30 CHARLES STREET, WESTPORT, CT
Hours of Operation:
Sunday & Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
***** out of *****
$$$ out of $$$$
Located just off the Saugatuck River in Westport is your destination for excellent Italian-inspired cuisine. The environment is casual while the menu is on the formal side. As a Mario Batali partnership, you can imagine the quality of the dishes. The pizza makers are especially talented. Their oven heats up to over 700 degrees, causing their perfect pizzas to cook in just 90 seconds. If you have been to Italy, your palate will not be able to decipher pizza from here or from San Gimignano. The wine list is impeccable and they have classic Italian cocktails. But, speaking from experience, if you get carried away, the bill will be insane. This is a great last-minute spot because they tend to have availability without reservations. Beware of the lack of walking space in the bar and pizza bar area; awkward people always manage to bump into you. Here are my favorites:
Margherita: If it is your first time at Tarry Lodge, you absolutely need to try this. Most of you will be intrigued by my next options, but the classic margherita is a must on this occasion. The oven combines the dough, sweet sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. After tasting it, it will bombard its way into the top three pizzas you have had in your life.
Prosciutto: A regular pizza topped with thinly sliced prosciutto and arugula. The prosciutto is sliced as thin as possible and the arugula is the perfect complement.
Goat cheese: A garlic cream base with pistachios, red onions, goat cheese and truffle honey. This is one of the most interesting pizzas I have had. I assure you, you will need a partner to finish this rich pie. An ambitious move is to order it for dessert – I have never done that before.
Recommended Main Courses:
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara: Pasta with an egg-based sauce, thickly cut pancetta and pepper. This dish is rich, but easy to conquer with the right mindset. The pancetta adds both texture and a salty component.
Tagliatelle Bolognese: A classic Italian meat sauce. If you are a Bolognese fan, this will not disappoint. It doesn’t get much better than a massive scoop of the homemade sauce over this homemade pasta.
There are many meat-based items on the menu, but in all honesty, in the many times I have gone here, I have never made it past pizza and pasta. Sorry, but soon you will understand.
Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake: Almond brittle top and vanilla gelato: this is as amazing as your mind just made this out to be. It is circular like a crème brulee and tastes like cheesecake soaked in maple syrup.