Suzy Digs Into Tarry Lodge
Monday, August 01, 2011
There are precious few places in Westport where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of bubbly at the same time and it just works. Mario Batalli’s new urban oasis in our exurban outpost is just such a one.
The scene is set by the hip and slightly edgy (for Westport, anyway) hostesses who greet you at the door with just enough of a smile to let you know you’re not really in New York City. There’s not much else, however, that betrays the suburban locale. The contemporary, urban bistro feel is expertly executed and not a detail is overlooked. From the small, vintage-style tile underfoot, to the towering shelves in dark wood housing bottles of wine, the scene is undeniably dressed for success, and peopled by an intuitive and expert staff.
With celebrity vintner Joe Bastianich at the helm, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the wine list is carefully edited and expertly chosen. There’s enough variety on the Italian all-star list to please everyone, but Bastianich reigns it in enough so as not to overwhelm.
And then, of course, there’s the food, conceived by culinary demi-god, Mario Batalli.
On a first visit, it’s hard to settle on what to order, when everything sounds so good. Sure, there’s the signature pizzas, which it would be almost sacrilegious to overlook. But then there are rarer gems, like porcini mushrooms with truffle aioli to start, or homemade goat cheese ravioli with garlic and fennel.
The good news, is that, no matter what you order, you won’t be disappointed. Everything we sampled was as good as it should have been with boldface names like these behind this kitchen.
In short, believe the hype. Tarry Lodge is like nothing else on the Westport restaurant scene.
30 Charles Street