Ever since the doors of leFarm opened in Westport, the question has been asked of Bill Taibe…so what's next? leFarm fans need wait no longer for news of Bill Taibe's second Fairfield County culinary venture because work is well underway at Taibe's new stomping grounds in the Gaults' newly constructed Saugatuck River complex. This renovation project aims to revitalize the area and with Craft Butchery a stone's throw away, Batali across the street and Bill Taibe as the anchor tenant, I'd say they are on the right track.
So, what's the concept? Another leFarm? No, Bill has other intentions for this new waterfront haven.While leFarm defines casuallyrefinedupscale dining, this new venture will be simply casual. Leveraging the proximity to the Saugatuck River, this new menu will feature seafood as the guiding force. Taibe say it will be "open and airy, as much a la carte as possible with small plates and more options." "leFarm will remain the 'bistro' with bone marrow and big reds, while the new venue feel like a 'brasserie'…think oysters and rose" (locally sourced oysters of course). "We want to source great products, and do as little as possible to those products…making them the stars of the show." The 2000 square foot, 45 seat waterfront venue will headline daily specials, "really whatever looks good that day" says Taibe. "Think fish."
The Saugatuck River was a big draw for Taibe, who intends to take full advantage of the marina and boardwalk with an outdoor patio seating 10-12 as well as benches for hopeful diners waiting for tables (Taibe is leaning towards no reservations). "There is so little waterfront dining in Fairfield County...This spot reminds me of being in Brooklyn" says the leFarm chef. Transient boat slips will also be available for lucky boaters who can grab a seat without ever getting in their cars.
And for the cocktail enthusiast, Bill Taibe and his team of mixologists will be unveiling an extensive bar (not found at leFarm) with 18 seats, rotating craft beers on tap, wines, as well as seasonal and savory drinks. If you have been lucky enough to sample any of the inventive cocktails at Souterrain, you are currently grinning.
Here's another surprise… Massimo Tulio, most recently of Fat Cat Pie Co. will be joining Taibe in this new venture. Massimo will play a key role in managing the front of the house as well as in the sourcing of ingredients, which is key to the brand. "I love finding the ingredients. There is a story behind every product we carry" says Taibe. Massimo has been managing the construction of the new space, which can be seen from Riverside Ave, so drive slowly next time you're in the area.
What drives Bill Taibe? "I've never been good with rules. It's different every day because I never know what I am going to want, but I know I can always get better….I drive all this on passion." This passion is reflected in every dish that comes out of his kitchen. And this second restaurant is just the beginning.
The build out should take about 3 months, so Fairfield County residents can look forward to this exciting new entry in the Fairfield County dining scene in early 2012.
Stay tuned for more information on the build out in the upcoming months.