Category Archives: Restaurants

Tree Lighting Honors Angela Trucks

When Angela Trucks died last month at 69, she left a legacy of beauty.

Angela Trucks

As co-chair of the town’s Beautification Committee for well over a decade, she championed the Re-Greening of the Post Road. The project encouraged business owners to take pride in their property, with the most outstanding “streetscapes” recognized at an annual awards ceremony.

Today, great streetscapes include Terrain and Jesup Hall. So it’s fitting that both are collaborating on a memorial tree lighting that celebrates Angela’s life.

The event is this Saturday (December 7, 5:30 p.m.), on the Jesup Hall patio. Attendees are asked to bring coats and/or clothing, to benefit Homes with Hope.

Terrain donated and decorated the tree. The Westport Downtown Merchants Association is contributing ornaments and tree tags, so people can write warm thoughts of Angela or a loved one they’d like to remember.

The tree lighting is part of a “Holiday Jam” (4 to 6 p.m.). It includes live music, and free warm drinks for kids and adults. Rothbard’s will provide complimentary mulled wine, while Amis will have a s’mores table.

But the tree lighting in Angela’s memory is the centerpiece. “Hang messages from its branches, to sparkle in the light,” her friends and colleagues urge.

And then enjoy the beauty — literal and figurative — of downtown Westport.

Angela’s friend from Terrain, Page Englehart, adds this tribute:

Angela lived in Westport for a quarter century. Seven years ago, having gardened every allowable nook in town (legally or otherwise), she signed up to help transform our Cadillac dealership into Terrain.

Angela was an original Mother Earth. She bemoaned homes that did not have a hose, shovel or garden tool of any kind. She loved sharing her knowledge of plants and design with her clients — those who wanted “just pink flowers,” those who had budgets, and those who did not. She was a master at inspiring people who had seen it all before, and those who confessed to knowing “absolutely nothing.”

Angela Trucks, hanging a basket on Main Street.

Angela was a team player. The physical work she led us to do was at times hard, but she was always the hardest worker among us. And although she’d send newbies to string outdoor lights on the waterfront side of properties in December, she was always there to help, encourage and indulge a good natter on whatever ailed you, anytime of day (particularly over a sandwich).

Her husband Bill made her iconic sandwiches (peanut butter and apple, turkey and homemade horseradish).  She’d tear off a section of the sandwich to share with you before loading her red Toyota Tercel with bags, brooms, branches, moss, plants, lights, wires and tools.

Angela never struggled with the small stuff.  She understood the ebbs of nature and its beauty in any season, how the woods blended, how each plant worked with the other. She understood the same of people.

When Angela fell ill, and when she was no longer popping over to clients’ homes despite her cancer, our Terrain folk thought of ways we could lift her spirits — when she came home, when she got better …. a Christmas tree in her honor, perhaps.

When she died, many clients came together to celebrate her imprint on our community: Terrain, the DMA, Jesup Hall and Amis. All felt the best way to memorialize her was with a seasonal tree decorated with natural ingredients — vines, cones, branches and metal tree tags, to sparkle in the light and ring in the darkness.

The tree tags also gave us the opportunity to make Angela’s tree the town’s tree, by encouraging everyone to inscribe a thought or wish before hanging them on the branches. Whether they knew her or not, these tags allow us all to connect with Angela’a good spirit, with her love of the natural world, with a wink.

When the tree comes down at the end of the season, we hope to collect the tags and give them to the Trucks family.

Menu Moments: What To Eat At Tutti’s

If you haven’t been to Tutti’s, then you’re not a real Westporter.

There’s more than just great Italian food at this Saugatuck staple, steps from the train station.

As soon as you walk in, Tutti’s wants you to feel like you’re part of the family.

Tutti’s parking lot is filled during the Slice of Saugatuck. The restaurant is an important part of the neighborhood.

Which makes sense: It’s a family-run business. Owner and head chef Pasquale Funicello is responsible for Tutti’s homestyle cooking.

