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“Not your typical restaurant fare”
Review of The Whelk

The Whelk
Ranked #6 of 163 Restaurants in Westport
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Oyster & Seafood Bar located on the Saugatuck River.
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not your typical restaurant fare”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

So my husband & I were very excited to try this new neighborhood place that was getting so much buzz, but it was quite difficult to get a reservation unless you booked far in advance. We are foodies & love to try new things, but found the menu to be a bit over the top. If you are a true wine connoisseur & into eclectic fare, this is the place for you; but we did not love the food, or the prices. The service, however, was wonderful. I remember the charred brussel sprouts, which were exactly that...blackened. The rest of our meal was forgettable, and I'm sure there were dishes on the menu that we would have enjoyed more. They do use local ingredients which is a big plus, but this place is definitely for adventurous diners. Not running back.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Dorismini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    41
    12
    8
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Westport, CT
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Surprise your tastebuds and savor the seafood”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Have eaten here twice and loved it both times; but save The Whelk for a special occasion if small appetizers at $16 give you pause. The chef has true imagination and shows real commitment to locally caught seafood, Connecticut meats, produce, and artisanal cheeses. Massimo, one of the partners, really knows his wines; there's a good, varied selection which can be had by glass ($9 - $15 a glass), half carafe or bottle. The half carafe is a great solution for couples who don't want a full bottle. It's hard to get a reservation on short notice, but there's plenty of bar space and the communal tables are a neighborly solution, too (it's a savvy, friendly and attractive crowd so you can't go wrong). Waitstaff is professional and knowledgeable about the food and wine. The peekytoe crab fondue, with grits and wasabi (!) is insanely rich and delicious, shrimp and grits also fabulous. The burrata, from Hamden, CT, is as good as any I've tasted in Italy. Why only 4 stars? Because, the menu simply does not offer enough vegie choices for sides and small plates. There was one salad choice, I believe, and fries (really good, as they should be, for $9 a plateful) although I don't consider the latter a vegetable. C'mon, Whelk, put that fabulous creativity to work on some healthier vegie options, and we'll be back to add the 5th star.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Westporter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
72 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Favorite Fairfield County Restaurant - and try the fries!”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Been to The Whelk several times and each time has been a 5 star food experience. Menu changes regularly. One time we went there were some interesting pork options to find out from the waitress that the restaurant had a few pigs from a local farm and were using as much of the pig as possible. Very cool. Love the oysters and the very affordable wine selections. The fries are simply amazing. We order as part of the appetizers and munch on them throughout the meal. Quick tip: it can be difficult to get a reservation becuase most of the tables are "communal" tables where you simply show up. So if you are a small party, just show up and sit at one of the large tables in the middle.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JayBoy76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darien, Connecticut
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“If you are a true experimental foodie, go for it... Otherwise nadda!”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I have digestive issues and need clean, good, basic foods. I travel all over the world and this is the wackiest menu I've seen. Not for me, too out there

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CA2CT2TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
70 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Good local restaurant”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Had a business dinner here and really enjoyed it. The food and service were excellent, and the selection of wines was great.

Very dark in the restaurant, so we needed to use our cell phone flashlights to read the menu. Literally.

Otherwise good. Pricey.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CaptainSteveG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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