Last week’s two-fer Photo Challenge threw a few readers for a loop.
As the story said, “winners” (who get nothing except 15 minutes of Sunday afternoon glory) had to identify both photos — of plants and flowers hanging outside a couple of walls — correctly. (Click here to see.)
Most people identified the top photo as Pane e Bene, across from the Westport Inn. Fewer got the second one, another Italian restaurant in the other end of town: Tutti’s.
Congratulations to Rich Stein, Seth Braunstein, Amy Schneider and Claire Elliot for getting both images right. Buon appetito!
We’re back to one photo this week. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.
As former president of Staples High School’s Gridiron Club and current treasurer of the Staples Boys Basketball Association, Amanda Thaw knows that whenever a Wrecker team needs help for a fundraiser, it turns to local restaurants and businesses.
They always come through.
Now, she thought, there must be a way to help support those owners in their time of need. And at the same time, to help front line personnel when they’re working so hard.
She made a few calls. Quickly, nearly a dozen Staples sports teams said “sign us up!”
#FeedItForward works this way: Teams pair up with a restaurant they choose. They provide a meal for a front line group of their choice. The restaurant delivers. The hungry personnel eat well. Everyone wins!
So far the girls soccer team fed Norwalk Hospital staffers, from Sherwood Diner. Boys soccer provided Tutti’s dinner to the Westport Police Department. The football team took care of the Westport Police Department, thanks to Viva Zapata. And boys lacrosse donated dinner to Westport EMS, through Colony Grill.
Also committed: boys basketball, rugby, wrestling, boys track, boys volleyball, baseball and boys tennis.
Future food providers include Calise’s Market, Jr’s Deli & Grille, and Four Brothers Pizza. All are grateful for the business, and eager to help.
Boys soccer co-captain Jack Douglas, flanked by Tutti’s owner Maria Funicello and Officer Jimmy Sullivan.
ASF — the always-helpful sports store — is involved too. Norwalk Hospital staffers are on their feet all day. So they’ve been provided new socks — and chewing gum. (Their mouths get stale wearing masks).
Hot meals for the Fire Department, courtesy of Staples football and Viva Zapata.
There are plenty of other groups to feed too, like supermarket and pharmacy personnel, utility workers and others.
More teams can get involved — not just Staples, but throughout town. Other organizations can help as well.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Prosciutto, red peppers and mozzarella
Prosciutto, artichoke and mozzarella
Tutti’s Caprese salad
*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.
The piccata style is a healthier option.
Order without butter.
Order grilled and without breading.
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
Gluten-Free Options: Any entree can be made gluten-free.
Best personal pizza: Rizzuto’s Restaurant and Toscano Pizzeria (tie)
Honorable mention: Romanacci Pizza Bar and Planet Pizza lost by only 2 votes in the “Best personal pizza” and “Best delivered pizza” categories, respectively.
Mel Mioli’s Westport Pizzeria may have moved to the Post Road, after 45 years on Main Street. But it’s still a Westport favorite.
The victors did not get any dough — just the satisfaction of coming out on top (and free publicity).
Any way you slice it, the Great Westport Pizza Contest was a winner.
March was Westport Pizza Month. That’s not just an idea — it was an official proclamation from 1st Selectman Jim Marpe (2nd from left). Joining him were (from left) Westport Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell; Ira Bloom of event sponsors Bercham Moses, and Joe Canicatti, owner of double winner Joe’s Pizza.
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