Last week — aka “several lifetimes ago” — I got a press release from Pearl at Longshore. The restaurant had a new executive chef. That week, he’d introduce a new seasonal menu.
I don’t run press releases. But I knew that Pearl had recently renovated its interior and made other changes.
That made for a perfect “06880” story: the challenges facing a restaurant with a very good reputation, in a location that for many Westporters is out of sight most of the year.
I made plans to chat with owners Marc and Lois Backon on Saturday. By then — just a few days later — life had changed dramatically. But the Westport couple were upbeat about the future. Pearl was still poised to forge ahead. I got ready to write.
Two days after that, things changed even more dramatically.
With restaurants restricted to curbside takeout and delivery only, Pearl joined dozens of other Westport establishments in a new world order. I figured my story was as old as last week’s news.
Yesterday morning, a very generous reader offered to use her credit card for dinner for me at — what a coincidence! — Pearl.
It was an offer too good to pass up. I gratefully accepted.
I checked out the menu online. At 5 p.m., I called it in: thyme-roasted salmon, with a side of crispy brussels sprouts. They said it would be ready at 5:30.
I preferred 6:15. They were happy to accommodate that. I should just call when I got there.
At 6:15 sharp, I pulled into the nearly empty lot. I called.
Moments later, David Donnelly — one of the managers — opened the door. He came out. Wearing gloves, and keeping his distance, he set the bag down. (Technically, I guess that makes it “step-side,” not curbside.)
I drove home. I enjoyed the very tasty (and healthful) salmon and sprouts.
Would I have enjoyed it much more inside, sharing one of Pearl’s new booths with friends, or outside in one of the comfy chairs they installed a couple of weeks ago?
But that’s not a choice now. And if enough Westporters take advantage of takeout dining, there’s a much better chance that Pearl — and other restaurants all around town — will be here this summer, to welcome us back in.
(For a list of restaurants and markets serving curbside meals, and/or delivering, click here.)