The last year has given Westport three high-profile (if completely divergent) openings. Danny Meyer's Shake Shack opened its first venture into Connecticut and shook-up the Westport fast food scene and Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened a second Tarry Lodge in Saugatuck, bringing a different twist to traditional Italian restaurants. Finally, Chef Bill Taibe, the James Beard nominee and Owner / Chef of LeFarm opened The Whelk, his second Westport restaurant, on the Saugatuck River, just a short stroll from Tarry Lodge.
The Whelk, named after a sea snail similar to a conch, is primarily focused on seafood and addresses an oddly unexploited niche, a high-end seafood restaurant on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. For that reason alone, I was especially interested in The Whelk, and thus began my exploration, with multiple visits to this award winning kitchen.