Got Whelk?

The Whelk is coming!  The Whelk is coming!  

For a few months now, I had been hearing ALL the buzz about Bill Taibe’s new restaurant coming to Westport.  For me….all this media coverage was putting me into a state of unbearable frenzy!  Then for an extra dose of torture, I even read about some lucky few who were invited to get the first taste of Chef Taibe’s wonderful new menu at The Whelk on a very special inaugural night last week.   Was I jealous?  You Bet!!! 

Anyone who has been to Le Farm has high expectations of Chef Taibe’s next venture.  He is the frontrunner in the new wave of farm to table cuisine.  He creates delectable dishes for diners with refined tastes, and supports the local farmers in the process.  What a win-win situation! 

When I found out that last night was the first night the restaurant was opening to general public … yes, that would be me :-) … I just had to get in there!  It was a bit challenging to find a contact number to make a reservation.  But you know what they say… “where there is strong will, there is a way”.  So I called Le Farm and asked them to give me the number at The Whelk.   It worked!  Note:  Their website is now up…and it should much easier to make a reservation from now on. 

The place was hopping!  Not surprising at all, even though it was a Tuesday night.   I loved the décor. Trendy with touches of rustic.   Bright and cheerful.   Warm and inviting.  A perfect setting right by the water.  

Predominantly seafood-based, dishes on this menu are bold and fearless.   If you want your everyday ordinary, then this is not the place for you.  But if you want to be surprised at every turn ….then you have got to go to The Whelk.  

We ordered the Lamb Burger with Middle Eastern Mayo Sauce.  OMG!  The lamb was delicious and moist.  The sauce had the perfect kick to it and complimented the dominating flavor of the lamb beautifully.  Another winning dish, The Blackened Pollack Sandwich with Pickled Onion and Tartar was so delicately flavored.  

My absolute favorite was the Octopus and Squid with Fries, Beef Gravy and Harissa.  Words cannot describe this spicy, tangy goodness on the plate.   One order of this stuff  is not  nearly enough to satisfy my craving.  This is a “must have” on the menu.  And I know that I MUST HAVE it every time I go back there.  :-)  

We were so full after the main course and we were debating if we should order dessert.  Our server convinced us that it is not up for discussion, and so we did.  We ordered the Magic Bars….a decadent, ooey gooey goodness!   You can’t help yourself but keep eating until the last morsel is gone.  The Panna Cotta with Blood Orange, Sage Sauce was simply divine.  Such a delicate composition on a plate!  This was the perfect ending to our perfect meal. 

Hats off to you, Chef Taibe!  You have done it again!

The Whelk Westport

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