Coffee bar by day, craft cocktail bar by night, NEAT is now open at 6 Wilton Road in Westport from 7 am to midnight, seven days a week.
If you are familiar with NEAT’s location in Darien, the approach will feel instantly familiar, if distilled into a much fuller and complete café experience. NEAT retains its unpretentious devotion to the art of the beverage, extending its reach into the evening as your palate naturally shifts from caffeine to spirits, seamlessly maintaining its full attention to the craft beverage experience.
The partnership behind this new A.M./P.M. approach to NEAT is a seasoned team of restaurateurs and hospitality pros. Rachel Haughey of Darien’s (espresso) NEAT has teamed up with Bobby C. Werhane and Kevin Daniel Lalumiere. In a recent conversation with the trio, our conversation spanned Westport, coffee culture, cultivating the ideal atmosphere, and of the utmost importance to them, hospitality. On the subject of the latter, Rachel summed up their approach as “service with an abundance of empathy and zero pretense.”
This focus on hospitality combined with NEAT's rigorous and innovative approach to the art of the beverage (nitrogenated, kegged coffee, anyone?), continues to set them apart from their peers, creating what is certainly Connecticut's best coffee program. With their extension and new focus on the evening scene, Westport's NEAT welcomes you to end your day right where you may have started it.
What to expect in the A.M.
The brew bar will feature exquisitely crafted coffee in nearly every iteration, showcasing NEAT’s usual and unusual suspects, such as: macchiato, cappucino, latte, mocha, Sidecar (a double shot split among two demitasse cups with one finished with a steamed milk), and Gibraltar (aka a Cortado, somewhere between a latte and a macchiato).
Also, two words: morning "beer." The most intriguing item on the coffee menu will be a nitrogenated cold coffee, stored in a keg, and pulled by draft that will have the mouthfeel of a Guinness. Food options during breakfast and lunch (which will likely evolve and grow) at the time of their launch include classic staples such as a Bagel and Lox, a selection of "breads and spreads," "local yoghurt," and steel cut oatmeal. Lunch moves toward sandwiches, including baguette sandwiches, a Cuban, and a Lobster Roll) as well as salads including a baby kale, nicoise, and romaine).
What to expect in the P.M.
NEAT will crossover into a full bar around 5 p.m., shifting its allegiance from its La Marzocco machine to its Kold Draft ice machine, and its bartenders replacing its barristas. Drink offerings will include wine, beer, spirits, and a frequently changing list of about 8 to 10 cocktails which anchors the evening menu. Half the list is dedicated to original NEAT creations, and the other half will be classic cocktails the NEAT way, precise, creative, and with attention to detail.
A "higher elevation" shelf selection of rum, vodka, gin, amari, tequila/mezcal, bourbon, rye, and whiskeys (single malt and blended) are available at NEAT. A small yet nicely curated list of wines by the glass and soft drinks are also listed.
Traditional cocktail offerings include an Aviation, a Hemingway Daiquiri, and Mule, with original cocktails changing frequently, such as the Tea Time, a combination of Bols Genever, Red Raspberry Tea, Lemon Juice, Egg White, Peychaud’s, Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6.
Libations can be paired with a short list of snacks and small plates. The dinner menu includes deviled eggs, pickes, cheese & charcuterie join savory sandwiches including a "Banging Grilled Cheese" made of tomatoes, Chimay cheese and caramelized onions.
Located within the National Hall area, the Westport real estate redevelopment project adjacent to the Saugatuck River, NEAT is one of what will soon be a trio of culinary options in addition to neighbor Bartaco and soon-to-open Vespa restaurant. This area of Westport is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, quickly becoming an important culinary locus for Westport.
The space itself is a palette of wood and iron, with dark walls and pops of a cadmium red accents that borrow from NEAT's packaging. The focal point is a bar that spans nearly the length of the space, perpendicular to what were once old Firehouse doors that are now windows allowing natural light to spill into the deep space. Ample seating along the bar, a parallel communal table, and several cozy booths are united by the café's antique narrow parquet plank wood floor.
Coffee bar by day, craft cocktail bar by night, NEAT gives you many reasons to end your day right where you may have started it.
6 Wilton Road