Tag Archives: Basso Restaurant

Roundup: Pauli’s Bagels, St. Paddy’s Catering, Sybil’s List, More

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Bagels are back in the mini-strip mall next to Five Guys and a nail salon.

Bagel Maven closed last winter. The space is now filled by Pauli’s Deli & Bagels. It’s the second Pauli’s; the original is in Norwalk.

In addition to bagels and deli sandwiches, Pauli’s serves plenty of breakfast items, and coffee.

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Is it too early to think about St. Patrick’s Day?

Not if you’re a caterer.

Alison Milwe Grace — one of Fairfield County’s favorite chefs — has already planned her mid-March menu. She features tempting appetizers; corned beef and cabbage with roasted potatoes, roasted carrots and horseradish mustard, and Guinness Shepherd’s Pie.

For dessert: cupcakes with Irish cream frosting; Irish bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce; Irish coffee crème brûlée, and Bailey’s chocolate mousse.

Of course, if it’s St. Paddy’s Day, Passover and Easter are not far behind.

Alison has menus for those too. Click here to see.

Alison Milwe Grace: catering, 2021-style.

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Carole Schweid appreciated a recent “06880” story about the law that business owners clear snow from their sidewalks.

But, she writes: “Riverside Barber Shop has done nothing to clear their sidewalks 

“It’s on the corner of Riverside, Treadwell and Saugatuck Avenues. There is nowhere to stand — except in the street.

“You cannot reach the button for the light to help cross the street, due to the snow. This is one of the most dangerous corners in Westport, where 3 busy streets merge.

“Every other business in the neighborhood — a place where people walk, due to the restaurants, etc. — has cleared their sidewalks.

“When I asked them to do something to make the corner safer by clearing a path, the woman who works there turned her back and walked away.”

The corner of Riverside, Treadwell and Saugatuck Avenues, at Riverside Barber Shop. (Photo/Carole Schweid)

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For years, Westporters have relied on Sybil Steinberg’s curated reading list.

It’s never more needed than during a pandemic.

Now, the longtime Westporter — a contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly — returns with ideas for winter reading.

Click here for Sybil’s exclusive recommendations, courtesy of the Westport Library.

Or click below, for the video version:

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Speaking of reading: Westport author Christian Hunter’s new book has just been published.

“Influence” is the story of a young woman’s journey from Venezuela to the United States, where she and her family come to grips with the disappearance of her father. Her mission is to find him, and become what she has always dreamed of: a celebrity.

Click below to learn more:

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Among the approvals at Thursday’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting:

  • Conversion of the former Steinway piano store at 499 Post Road East (next to the fire station), to use by Bespoke Auto Hause for an automobile storage garage for privately owned cars.
  • Live music at Basso restaurant, on Jesup Road.

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And finally … Danny Ray died earlier this month in Georgia, at 85.

You may not have known his name. But if you saw James Brown perform, you probably saw “the hardest-working man in show business” being led away after putting everything into a song. Then he threw away his cape, returned to the stage, and gave the audience even more. Over and over again.

Danny Ray was that man. He was also the man who introduced the Godfather of Soul at his concerts.

When James Brown died in 2006, Danny Ray spoke at his funeral. “Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for star time?” he asked. Then he draped a cape over the open coffin.

 

Pic Of The Day #1372

Basso — the new restaurant in the old Matsu Sushi space by Jesup Green — held a ribbon-cutting this evening.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe, 2nd Selectman Jen Tooker and representatives of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association and Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce welcomed owner/chef Renato Donzelli, who found a bigger space, better views (and a wood-fired pizza oven), and made the move from Norwalk.

The space is big and bright. The heaters are cranking. Mangia!

(Photos/Dan Woog)

 

Roundup: Basso, More


Flying fearlessly in the face of the pandemic, another new restaurant opens in Westport today.

Basso Restaurant & Wine Bar takes over the old Matsu Sushi on Jesup Road, behind the old Restoration Hardware (soon to be the new Barnes & Noble).

Chef Renato Donzelli has moved Basso from Norwalk to here. The 2-story space is larger, there is seating outdoors, and there’s a wood-fired pizza oven too.

According to CTbites, Donzelli was born in Venezuela and raised in Naples. His menu is Mediterranean flavored, with a Venezuelan influence. Click here for their full story.

(Photo collage courtesy of Stephanie Webster/CTbites.com)


And finally …  Gerry Marsden, the leader and namesake of Gerry and the Pacemakers, died yesterday in London, of a blood infection. He was 78.

The band was from Liverpool, was managed by Brian Epstein, and for a while was the Beatles’ biggest rivals in the city. They were part of what the US called “the British Invasion” of the mid-1960s. They had several big rock hits here, like “I Like It” and “How Do You Do It?”

They were known for ballads too, like “Ferry Cross the Mersey,” “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” and “I’ll Be There.”

But they’re best known — and will be for generations more — for an odd choice of a pop hit. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1945 “Carousel.”

It became the anthem of Liverpool’s soccer team, and was adopted by other clubs around the world. The Staples High School girls team plays it before every match. Watch the video below, and you’ll see why it may be best sports song of all time.

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.