The 'Port satisfies despite surprises By Sophie Driscoll '19 and Layla Wofsy '19

The ‘Port opened on May 17 at 2A Post Road West in the National Hall Building. “We wanted to figure out where we can bring our families, watch a sporting event, and have really good quality food, at a reasonable price,” Sal Augeri, the restaurant's owner, said. “We did not think there was another restaurant in town doing all of those things, so why not put all of those things together and create our own restaurant?”

The ‘Port is located in the space formerly occupied by Vespa. The restaurant is situated right near the water, and its large windows allow for a beautiful view. “We all thought that this was one of the best locations in town. This is an iconic building on the water, with great space, beautiful outdoor space,” Augeri said. The walls of the restaurant are hung with paintings and framed Westport memorabilia, such as a photograph of Compo Beach and a Westport Police Department badge. There is also an outdoor seating area, which was utilized by many customers waiting to be seated indoors.

We enjoyed 'The Port's atmosphere.

Considering that we visited The ‘Port on their second night open to the public, the service was very impressive. Our waitress was very friendly, and we enjoyed seeing many familiar faces, as many Staples students are bussers at ‘The Port. The food was served very quickly; it arrived in approximately 10 minutes. However, all of our appetizers and our entrees were brought to the table at once, which was slightly overwhelming. We would have preferred our courses to have been brought to us separately, but we were pleased with the service overall.

Augeri described the restaurant's food as “casual American.” We decided to order a few of The ‘Port’s most popular dishes in order to get a sense of the restaurant's signature style of cuisine.

To start, we shared meatballs, crispy brussels sprouts and the tuna poke.

The meatball serving was the perfect size for sharing and the tomato sauce was clearly fresh and homemade. The meatballs were topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, which served as the perfect addition to the dish. They cost $11.00.

The brussels sprouts were very crispy, and were covered with light ricotta cheese. We both agreed that this was our favorite dish. The brussels sprouts cost $7.00.

The tuna poke, which was topped with crispy sesame seeds and served with rice chips, was beautifully presented. It was clearly very fresh. Although the dish was very simple, it was enjoyable and hearty. The tuna cost $13.00.

For our main dish, we ordered the veggie rice bowl. Our waiter encouraged us to add salmon on top as our protein. Although we worried that we had ordered too much food and were hesitant to add a protein, we followed her advice. The bowl contains a mix of fresh vegetables and crispy wonton and had a coconut curry flavor. The piece of salmon was simple and cooked perfectly. However, the dish was a little too expensive, especially considering the piece of salmon was rather small. Without the salmon, the bowl would have cost $13.00. With the salmon, it cost $21.00.

At our waiter’s recommendation, we ordered the homemade brownie cookie ice cream sandwich. The cold, creamy vanilla ice cream balanced out the rich flavor of the chocolate brownie. It was a very simple treat. The ice cream sandwich cost $8.00.

Although we do not believe the restaurant achieves Augeri’s goal of providing a casual spot for community members to gather and enjoy a relatively inexpensive meal while watching a sports game, our overall experience at The ‘Port was very enjoyable.

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