Benvenuto, Positano!

When Positano closed on December 31 — the victim of rising rents and tough parking — Westport lost one of its last waterfront restaurants.

We’re left now with only Rive Bistro. (And Joey’s by the Shore — the best beach concession anywhere.)

But the restaurant gods giveth, as well as taketh.

Positano is adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse.

Positano is adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse.

Positano opened last night in its new digs, next to the Westport Country Playhouse. So — after 18 dark months — theater-goers now have a great, convenient spot for a pre-show meal or post-show drink.

And the rest of us have another excellent restaurant to savor.

The cast is the same. Joseph Scarpati still owns Positano. He still cooks alongside his son Fernando, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef. His daughter Aida remains involved too.

The new Positano is bigger than the former spot on Old Mill Beach. There’s a full sit-down bar, which it lacked before. There’s room in the back for private parties. And a patio in front. (Despite being on the beach, zoning issues inhibited outdoor dining at the old place.)

Without any fanfare, Positano opened last night. These women were the first customers for today's lunch.

Without any fanfare, Positano opened last night. These women were the first customers for today’s lunch.

The focus is still on authentic regional Italian cuisine. But the prices are lower than before.

The previous restaurant — The Dressing Room — was Paul Newman and Michel Nischan’s showpiece. The Scarpatis have honored their sustainable vision.

EcoChi, the designers, have reused the original Alabama barn wood found by Newman. Lighting fixtures, dining chairs, even table settings — all are designed with environmental integrity in mind.

Positano serves lunch from 11 a.m., and dinner from 4 p.m., 7 days a week. It’s worth checking out– even if you have to drive from Old Mill Beach.

This arresting artwork hangs on the Positano wall. The lemons represent the prized Amalfi Sfususato lemon, so sweet it's meant to be eaten raw. The Italian village of Positano is on the Amalfi Coast.

This arresting artwork hangs on the Positano wall. The lemons represent the prized Amalfi Sfususato lemon, so sweet they can be eaten raw. The Italian village of Positano is on the Amalfi Coast.

11 responses to “Benvenuto, Positano!

  1. Matt Murray

    That space will always be Player’s Tavern to me!

  2. Robert Mitchell

    If you include Rive Bistro as ‘waterfront’, then what about Vespa, Arezzo, Boathouse, not to mention BarTaco and the Duck?

  3. Denise Torve

    There’s also Arezzo, The Boathouse and Bar Taco – nice riverfront locations and good food! Good luck to the new Positano!

  4. don l bergmann

    To Joe Scarpatti,
    As one who knows you well from Old Mill Beach and who long enjoyed your food and your wonderful joy of life, Sheila, I and Zelda wish you, as well as your wife, son and daughter, great success. You are a terrific guy and deserve all the good that running a fine restaurant can generate. Don

  5. It will always be backstage to me…..

  6. Looking forward to seeing them in their new location.

  7. Everyone should go and try each restaurant in town ONCE. If you don’t like it, don’t go back. But make the effort to support each and every restaurant.
    Let’s face it— there are so many mediocre restaurants in this town so I believe folks should be excited when a new one arrives or reopens.