Amidst the brownstone buildings, comprised of porous bricks, overlaying the scenery of downtown Westport, lies a bijou, lively dining establishment named Jesup Hall. The restaurant located on 90 Post Rd East is relatively hidden, and at first sight, may appear to be out of place in the back of a parking lot. A short flight of stairs leads customers into the energetic and vibrant atmosphere of the dining establishment, that from the inside, is impossible to miss. Although most commonly defined as Traditional American style eating, Jesup Hall has attempted to recreate classic ‘pub and tavern’ dining through a more modernized and high end take on original dishes. To Restaurateur, Bill Taibe, Jesup Hall is one of his most recent endeavors, as he also opened the beloved Kawa Ni and the Whelk in the Saugatuck area.
The highly anticipated new spot was buzzing with excitement, smiles and chatter of approval dispersed across the dimly light room. There is ample seating, the space fitting a handful of communal tables in the center, a bar the spanning the length of the room, and extra seating to sit by reservation. The restaurant gives off a welcoming and spunky vibe, much different from the average Westport spot, a sophisticated yet semi-casual atmosphere. While the ambiance of the restaurant might not have captured that of the quintessential American tavern in the way it aimed to, the food was surely representative of it. Upon some deliberation accompanied by the helpful recommendations of our waiter, we came to the decision to split four appetizers; the warm olive monkey bread, lightly seared tuna, bacon and tapping reeve rice balls, and the crispy fried cauliflower. While the burgers initially caught our eye and surely had our mouths watering, they were certainly out of our price range. However, our spirits were instantly lifted upon our first bite of the rice balls, having us begging for more.