Pasquale was born in Salerno, and was introduced to the kitchen at age 10. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of Sorrento in 1972. He has been cooking delicious Italian meals in the Westport area almost since then.

Pasquale and his wife Maria — who  runs the front line with warmth and a smile — were the original owners of Angelina’s Trattoria in Westport, back in the 1980s.

Tutti’s owners Pasquale and Maria Funicello.

Tutti’s motto is “Good food, good friends” — and they live it daily.

Tutti’s happily accommodates special requests, and will make any entree gluten-free. They just want you to enjoy your meal.

Westport-based nutritionist Heather Bauer serves up her top healthy picks — of all types — below.

Heather’s Tips

Italian food is traditionally high in carbohydrates, so if you’re trying to lose weight it’s best to skip the bread, pizza and pasta dishes.

However, if you’re on maintenance you can add 1 to 2 slices of pizza, or share a pasta dish as your appetizer in addition to one of my recommendations below. Use this meal as your carb for the day, so avoid a carb serving at breakfast or lunch.

I also recommend avoiding creamy sauces, and choosing white wine or garlic- based sauces instead. Based on my eating plan, the red sauce will count as your carb, so choose piccata, cacciatore or marsala sauce.

However, if you want to have a little pasta and are in the weight loss phase, have pasta fagioli soup. It’s quite filling, and can satisfy your cravings.

One of the many delicious dishes at Tutti’s.

Appetizers 

  • Pasta fagioli soup
  • Small Caesar salad
    • This has an amazing homemade dressing, but request it on the side.
    • Keep the anchovies for an added boost of omega-3s.
  • House salad
    • If ordering for 1 person, choose the small size.
  • House salad with portobello and asparagus
    • Vegetarians: Order a large for your entree, and have the pasta fagioli or caprese as an appetizer.
  • Italian chopped salad

Appetizers to share:

Order your own house salad and share any of these:

  • Caprese
  • Cold antipasto
  • Prosciutto, red peppers and mozzarella
  • Prosciutto, artichoke and mozzarella

Tutti’s Caprese salad

Healthy Entrees

*For all entrees, request double veggies and skip the pasta

  • Any salad recommendation above can be ordered in the large size for entree. Add grilled chicken, grilled salmon (my favorite), grilled steak, shrimp or scallops.
    • Example: order the large Caesar salad with grilled salmon.
  • Chicken scallopini
    • The piccata style is a healthier option.
    • Order without butter.
  • Chicken parm
    • Order grilled and without breading.
  • Eggplant parmesan
    • Order grilled and without breading.
  • Grilled salmon with spinach
    • Request pesto sauce on the side.
  • Stuffed tomato (grilled chicken with veggies)
    • This is from the lunch menu; it’s more popular in the summer months.
  • Zuppa di Pesce
    • This is a filling entree that takes time to eat.

Side Veggies to Share:

  • Sauteed broccoli rabe
  • Sauteed spinach

Gluten-Free Options:
Any entree can be made gluten-free.

  • Pizza

It’s A Small Jazz World

John Stowell is a noted jazz guitarist.

He’s performed around the world — including, in 1983, the Soviet Union’s first public jazz performance in 40 years. Stowell has also been artist-in-residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, the US and Canada.

He recorded with Lionel Hampton. He appeared on BET Jazz Discovery. His “Through the Looking  Glass” LP was chosen as one of the Best Jazz Albums of the Decade by the Los Angeles Examiner.

John Stowell

Greg Wall — “The Jazz Rabbi,” and a world-renowned saxophonist — knew all of that when he asked Stowell to join him this Thursday (December 5), for 2 shows at Pearl at Longshore (6:30 and 8:15 p.m.).

One thing Wall did not know, though: Stowell is a 1968 graduate of Staples High School.

The connection came out as they chatted. Though Stowell — who now lives in Portland, Oregon — still has many friends in the area, and visits once or twice a year, he has not played here in at least 40 years.

Despite his pedigree, Stowell is not a product of the Westport schools’ famed music program. He came late to jazz — after Staples. He studied with, and was mentored by, John Mehegan and Linc Chamberland.

