Come for the morning coffee.
Return for a midday espresso, and sandwiches.
Go back for light bites at 4 p.m. Stay for drinks, and a sit-down dinner.
Or just pick up prepared foods, to bring home.
Allium Eatery’s menu is small. But there’s something for everyone at Westport’s newest restaurant,*
Allium has moved into the Railroad Place site previously occupied Romanacci (which relocated next door), and before that Cocoa Michelle.
Owner/chef Michelle Greenfield eased in with a soft opening. Reviews have been raves, with plenty of repeat customers. Allium — Latin for bulbous herbs of the lily family. including onion, garlic, chive, leek and shallot — is now open Tuesday and Wednesday from breakfast through afternoon, adding dinner service Thursday through Saturday. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.
Greenfield — a Newtown native — worked in her first restaurant at 16. With a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, she headed to an Italian restaurant on Providence’s famed Federal Hill.
She returned to Connecticut to focus on French cooking, then catered in the Hudson Valley. After a stint at Jesup Hall with Bill Taibe, she led the team at the Schoolhouse at Cannondale. She had free rein there to hone her style: “modern American with French undertones, using playful, bold flavors.”
COVID closed that highly regarded restaurant. It also freed Greenfield to imagine her own place.
“I love fine dining, and boutique menus that change frequently,” she says.
“But how can you sustain a restaurant based on that, when the industry is changing so quickly?”
Her solution: a flexible eatery with sittings on weekends, but otherwise casual, with small plates and takeout items.
The train station location lends itself to grab-and-go meals. But with plenty of restaurants nearby, it’s considered a sit-down destination too.
Greenfield signed her lease last May. Since then she’s dealt with changing COVID mandates and construction delays, some caused by the broken supply chain.
Now she’s at the end of week 3. Breakfast sandwiches have been a surprise hit, with morning commuters coming in more frequently than she anticipated. They’re there to grab all-natural, free-range rotisserie chickens in the evening too.
Diners love dinner items like Parisian gnocchi with smoked mushrooms, lardon, beet silk, Marconi almond pesto and lemon ricotta. Other dinner choices include braised short ribs, Sport Hill Farm squash and Pei mussels.
The menu will change frequently, with the weather and availability of fresh ingredients.
Buvette service — “snacks and sips,” starting at 4 p.m. — includes spiced nuts, crudite, duck riellette, fromage and saucisson.
Greenfield will also offer pre-orered Thanksgiving sides to go, holiday take- home meals, and events like wine tastings.
The restaurant industry is changing. So are Westport’s commuter habits. But it looks like Allium Eatery has already found a home by the train station.
*Along with Salsa Fresca, the fast-casual Mexican place, which opened on Monday at the former Qdoba, on Post Road East by the entrance to Playhouse Square.