Jarret Liotta is a veteran freelance writer whose articles and essays have appeared in over 75 different publications, including The New York Times & National Geographic. He is a native of Westport, Connecticut.
I was browsing CTbites recently and was surprised and thrilled to find no contributor had yet posted a review of Gold’s Delicatessen in Westport, because now I get to do it.
In a nutshell, if you taste a hot corned beef sandwich from Gold’s, you will be in Hebraic heaven. This is a real New York style Jewish deli, and as fine a one as I’ve ever found in New York or Miami.
In one of the rarer gifts by today’s deli experience, Gold’s makes its own corned beef—as they make their own brisket. Both are excellent and, if you’re lucky—stay with me here—you’ll get a slightly fattier serving that is just astounding for its flavor and the kind of grand indulgent satisfaction you won’t find with the store-bought stuff served in most places.
I first remember going to Gold’s Delicatessen in about 1970, as a little boy in love with chicken salad; they were around for 12 years before that. Ironically, their chicken salad remains terrific and my kids and I find their tuna fish just better than anything we’ve ever been able to concoct at home.
The matzo ball soup is another favorite—homemade chicken broth—the real thing—simple, but satisfying, replete with the kind of successful light matzo balls that elude my cooking at home. In the midst of Winter, you will often find parents lining up to bring pints home to ailing children. It does the trick.
Also excellent is their house made roasted turkey breast, an all time family favorite, especially when piled high on rye bread, smothered in Russian dressing.
They’re solid on the bagel front as well. I’m one for a toasted sesame with cream cheese, tomatoes and onions, but various combinations—and lovely lox among them—can make this excellent fare all day long. Gold's also offers kippered salmon, Nova, belly lox, sable, and sturgeon for smoked fish lovers.
Other small extras consistently make it grand. The potato salad, for instance, the pickles (both full sour kosher dill and half sour) and and coleslaw too—little side dishes with the sandwiches when you eat in—are just right. Add a Dr. Brown’s cherry soda, or maybe a pick from a bountiful candy selection up by the register ... Sweet!
For a long time Gold’s had a sign that declared “Professional service by responsible adults.” I wish they’d put it back up, for this is the kind of attention I feel I receive when I’m there. In an age where one worries that a failure to grease the ever-present tip jar in a deli or coffee house results in contemptible service and—in the worst-case scenario—your food being dropped on the floor, the staff at Gold’s doesn’t make you feel like they’re doing you a favor by serving you.
It’s also a pleasure to see the same faces year after year—a testament to the wisdom and positive management of its owners.
In short, Go for the Gold’s!
Gold's Delicateesen 421 Post Road East, Westport.
[Photography courtesy of Pam Zaremba]