He left Fairfield County in 1974, for New York. Two years later, he headed to the West Coast.

Stowell looks forward to playing in Westport — and meeting Wall. They’ll be joined by 7-time Grammy-winning bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Rogerio Boccato.

Neither of whom — as far as we know — has a local connection. Besides, that is, bringing cool jazz music to a very cool venue.

Greg Wall, the Jazz Rabbi.

“Local Love” Is Back!

Last year — just in time for the holidays — local shoppers and diners enjoyed a spectacular discount coupon book. Dozens of area stores and restaurants offered deals — and part of the sales went to a plan to build a playground downtown.

“Local Love” returns for a second year. Card sales are already live. And the dream of a downtown playground is closer to reality. Plans are in place, with completion scheduled for this summer at Bedford Square.

The playground tie-in is strong. People buying the Local Love card can have their name — or their child’s — on a commemorative plaque there.

Artist’s rendering of the Bedford Square playground.

The “local” part of the campaign is important. Organizers Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post want to do the same thing with the card as they do with their multi-platform WestportMoms site: “keep our town vibrant, keep businesses alive, keep people connected, and celebrate everything this community has to offer.”

This is a true townwide effort. Megan and Melissa have partnered with civic officials, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and over 100 retailers, spas, fitness studios and restaurants.

The campaign runs from Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 15. Coupon books are $40; click here to purchase.

For a full list of participants, scroll down:

Appliances & Electronics

Stanton Miles (Vaccums) – 20% off

Arts, Art Classs & Flowers

Compo Flowers – 10% off orders $100+
One River Art School  – $75 off first month of a weekly class membership
Westport Country Playhouse – Buy 3 tickets, get the 4th free (25% off) – Box office only

Clothing & Accessories

Alala – 20% off
Anthropologie – 20% off
Athleta – 20% off
Bella Bridesmaids – 20% off (some exclusions)
Cotelac – 20% off
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Fred – 20% off; 10% off for members
Great Stuff – 20% off (some exclusions)
Groove – 20% off
J. Crew – 20% off
Joie – 20% off
Jojo Maman – Up to 50% off, plus gift in store
Madewell – 20% off (excludes denim)
Marine Layer – 20% off purchase over $425
NIC + ZOE – 20% off
Scout & Molly – 20% off
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Soleil Toile – 20% off purchases over $150
Southern Tide – 20% off
South Moon Under – 20% off
Splash of Pink – 20% off
Theory – 20% off
West – 20% off
Winged Monkey – 20% off (excludes gowns and select other items)

Fleet Feet in Sconset Square is filled with running gear, and accessories.

Fitness

Bar Method – 15% off
Club Pilates – $10 membership fee, plus 15% off 3-month membership
CST 50 – 20% off a 5-pack (one-time use)
F45 Westport – 15% off class packs and membership
Gym Source (fitness equipment) – 20% off
Joyride Cycling + Fitness- 15% off
PureBarre – 15% off
Row House – 15% off
Solid Core – 15% off a 5-pack or a private in-studio 12 person class
Stretch Lab – 15% off
Upper Deck Fitness – 20% off

Hair & Nails

Amenity Nail & Spa – 20% off, plus free manicure with pedicure
Blow Dry Westport – 15% off products and services
Greg & Tony Salon – 15% off products and services
Hair Genies – 15% off
Le Boudoir – 15% off
Nail Factory – 15% off
Roots Salon – 15% off
Sharkey’s – 20% off services and retail products
Steven Mancini – 15% off products and services
Studio on Main – 15% off gift cards and retail
WHIP Salon – 15% off products and services

Don’t give lice for the holidays. Hair Genies can help!

