Tag Archives: Westfair Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips & Nachos

Two long-established, well-loved — and decidedly not fancy — Westport restaurants made big national “best of” news lately.

Coastal Living named  Westfair Fish & Chips one of the 22 best “Seafood Dives” in the country.

The magazine raved:

Westfair covers all of the clam chowder bases: New England (white), Manhattan (red), and Rhode Island (clear). This tiny storefront, with just five tables and half a dozen stools at a window counter, hides in a strip mall and caters mostly to nearby residents. Fried clams and fried oysters, both lightly battered, are especially tender and juicy.

A tantalizing dish from Westport Fish & Chips.

A tantalizing dish from Westport Fish & Chips.

Meanwhile, the Delish website picked 1 “Epic Nacho Plate” from every state.

Connecticut’s entry? “Nachos with sausage” from Viva Zapata.

Viva Zapata's nachos with sausage.

Viva Zapata’s nachos with sausage.

Congratulations to 2 very popular spots. We can always count — if not count calories — on you.

(Hat tip: Mary Lynn Halland)

Patching Together Westport’s Top 10 Restaurants

Patch is not exactly at the forefront of Westport media. That’s not surprising, since it is was owned by AOL — you know, the company that back in the last century was for a while the world’s largest distributor of CDs.

Kids! Ask your parents what these were.

Kids! Ask your parents what these were!

But the other day someone sent me a link to Patch’s list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Westport (according to Yelp).

It must have been a slow news day over at Patch. But hey — it’s a slow news day at “06880” too!

So here is the Yelp list.

There’s no arguing with #10 and 9: Acqua and Via Sforza. Kibberia is #8, though I’d bump this great Middle Eastern spot a few notches higher.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

Some of the many intriguing dishes at Kibberia.

#7 is Rainbow Thai, in Bridge Square. I’m glad it’s not overlooked.

Checking in at #6 is Yamafuji, which apparently is a sushi place across from Super Stop & Shop. I’ve never heard of it, but Yelpers give it rave reviews.

The Top 5 is where things get a little odd.

Yelp’s 5th most popular restaurant in Westport is Gold’s Delicatessen. Sure, it’s been around since Moses. And yeah, the lox and bagels are good. But when was the last time you heard anyone say answer “Gold’s!” to the question, “We’re looking for a really good restaurant in Westport. What do you recommend?”*

Westport's 5th favorite restaurant. (Photos/Judy Crowley Simonetti)

Westport’s 5th favorite restaurant. (Photos/Judy Crowley Simonetti)

#4 is Finalmente — that’s reasonable — but #3 is Westfair Fish & Chips.

Let me repeat that. The 3rd best restaurant in Westport is a place whose signature dish comes wrapped in newspaper.

Fortunately, Westport’s Top 2 are actual restaurants, with many devoted fans. The Whelk is #2, LeFarm is #1 — and Bill Taibe is a very happy man.

lefarm-logo

I know that ranking restaurants is subjective. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, to use a pretty gross but nonetheless apt saying.

Westport Patch invited readers to comment on Yelp’s Top 10 list. There were none.

I bet there will be a few here on “06880.”

*Around the last time you clicked on Westport Patch for the latest town news.

 

 

Oyster Crabs: Yummmm Or Yecccch?

Alert — and hungry — “06880” reader Andy Yemma writes:

We like to eat fresh oysters, especially in summer, and get them from a variety of spots. Last Sunday we stopped in at Westfair Fish & Chips, across from Stop & Shop. They were doing great business selling delicious fried oysters, clams, oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, fries, etc. I bought a dozen nice-sized blue points for $12.

Later that evening while shucking them I came across something new. I’ve shucked a lot of oysters but had never seen this. And you’ll never see it in a restaurant.

It was a pea-sized object of some kind, I thought — maybe the beginnings of a pearl. I scraped it off into the trash, and went on to the next oyster. Hmm, another one of these tiny things. I took out my reading specs for a better look.

Damn if it wasn’t looking back at me! It was a tiny crab with a tiny crab face, pincers — the works.

I showed it to my wife. She acted like she’d seen a mouse.

An oyster crab -- though not Andy Yemma's. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

An oyster crab — though not Andy Yemma’s. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

I did what any alert “06880” reader would do: I googled “Oysters with tiny crabs inside.” Damn if they don’t have a Wikipedia entry: “The oyster crab, Zaops ostreus, is a small, whitish or translucent crab in the family Pinnotheridae. Found specifically in oysters, it is an edible sea food delicacy.”

Edible? Apparently they were well received by the food critics of the New York Times – about 125 years ago! The Oyster Crab Salad: “A dish that is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate.” Well, that was in the heyday of New York Harbor’s oyster business (before pollution killed most of them off).

I found oyster crabs in 3 more shells. Didn’t have the courage to nibble them. As far as pleasing to the eye, not so much. But neither are oysters for that matter.

We ate our dozen oysters with a tiny bit of trepidation. They were delicious as usual. And no repercussions. I kind of wished I’d saved the buggers.

Next time.