Roundup: Basso Restaurant, Hotel Marcel, Santa Claus, More

First it was the Fine Arts III movie theater. Then it was Matsu Sushi restaurant.

Now 33 Jesup Road is poised to become Basso Restaurant and Wine Bar.

After 13 years in Norwalk, Chef Renato Donzelli is moving here. He and his crew will double their current space, and have access to outside dining.

Donzelli says he will “introduce contemporary, inventive menu items to the already beloved Mediterranean repertoire.”

French, Portuguese and Greek specialties will be added, along with artisinal Neapolitan pizza made in a wood-fired oven.

He expects to open later this month, after renovations that include exposed brick walls, recycled wood and leather furniture, and artwork that pays homage to Donzelli’s Mediterranean background. (Hat tip: Jeff Jacobs)

I really like the men and women who work at CVS. Though overworked and (I am sure) underpaid, they are always polite, eager to help, and friendly.

And they do it all despite having to put up with what they know is corporate imbecility.

The other day, I made an appointment online for a flu shot. 10 this morning worked perfectly. And sure enough, at 9:30 a.m. I got a text reminder. It included instructions on how to check in online.

“Welcome, DAN!” the next screen said. “When you arrive at the store, tap the button to let our pharmacy know you’re here.”

“I’m here at the store,” I tapped.

The pharmacist seemed surprised to see me. “We’re out of flu shots,” she apologized.

“But I made an appointment online!” I said. “They told me to come in. Why couldn’t they have told me you ran out?”

“I’m sorry,” she apologized again. “They don’t have that capability.”

“That’s pretty stupid,” I said, stupidly stating the obvious.

“I know,” she agreed.

My blood pressure was dangerously high. I should have asked for some medicine.

Then again, it was probably out of stock.

Every I-95 driver knows the former Armstrong Rubber Company headquarters in New Haven. That’s Marcel Breuer’s 1960s-era concrete box on the left as you head north, just before the I-91 merge.

The former Armstrong Rubber Company headquarters. (Photo/John Muggenborg for New York Times)

It’s been vacant for a while. But it’s being converted into what the New York Times says “could be the most energy-efficient hotel in the country.”

Hotel Marcel’s developer and architect — Westport-based Bruce Becker — is building it to meet net-zero energy standards. It will generate as much energy as it uses.

“It’s probably the most challenging project I’ve ever undertaken, particularly since we’re doing it during a pandemic,” Becker told the Times.

“But I’ve been intrigued with the building at least since I was a graduate student at Yale in the late ’80s, and I thought it could be fascinating.”

One more Westport connection: Saugatuck’s LANDTECH is the project’s site/civil engineer.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)

A while back, Katie Larson’s daughter asked what would happen if Santa Claus fell asleep on Christmas Eve. Cute!

Just as cute: The 1995 Weston High School graduate (Katie — not her daughter) has just published a children’s book. “The Night Santa Fell Asleep” is now available in paperback. Click here to order. (Hat tip: Erin Regan)

And finally … Booker T. Washington died 105 years ago today. The educator, author, orator and adviser to US presidents was 59 years old.

9 responses to “Roundup: Basso Restaurant, Hotel Marcel, Santa Claus, More

  1. Cathleen O'Brien

    Dan – Visiting Nurse in Wilton has a weekly drive through flu clinic in their (small!) parking lot! Check their website. Looks like next one is 11/18 W from 2-4:30. They have option of high dose or regular. They take insurance. It was easy and quick, no appointment needed. I think Westport Urgent Care is also advertising them for $25. Get your shot and be well!

  2. Love this tune …15+ years our opener…
    Classic MG’s bass and guitar single note unison .
    Time Is Tight was originally written as a movie theme-
    using that rarely heard finale /tag out.
    thank you Booker and Steve…. and Dan!!…for keeping it alive.
    Old School Music

  3. Priscilla Long

    Well, Dan, you are in good company with CVS and your experience with the Flu vaccine. Exact same thing happened to me. They are the most disorganized pharmacuetical game in town. I keep threatening to leave – but I am lazy. Achorn Pharmacy came to the rescue for me. Good luck in your search.

  4. Ellen Dale Naftalin

    Love the Booker T.

  5. More commonly known as the Pirelli Tire Building.

    Glad this architectural gem will be preserved.

  6. Cvs is not doing a good job from what I’ve seen. The one in Westport is a disaster. It takes 30 minutes on average to pickup a rx. They say they will expedite it and it will be ready in 10 but that 10 will become 20 then 30 sometimes 40. When they had flu shots in stock they were turning people away due to computer issues for a whole week. Two things that shouldn’t be happening during a pandemic. The employees seem tired, overworked, and they say cvs benefits are horrible.

  7. Dan, switch to the CVS in Norwalk, Willard street, just beyond the movie theater, big, open, drive through and never a line. Also, flu shot took 5 minutes yesterday. Hope you are well.

  8. Got mine at Achorn Pharmacy. Excellent customer service, they never disappoint.

  9. Anne Lutz Fernandez

    I am sad to see our neighborhood gem, Basso Restaurant, move away from Norwalk, but I am excited to see chef Renato Donzetti have a chance to showcase his amazing skills in Westport. His food is very special, his staff is exemplary, and he will be a fantastic, inspiring community member for my second town. I can’t wait to see the new digs.