Health, Beauty, & Spa

Artistex Salon & Spa – 15% off
The Brow Girl – 20% off
Dermatology Associates – 15% off botox and fillers (on Main Street)
Dream Spa – 20% off
European Wax – 15% off products and services
Modern Dermatology – 15% off all skincare products (excluding Alastin and SkinBetter)
New England Hemp Farm – 15% off
Restore Cryotherapy – 15% off all services
Westport Dental Associates (teeth whitening) – $399 ZOOM Teeth Whitening (40%+ discount); 2 Quip toothbrushes for $40 (normally $30 each); $20 off kids Sonicare with purchase of Adult Sonicare

Home Decor & Gifts

Belmondo – 20% off one-time purchase
Fig – 20% off
Party Harty – 20% off (excluding helium)
Redi-Cut Carpet – 20% off
Savannah Bee – 20% off honey products
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Tusk – 20% off select items (designated in store)
William-Sonoma – 20% off

Savannah Bee Company: a honey of a local business.

Jewelry

Faye Kim Fine Jewelry – 20% off select items
Lux Bond & Green – 10% off (20% off select items)
Noya – 10% off select jewelry items
Silver Ribbon Jewelry – 10% off

Pet Care

Earth Animal – 20% off

Restaurants & Food Services

190 Main – 10% off
A&S Food – 10% off
Bagel Maven – 10% off
Black Duck – 10% off
The Boathouse (at Saugatuck Rowing Club) – 10% off
The Cottage – 10% off dinner
Field Trip Snacks – 20% off
Freshii – 10% off
Garelick & Herbs – 10% off
Gold’s Deli – 10% off restaurant dining
The Granola Bar – 10% off
Green & Tonic – 10% off menu; 30% off detox and cleanse
Ignazio’s – 10% off
Jesup Hall – 10% off
Joe’s Pizza – 10% off
Le Rouge by Aarti (chocolates) – 10% off
Match Burger Lobster – 10% off
The Meatball Shop – 10% off
Mystic Market – 10% off
OKO – 10% off lunch
Organic Market – 10% off
The Pearl – 10% off
Le Penguin – 10% off
Planet Pizza – 10% off
Rizzuto’s – 10% off
Rye Ridge Deli – 15% off
The Spotted Horse – 10% off
Stiles Market – 10% off butcher, deli and prepared foods
Tarrylodge – 10% off
Tavern on Main – 10% off
Wafu – 10% off
Westport Pizza – 10% off
Winfield Street & Deli – 10% off

Gold’s Deli: a Westport favorite for over 60 years.

Sporting Goods

ASF Sports and Outdoors – 20% off footwear
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Ski & Sport – 15% off ski rentals and 20% off (10% off Bogner)
Soccer & Rugby Imports – 20% off

Toys

Age of Reason – 20% off
The Toy Post – 20% off

Hail To The Wreckers: The Sequel

Yesterday — in a post about Staples High School’s sports mascot — I said I was pretty positive there’s no other team in the country with our nickname: the Wreckers.

No one disagreed.

But Pete Aitkin knows of one school that — many years ago — was also the Wreckers.

Key West High.

The owner of the Black Duck is also a noted speedboat racer. He’s been to Key West many times.

Their original “Wreckers” nickname came, he says, from the long-ago practice of stringing fake lights, to lure unsuspecting cargo ships onto reefs. Locals would then swarm the wrecks, and loot them.

A while ago though, they changed their name. Key West High — which sounds like a pretty chill place — is now the home of the Conchs.

The name — and the mascot — do not instill “nearly as much fear in opponents as the mean-looking Wrecker,” Aitkin notes.

The reason for yesterday’s post was the antiquated — but still occasional – use of “Lady Wreckers” when referring to girls teams.

Several commenters wrote that once upon a time, the term was “Wreckerettes.”

Down in Key West, the cheerleaders are still called the “Conchettes.”

That’s not a great sports name. Perhaps, though, Jimmy Buffett could use it for his backup singers.

Single-Use Plastics Ban: It’s Now The Law

Alert “06880” reader and RTM member Andrew Colabella writes:

As we embark on the 6-month anniversary of the first single-use plastics ban east of the Mississippi, I extend a big thank you on behalf of my co-sponsors: P3, the Conservation Department and Westport Weston Health District.

Last May, the Representative Town Meeting passed an ordinance that prohibits food establishments from distributing certain plastic food service containers to customers. Food products produced and packaged off-site are exempt.

