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Entries in Westport (191)

Thursday
Sep222016

Chef Brian Lewis' The Cottage in Westport Announces Expansion Plans!

It's about to get a little bit easier to get a reservation at Chef Brian Lewis' The Cottage. Today, he officially announced expansion plans for his restaurant in Westport, Connecticut.  Adding 800 square feet to his existing 1500 square feet, the space next door has broken ground this week to include an expanded bar and additional seating.

The Cottage will maintain its existing entrance and vestibule area, giving guests the option of entering the existing dining room to the left or this new area to the right.  In addition to the large bar, which will be the centerpiece of this open floorplan, there will be several tables to accommodate additional diners or be combined for larger parties, as well as a window seat banquette that will seat up to 10.

“I could not be more grateful for the love and support the town of Westport and all of Fairfield County and beyond has given to us since we opened nearly a year ago,” said Lewis.  “While we have big plans for this additional space, our number one priority is to continue to offer the same comfortable atmosphere, delicious cuisine and warm hospitality that we are proud to be known for.  Our bar is growing up and being given the new stage it so deserves, allowing Adam, our Head Bar Keep, to dig into his creativity and happily expand our craft cocktail offerings, wine and spirits program, as well as interact more with our guests relaxing in this expanded space.” 

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Tuesday
Aug022016

Double L Market: Westport's First Farm Stand Turns 30

Lloyd Allen’s Double L Market in Westport is celebrating its 20th year. The market, now in its third location near Hillspoint Road, is the “original” farmstand. Described as “eclectic” it has weathered every storm and outlasted the competition thanks to a very dedicated group of followers. “When you’ve done this for as long as I have you get to know a lot of people and what they want. We want to be able to offer the best!” Allen told me.

“We were a farmstand and farmers market long before anyone else - before it became a thing. We were wild, and on the side of the road, in the open air and having lots of fun doing it.” Although Allen and his staff are no longer on the side of the road, and are now in an enclosed air-conditioned corner store, a little bit of that wildness still remains. “We are still having a great time,” he added. “You meet people who are passionate on both sides of the market - the growers are passionate about producing the best and our consumers are passionate to find and eat the best.”

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Sunday
Jul312016

Bill Taibe To Open New Restaurant in Downtown Westport: Tavern Fare in Old Spruce Spot

Bill Taibe is passionate about Westport. Its vibe. Its verve. And its role as a culinary capital. Few would dispute that he is partially responsible for that vibrancy. Opening the landmark Le Farm in 2009, Chef Taibe rocked and rolled the town’s culture with a menu that was as loud, lush and as unpredictable as his playlist. 

The Whelk followed in 2012 -- featuring creative spins on local mollusks and other creatures of the deep.  Three years later, he imported Japanese gastropub cuisine to Saugatuck with the stylish Kawa Ni, a twist on Far Eastern dining and drinking. 

This trio of radically different hot spots inspired other new Westport restaurants, bakeries, butcheries, fisheries, and specialty shops, as well as a re-invented Farmers Market. The city became a magical destination for dining and shopping.  

Then last year, Taibe shocked the local food community with the impromptu, seemingly impulsive, and very enigmatic announcement that he was closing his celebrated Le Farm. “It was time,” he told us. No other reasons were offered. Nary a notion of what was next. Bill wasn't being coy. He simply didn't know.

Bill now knows much more. And he’s ready to share some of his ideas with CTBites’ readers.

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Thursday
Jun302016

Instabites: Brunch in Niantic, Fleisher's Burger, Kent Falls Brewing, Fairfield Farmers' Market, Bill's Seafood

Sunday
Mar272016

Rothbard Ale + Larder: Westport's European Gastropub

Rothbard Ale + Larder opened in Westport last November, the second restaurant by Chef Adam Roytman and his business partner, Joseph Farrell. The pair also own Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport. Roytman and Farrell’s original idea was to recreate a German beer hall, but as the concept of the restaurant progressed, the vision was slightly modified to design a restaurant that would offer comfort food based on the regional cuisines of central Europe including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Alsace, Switzerland, with an occasional side trip to Italy.

Access to Rothbard is a throwback to a 1920's speakeasy, with its unassuming side entrance leading to the lower level. Once inside, you are surrounded by a central European ambience, with its reclaimed wood and brick walls and cement and metal beams protruding from the ceiling. To the left of the entrance is a bar with several high-tables plus nine stools in front of antler-topped beer taps, plus a refrigerator that houses up to 45 traditional and unique European beers including Einbecker, Tripel Karmeliet, Del Ducato, Christian Drouin and Abbaye. Wine, aperitifs, an array of Schnapps and Absinthe are also available. With low-lighting illuminating the entire space, the atmosphere is very European gastro-pubbish.

