Category Archives: Restaurants

Good Food, Great Prices Mark Restaurant Week

If you think Fairfield has stolen all of Westport’s culinary thunder, I have 2 words: “Restaurant Week.”

In fact, our dining options are so many and varied, we can’t fit Restaurant Week into just 7 days.

The annual event runs from this Sunday (October 2) for 2 weeks (through October 16). If you want to be technical, it all started earlier this month, with sidewalk samples provided by the Slice of Saugatuck.

Tutti's owners Pasquale and Maria Funicello -- and their family -- are proud partners in Restaurant Week.

Tutti’s owners Pasquale and Maria Funicello — and their family — are proud partners in Restaurant Week.

This year’s list includes 25 eateries, and 1 specialty cocktail bar. They’re spread from Saugatuck to Southport, and all offer prix fixe menus and drinks. The range is $15-$25 for lunch, $25-$35 for dinner. Brunch begins at $15.

Restaurant Week is promoted by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Castlekeep Advisors, WEBE 108 and WICC 600.

Here are the participating restaurants. If you can’t find one you like — well, there’s always Fairfield.

  • 323 Main
  • Arezzo
  • Boca (2nd week only)
  • Da Pietro’s
  • Fleishers Craft Butchery
  • Gray Goose
  • Harvest
  • Jeera
  • Le Penguin
  • Paci
  • Pane e Bene
  • Pearl
  • Positano’s
  • Rive Bistro
  • Rizzuto’s
  • Sakura
  • Spotted Horse
  • Tarantino
  • Tarry Lodge
  • Tavern on Main
  • Terrain Garden Café
  • The Boathouse
  • Tutti’s
  • Via Sforza
  • Wafu
  • And … Vine  Wine Bar

Friday Flashback #9

Wednesday’s fatal accident between I-95 exits 18 and 17 closed the southbound highway for nearly 12 hours.

From 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Thursday, vehicles crawled through Westport. It took almost an hour to get from the Sherwood Island Connector, down the Post Road and out Riverside Avenue.

Fortunately, it was nighttime. But that meant there were tons of trucks. Traffic was stop-and-go — mostly stop — all night long.

That was the scene nearly every day in the 1950s, until I-95 — then called the Connecticut Turnpike — opened. The Post Road was the only way for trucks to get from New York to Boston.

Newcomers have no idea how bad the traffic was. Oldtimers barely remember.

This week’s Friday Flashback shows a typical scene. It doesn’t look too bad — but it was.

bridge-grille-and-fairfield-furniture

Today the Fairfield Furniture Store is National Hall, with its 1st-floor Vespa restaurant. The Food Mart and Calise’s Wine & Liquors are gone. So — truly unfortunately — is Ye Olde Bridge Grille, one of Westport’s best dive bars.

The intersection of the Post Road, Wilton Road and Riverside Avenue is still bad. But can you imagine what it would be like without I-95, the highway we love to hate?

Andrew Colabella’s Summer

When this story was posted — at 10:20 a.m. — there was 1 minute of summer left. Autumn arrives at 10:21.

In honor of one of Westport’s 4 favorite seasons, “06880” photographer Andrew Colabella sent along these images. All were taken here, late in the day, throughout the summer.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. Enjoy! And don’t forget to mark your calendar.

Summer arrives on June 21, 2017. At 12:24 a.m.

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Oscar’s Update

When Oscar’s closed last month, many devotees were devastated.

And several long-time employees were suddenly out of jobs.

Fortunately, it’s hard to keep good men (and women) down.

Alert — and gratified — “06880” reader Kevin Rakin reports that Joaquin, Javier and Lilly are all working at Greenfield Hill Market.

Oscar’s fans know what a great job they do. Now its Fairfield’s turn to find out.

Back at work, at Greenfield Hill Market.

Back at work, at Greenfield Hill Market.

Slicing Up Saugatuck

Today was hot and humid. But it’s never too hot for Saugatuck’s great Italian food, from places like Tutti’s and Tarantino’s.

Or Mexican (Viva’s, Cuatro Hermanos), Thai (Rainbow) or Japanese (Kawa Ni).

Every restaurant — including Dunkin’ Donuts — was represented at this afternoon’s Slice of Saugatuck.

So were stores, ranging from liquor (99 Bottles) to sports (Attic) to my favorite — not just in Saugatuck but all of Westport (Indulge by Mersene).

The 5th annual event was sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. Funds benefit the Gillespie Center food pantry. Slice is nice!

The line to sample Julian's pizza ran past Parker Mansion.

The line to sample Julian’s pizza ran past Parker Mansion.

Tutti's served up -- among other favorites -- spicy chicken.

Tutti’s served up — among other favorites — a tasty chicken dish.

Al DiGuido's Saugatuck Sweets scooped ice cream, on the plaza.

Al DiGuido’s Saugatuck Sweets scooped ice cream, on the plaza.

Things were quieter on the river, where Downunder offered kayaks.

Things were quieter on the river, where Downunder offered kayaks.

Bands -- rock, acoustic, even Caribbean -- played throughout Saugatuck. This group had a prime spot, at Bridge Square.

Bands — rock, acoustic, even Caribbean — played throughout Saugatuck. This group had a prime spot, at Bridge Square.