We lead 46 states, along with cities in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. It takes a village to clean a village, but it takes a town to lead the world. Our intent was to lead with perseverance, ease, and informative alternatives to make the transition smooth.

On November 7, the ordinance took effect in Westport. This means that single- use plastic items such as straws, stirrers, plates, cups, to-go containers, and all expanded polystyrene products such as Styrofoam cannot be distributed to patrons of food service establishments in town.

However, PLA (plant-based) containers are allowed.  In addition, plastic straws will still be available upon request to those who need them for a medical or physical reason.

New straws at Pink Sumo.

The ordinance tried to be realistic in its wording, taking into consideration whether acceptable alternative options for certain products are available. This is why utensils are not covered under this ordinance: There are no viable, cost-effective alternatives readily available.

Plastic utensils for take-out orders are available upon request. Plastic lids are also allowed.

The purpose of the ordinance is to collectively change our behavior, to steer us away from increasing our individual carbon footprint, reducing waste, and incentivizing new product development. This should also result in the added benefit to our food service establishments of reducing their garbage output, and extending the length they hold inventory of these products.

Establishments throughout town have already started switching over to more sustainable serving products. However, the Conservation Department — which is responsible for enforcement — has agreed that all establishments which still have an inventory of single use plastic products may be allowed to use and distribute them past the November 7 date.

It would be counterproductive to force establishments to throw out products that can still serve a purpose. Please be patient and respectful of these businesses, as we all work together.

Single-use plastic is everywhere. (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

The transition will take time. You may note that some newer products look and feel like plastic, but actually are not. This polylactic acid material is a plant/leaf –based product allowed under the ordinance. PLA is beneficial because, if it is incinerated along with other garbage generated in Westport, no toxic fumes are emitted.

PLA is not recyclable with other recyclable plastics, but it is compostable under the right conditions. Unlike plastic which is made from petroleum, PLAs contain no benzene or styrene, which are carcinogenic products, and are made from a renewable resource.

Out of 78 million metric tons of plastic produced yearly, only 14% is actually recycled. At one time China, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and other Asian countries purchased our plastic recyclables. They have now ended up in their tributaries, creating floating garbage islands around the world.

These countries no longer accept our recycled plastic products. Westport has always led the East Coast as an agent of change for advancing environmental protection, education, innovation, safety, and reducing waste fiscally and physically. This ordinance is one more example of that effort.

As we change the way we use these products provided by our businesses, which are often disposed of frivolously, we are committed as a town to reduce our waste.

We also expect private industry to introduce more environmentally friendly, harmless alternative packaging products. In the end, reducing usage, reducing demand and increasing inventory lifespan will reduce our waste.

 

Menu Moments: What To Eat At Little Barn

If you want rustic-chic, American-style food, search no further than Little Barn. With delicious food, great drinks and lively entertainment — all in a barn-like building, served by friendly staff — Little Barn has a special charm.

From lobster mac n’ cheese to a Tuscan kale salad, they offer a wide selection of food for everyone, including vegetarians, vegans, and those on a gluten-free diet.

Enter here for the Little Barn.

Westport-based nutritionist Heather Bauer serves up her top healthy picks for Little Barn.

NOTE: Because the portions are so generous, all starters can be shared.

For Vegetarians

Appetizers

  • The Tuscan kale salad is the perfect way to start your meal. To lighten things up, order it without cranberries and pecans.
  • More traditional? Go for the fork-and-knife Caesar (without the croutons, and with a vinaigrette dressing instead).

Entree

  • Dig into the Shrooms or another veggie burger; request any salad on the side. To reduce carbohydrates, take off the top bun and eat your burger “topless.”

For Pescatarians

Appetizers 

Pair up with your partner and share one of the following:

  • Tuna blocks
  • Brussels and chorizo
  • Tuna tacos wrapped in lettuce.

Entrees

  • Brussel sprouts salad with grilled salmon or tuna on top
  • Fork-and-knife Caesar salad without the croutons; dressing on the side; add salmon or tuna
  • Tuscan kale salad with either cranberries or pecans; add salmon or tuna
  • Tuna tacos.

