norwalk but they are westporters). 5. BarTaco
    Restaurant for your last meal on earth…
    Make up your own categories

  24. Terry brannigan

    Bar Taco may have the hip wait and bar staff but the drinks are TINY!!!!

  25. And with Bodega just up the road, the food doesn’t hold a candle to them. But the location is PRIMO!!!

  26. Best service – Villa Del Sol

  27. Best Old Place? Westport Pizzeria!! (and the people who work there — they’re best, not necessarily old!)