 

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Rothbard Ale + Larder's Patty Melt Extraordinaire: Find It In Westport

The patty melt was introduced at Tiny Naylors in California in the late 1940s and since its debut, it has experienced an intense and loyal following throughout the country. Described by some as the love child of the grilled cheese and the hamburger, it is, at its essence a pair of beef patties, melted Swiss cheese, grilled onions, all served between slices of buttered-griddled rye bread.

The Patty Melt at Rothbard Ale + Larder is a traditional interpretation with a few nuances. Two small patties were grilled and served between slices of buttered and griddled rye bread with caramelized onions, bacon, and melted Jarlsberg cheese. The bread was cut on the diagonal, and nestled inside each half was a mini-patty, smothered in its accompaniments. The thin patties were cooked to medium, still maintained a pink interior and were rich in flavor. The Jarlsberg cheese was thick, beautifully melted and delivered a wonderful level of creaminess and a deep, rich nuttiness. The caramelized onions were outstanding, sweet and soft from their low and slow preparation and when it intertwined with the mildly salty bacon delivered an incredible balance. People nervous about the bread versus bun…no need to worry, the buttered and griddled bread added great crunch and a delicious salty-butter flavor.

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Sunday
Feb282016

Pearl at Longshore Splashes Onto The Westport Restaurant Scene

After a great deal of anticipation, the newest restaurant to grace The Inn at Longshore, Pearl, opened its doors last Monday. The restaurant’s cosmopolitan appearance isn’t what one might expect in a seaside community.  There are coastal elements of course, repurposed bleached wood lines the wall behind the bar which also houses a recycled glass countertop that’s very much reminiscent of sea glass. But Pearl will never be mistaken for a casual seasonal, seaside eatery; it’s much too stylish for such.  The atmosphere perfectly reflects the personality of the town, sophisticated without being overly formal. Beyond the clean lines of the interior lies the magnificent view of the Long Island Sound. If you’re lucky enough to be there at sunset be prepared to have your breath taken away.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Michael Hazen on a quiet Thursday afternoon. If his name rings a bell, the innovative chef launched the concept for the Bartaco restaurants. At Pearl he sets out to create a menu that is inspirational and reflective of today’s lifestyle, clean and simple with a modern approach. He offers food that is familiar while pushing the envelope just slightly to offer an element of surprise. Chef stressed the importance offering items that are local and seasonal. 

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Tuesday
Feb232016

Parker Mansion in Westport Opens: Burger Review

Parker Mansion opened recently in the Saugatuck section of Westport and I received several emails telling me I needed to visit and try their burger. With the weather more aligned with a good burger versus a hot bowl of soup I decided to see if the buzz was justified.

Located amongst Fleischer’s, Kawa Ni, Rainbow Thai, Rizzuto's, and The Whelk, Parker Mansion is the latest opening in the burgeoning Saugatuck restaurant scene. The free-standing building has a few parking spots in the rear (careful in the rain as it is unpaved) and the entrance is along the right side of the building. When you enter, the bar is located to the left and if you continue down the hallway there are stairs leading to the second floor dining room. The bar has eight stools with three TVs broadcasting CNN, ESPN and MSNBC. In the middle of the room is a high-top table for six, plus additional seating for fourteen at traditional tables. The upstairs dining room seats approximately 30 guests, with a balcony overlooking the Saugatuck River. The atmosphere is open with clean lines to the décor. I chose a table in the bar area and was promptly greeted by the server, who was excellent throughout my visit.

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Thursday
Jan282016

Michael Hazen Named Executive Chef at Pearl at Longshore Westport Opening March

Michael Hazen has been named Executive Chef at the highly anticipated new restaurant, Pearl at Longshore in Westport, Connecticut. Hazen, an innovative chef with over 20 years experience, most recently launched the concept for the successful Bartaco restaurants and prior to that spent years building the Barcelona restaurant brand. Chef Hazen has designed a menu influenced by fresh seasonal and sustainable cuisine, while honoring the stunning Westport waterfront and the community’s focus on a healthy lifestyle.
 
“The menu at Pearl is centered around the food people love to eat, but also has that element of surprise, something a guest didn’t know they wanted but are glad they had it,” said Hazen. “I wanted to create a restaurant that was simple and delicious, yet adds excitement to Westport’s restaurant scene.” 

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Friday
Jan222016

Cake Box Bakery Opening in Westport: Delicious Baked Good + Gluten & Nut Free Desserts

This just in from Westportnow.

Cake Box, a bakery offering cakes, cookies, cupcakes and coffee as well as nut-free and gluten-free baked goods, will open Feb. 2 in the lower level of 10 Bay St., behind the former Post 154 Restaurant, according to Robert Byrnes, a Ridgefield resident, who co-owns the business with his wife, Jordan Gregory.

The couple also own two bakeries in Ridgefield, Cake Box at 1 Big Shop Lane since April 2010, and Swoon, a nut-free, gluten-free bakery at 109 Danbury Road.

Read more about Cake Box Bakery here.

Read more about Swoon Gluten Free Bakery here. 

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