Shaved Brussels sprouts salad.

For Carnivores

Appetizers

  • Beef or pork taco wrapped in lettuce
  • Fork-and-knife Caesar without the croutons, but with vinaigrette (ask for dressing on the side).

Entrees

  • Cobb Salad (skip blue cheese). with the option to add steak over grilled chicken
  • Any Brussels sprouts salad with grilled chicken or steak
  • Tuscan kale salad with either cranberries or pecans, with grilled chicken or steak
  • The DQ burger without the bun — or eat it “topless” with a side salad.

Heather’s Tips

Because this restaurant is so laid back, you can add up your special requests as long as you are with good family or friends. In this casual atmosphere the entire table shares a few appetizers; then everyone each chooses their own entrees.

If your table is sharing appetizers you can’t really make special requests, but you can try to add in an appetizer (like the ones noted below) for a healthier option.

But if your appetizer feels “heavier” to you and you already had protein in your appetizer, go for one of the salad recommendations sans protein.

Keep the “3/4 rule” in mind: Since food can be heavier at a restaurant than at home, eat 3/4 of your meal; leave ¼ to take home for lunch the next day.

However, remember that fat and flavor are important in satiety and staying healthy. When you deprive your body of too much fat and flavor, you end up craving less healthy food. So be mindful of what and how much you’re eating, while still enjoying things that sound good to you.

Friday Flashback #166

Over its long history, Westport has seen thousands of restaurants come and go.

Everyone has favorites. Here are a few. Click “Comments” to add your own.

Allen’s Clam House was a great place for celebrations and dates. It was demolished more than a decade ago. The site is now the Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve.

(Photo courtesy of Dave Stalling)

The Big Top was a beloved hamburger place that attracted everyone: doctors, lawyers, businessmen, high school students, stoners and (very famously) Paul Newman. Today it’s McDonald’s. If that doesn’t say something…

Here it’s the Ocean House. For many years though it was Chubby Lane’s — the first $1 hamburger restaurant in town. The meat came from Charpentier’s butcher across the street, and it was fantastic. Today, this is the site of Willows Pediatrics.

Pearl’s was a longtime Riverside Avenue favorite. It’s easily recognized now, as Da Pietro’s.

Who can forget the Arrow? For years, the Nisticos’ restaurant defined Saugatuck. These days, it’s Mystic Market.

West Lake on Main Street was Westport’s first Chinese restaurant. It was considered to be quite exotic.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Originally a stagecoach stop in the 1700s, the Three Bears closed after many years. It’s been remodeled as Chabad of Westport.

The Three Bears, in its heyday. (Postcard/Cardcow.com)

The Clam Box drew diners for its seafood. The location — on the Post Road by the Sherwood Island Connector — did not hurt. It was later Bertucci’s; now the spot is shared by Shearwater Coffee, and soon-to-open Ignazio Pizza.

Meandering On The Saugatuck

Bistro du Soleil — the French-Mediterranean restaurant in the old post office on Riverside Avenue — has a loyal following. But it does not get enough attention, either for its food or the ever-changing art on its walls.

This Sunday (November 3, 4 to 7 p.m.), there’s a reception for Westport photographer Tom Kretsch’s photos of the Saugatuck River — the water that runs directly behind the restaurant.

His new exhibit is called “River Take Me Along.” Tom writes:

“The River that Flows Out” is the translation of the word Saugatuck. The Paugusset Indians gave this 23-mile river, with its origins in Danbury, its name.

This treasure of a resource served first as a place of early settlements by Native Americans. Later, settlers farmed along its banks. In the 19th century it was a large shipping port, with warehouses nestled by the edge.

Saugatuck River (Photo/Tom Kretsch)

Today this winding river, flowing through the heart of our community, serves as a wondrous resource for physical and spiritual reflection. From the fishermaen who cast their lines off the Cribari swing bridge to those who fly fish up stream, from the rowers who ply its waters both solo and in team sculls, to the many who simply stop and pause to sit on a bench by the library, the Saugatuck River holds a place in the hearts and souls of many Westporters.