First Selectman Jim Marpe and his wife Mary Ellen hung out at the Black Duck.

First Selectman Jim Marpe and his wife Mary Ellen hung out at the Black Duck.

Cuatro Hermanos added a sombrero their rice and beans.

Cuatro Hermanos added a sombrero to their rice and beans.

A tae kwan do demonstration livened up Railroad Place. Shattered boards lie on the left.

A tae kwan do demonstration enlivened Railroad Place. Shattered boards lie on the left.

Slice Is Nice!

Every year — with new shops and new residents joining established stores and longtime residents — Saugatuck gets better than ever.

You can say the same about Slice of Saugatuck.

The 5th annual event — set for Saturday, September 10 (2 to 5 p.m.) — is already one of the street fair highlights on the Westport calendar. A few tweaks this year will make it the best one yet.

The sponsors — the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce — has added beer gardens on Bridge Street and Railroad Place. A later start time allows restaurants to offer happy hour for food and drinks after the festival.

From Bridge Square to Railroad Place -- and everywhere else -- Slice of Saugatuck is packed. (Photo/Terry Cosgrave)

From Bridge Square to Railroad Place — and everywhere else — Slice of Saugatuck is packed. (Photo/Terry Cosgrave)

Speaking of Railroad Place: Every business there is participating this year. All told, nearly 50 restaurants and merchants will open their doors (or put food samples and wares out on the sidewalk).

New music at 6 venues will rock the Slice — including high school bands promoting a fundraiser for Toquet Hall.

Slice of Saugatuck — a fun combination of food tasting and retail experiencing — draws over 2,000 people a year. They wander the narrow streets of this vibrant neighborhood, visiting favorite restaurants and stores and discovering new gems.

The Slice is a kids’ delight too, with an obstacle course, bouncy houses, a climbing wall, balloon bender, dance demonstrations and a Maker Faire area.

What kid doesn't like getting in a fire truck?

What kid doesn’t like getting in a fire truck?

There’s a $10 admission fee ($5 for kids) — but funds go back to the Gillespie Center food pantry. So far, over $14,000 has been raised.

“Slice” refers to both the physical boundaries of Saugatuck — it looks like a pizza serving — and the area’s many Italian restaurants.

Pizza can be served both traditionally, and in new, creative ways.

You can say the same about Slice of Saugatuck.

(For more information, and to see participants and a “Slice of Saugatuck” map, click here.)


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

Friday Flashback #5

As summer winds down — admit it, with school starting yesterday it’s  over — let’s look back at the original Compo Beach concessions stand.

Compo Beach pavilion - concession - 1933

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrisman)

This 1933 photo shows the forerunner of what many longtime Westporters remember as “Chubby Lane’s.” The food stand was located where the volleyball courts are now. Beach stickers were not needed for parking.

For the past 20 years, Joey Romeo has taken Compo (and Longshore’s) food service to new levels. But if you recall Chubby’s — or “Louis Stone’s Compo Beach Pavilion” — click “Comments” below, and share memories.

A Taste Of Saugatuck

The other day, alert — and hungry — “06880” reader JP Vellotti was walking home from the train station.

Smells from the many area restaurants were alluring. He got even hungrier.

Then he saw these cherry tomatoes growing outside  Fleishers Craft Butchery.

(Photo/JP Vellotti)

(Photo/JP Vellotti)

JP says, “If they don’t put a ‘please do not pick’ sign up soon, there might be a new meaning to ‘community garden.’

But he resisted temptation. And got his tomato fix at Julian’s instead.

“We Love Our Dogs In Westport”

Westport Animal Shelter Advocates posted this on Facebook:

Last week at about 6:15 p.m., when the air was still very muggy with the temperature in the high 80’s, a group of diners (and Westport residents)  at Sherwood Diner became aware of a large SUV in the parking lot with a small dog inside — and New York plates. The windows were completely shut.

It was determined that the car had been there at least 45 minutes. A call was made to Westport Police, as Westport’s animal control officer was off duty.

Officer Wong Won and another officer (whose name we don’t know) responded quickly. The owner of the car was identified (mid-meal). She became belligerent and defensive, and stated, “this wouldn’t be an issue in Westchester.”

Officer Won responded, “Ma’am, this is Westport. We love our dogs in Westport.”

The dog owner was ticketed, and warned about leaving her dog in a hot car.

Westport Animal Shelter AdvocatesWASA would like to thank Officer Won and his fellow Westport officer for coming to this dog’s rescue, and handling the situation so beautifully. Tails are wagging all over Westport in appreciation.

Our thanks too to the Westport residents who were advocates for the little dog.

Yes, Officer Won, this is Westport. And we do love our dogs!

(Hat tip: Kendall Gardiner)

Oscar’s En Francais

Westporters are still adjusting to the loss of Oscar’s.

But around the time the Main Street deli closed — and beloved owner Lee Papageorge died — longtime Westporter Susan Brody spotted this doppelganger in Marseille:

Oscar's in France

The French are known for fiercely protecting their language. Neither “bagels” nor “sandwiches” sound French to me.

As for “Oscar’s” — in any language, that means “love.”

(Hat tip: Eden Werring)