The phrase, "It takes a village" comes to mind when describing The Port, the new restaurant opening in the old Vespa space on the Saugatuck River in Westport. I've seen many restaurant openings in my day, but few have the support and focus on community in the way owner, Sal Augeri, has at The Port. This is Augeri's first restaurant, but he says "I've always wanted to open a restaurant, a neighborhood spot where locals can enjoy food that is approachable and comfortable." Indeed, Sal and his classic American menu may have hit upon something in the Westport food scene. Where does one go for a team dinner, a casual evening that won't break the bank, or a quick bite with your family after your kids’ practice? According to Augeri and his 35 local Westport investors, you go to The Port.
For those who have eaten at Vespa, you'll recognize the bones of Vespa's interior, but the once dimly elegant space has been updated to reflect a more casual farmhouse feel. Tables have been moved to face the water, while the bar remains a focal point (now with several large TV's), in anticipation of what Sal hopes to be a very lively bar scene. In an effort to create that "Cheers" vibe, the place you can swing by after work, or drop in with friends, Augeri is serving up the most reasonable wine list in the area, as well as rosé on tap, just in time for summer. Wines will be accompanied by local brews from Half Full Brewery and Two Roads, as well as craft cocktails.
The menu, overseen by Executive Chef, Justin Kaplan (who moved from Lake Tahoe), covers all the classic American favorites. In the "Bites" section, one can find local oysters, Avocado Toast, Fried Broccoli, as well as a Tater Tot Basket. Appetizers feature everything from 'Port Meatballs to Country Pate and Wings. "Larger Plates" offer hungrier diners American staples including a 1/2 Smoked Chicken, Homemade Pappardelle, a Vegan Burrito as well as a Lobster Roll. And of course, there is a menu for the kids, as kids are very welcome here. On the "dessertier" side of things, the Homemade Brownie Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
With the brain trust of Augeri's 35 person team, The Port should have a warm reception when it opens its doors today, May 18th. We wish them well, and will report back on the menu in a few weeks.
The Port will be open for dinner only for the first few weeks, and will then open its doors for lunch service shortly thereafter. We recommend you call to confirm day time hours through mid June.
Note: The Port has a beautiful private room just right for parties up to thirty-ish guests.
The Port 2A Post Road West, Westport CT (203) 557-9057