Living close to its banks for 45 years sparked my interest to capture the many magical moods of this flowing body of water. Its ancient path that winds its way, sacred and slow, through woods, ponds, reservoirs and finally into Long Island Sound has provided me a palette to create my impressions of its spirit and soul.

From vantage points on a kayak floating slowly down the stream, to walking along its wooded banks, to standing on a bridge on a misty morning, the river can truly “take our breath away,” as Dar Williams sings eloquently in “The Hudson.”

Saugatuck in the mist. (Photo/Tom Kretsch)

In my series of images I have tried to create both impressionistic and realistic photographs of this ever-changing body of water. I hope the work will speak to you, and draw you into the beauty and spirit of the river.

I hope too it makes you pause and appreciate what a great natural resource this river is for all of us.

Perhaps it will inspire you to take time to explore the Saugatuck’s many nooks and crannies, or simply pause on a quiet summer evening, an early misty morning fog or deep in the fall foliage season to gaze at this gift we have been given.

My journey on this water is always evolving. I continue to look for those moments that speak to me; to capture the many hidden treasures it holds, and that can only be captured in the light that breathes life into our treasure, the Saugatuck River.

(The reception this Sunday is free, and open to the public. Tom Kretsch’s exhibit runs through December 28.)

Menu Moments: What To Eat At Planet Pizza

Planet Pizza is a favorite spot, in this pizza-crazed town.

Founders Joe, Mike and Frank Rocco grew up in 1970s Bronx, as children of Italian immigrants.

Each day the pizza dough is made in their 8 stores, using a generational recipe from flour milled from Kansas spring wheat and a Hobart mixer. They also make their own pizza sauce.

You can definitely eat healthy at a pizzeria. Westport-based nutritionist Heather Bauer serves up her top picks below.

Heather’s Tips:

When looking at an Italian menu, check out the salads and entrees before ordering pizza.

Depending on your goal — weight loss or maintenance — you should determine the number of healthy carb servings per day.

Examples of healthy carbs include sweet potato, brown rice, sushi roll, beans, corn, peas, chickpeas and condiments that are sweet.

Many people lose weight with one healthy carb a day. Those trying to maintain their weight can build in an indulgence like pizza, and count that as their carb. Each slice of cheese pizza counts as 1 carb.

Planet Pizza is extremely accommodating to diet needs. They have amazing salads, and a special healthy section on their menu.

Pizza Lovers

Planet Pizza has cauliflower pizza crust as an option. It is gluten- and dairy-free. With cauliflower crust, order salad pizza or regular cheese pizza, then add veggies of your choice.

If you choose 1 slice of cheese pizza, enjoy your 1 carb for the day. They do have gluten-free and thin crust whole wheat options. Add mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers — all are great for veggies. Add a small garden salad with grilled chicken on the side if you go this route.

Planet Pizza’s gluten-free option.

Salad pizza (cheeseless pizza topped with salad) is also good.

Avoid: Extra toppings such as pepperoni, meats and extra cheese. Also avoid eggplant parm and chicken parm (too much salt, fat, carbs and calories).

Entree Salads

If you order a salad for a meal, choose the large size. There are tons of additional topping options, from avocado to hard-boiled eggs. You can add grilled chicken, grilled shrimp or grilled steak to any salad as well.

Goat cheese and portobello mushroom salad is a good vegetarian option.

For the Greek salad (choose feta or olives), add grilled chicken.

For the Compo salad, choose candied walnuts or cranberries. Both are sweet, so choose only one. Feta and goat cheese are lighter options than blue cheese. Add grilled shrimp or chicken.

Entrees

The Healthy Special section on the menu includes

Grilled chicken with your choice of spinach, broccoli rabe or broccoli (you can request the veggies be steamed).

Chicken bruschetta: grilled chicken with marinated chopped tomatoes, onions and basil. (No bread, of course.)

Side dishes include broccoli rabe, broccoli or spinach (steamed our sauteed).