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"The Dressing Room" Westport, CT


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We dined at The Dressing Room at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT Saturday, 1/27/07, for lunch with a party of seven including one well-behaved four-year-old. It was very good. I have to comment that all the staff were extremely professional, unpretentious and just plain nice--they made you feel so comfortable and that goes a long way, especially in a Westport restaurant. I must say the front dining room with its bar and fireplace looked quite inviting, and we wished we were seated there, but we were in the rear, larger dining room and it was still nice and spacious with wide planks on the floor and walls. There will be a nice outdoor patio for al fresco dining in the summer. I had the best burger of my life--it appeared to be a homemade bun; I could only eat half. It had a local cheese, covered in perfectly carmelized onions with house-cured bacon. Perfectly cooked potato wedges and pickle slices served on the side. My "Use-a-Spoon" chopped salad was also incredible. Others at my table had a lamb panini, meatloaf, chicken pot pie, oysters on the half shell that looked incredibly fresh from local waters. My sister had a burger like mine minus the bun and fats, which she said was great. Breads from SONO Bread Bakers were really great, and I cannot say enough about the service, which just made the day IMHO. The desserts offered the day we went weren't that thrilling and my chocolate dessert was rather dry but the ice cream was very tasty as was the presentation. My sisters shared an apple crumble which was quite different, more like a chopped apple thing in a mold, but they enjoyed it. Another had creme brulee with pecan biscotti. They say that the lunch menu is a scaled down version of the dinner menu with more salads. They concentrate on organic and local grown/raised items--with a strong leaning toward pork--I would have loved to have tried the ribs because I have heard they are incredible. I also wished I had one of their items with pork belly in it. Chef Michel Nischan hails from the midwest and it shows; I've seen him on local TV shows as a guest and he always seems like such a down-to-earth family man--it shows! Prices were typical Westport. Sad to say. . . Paul Newman wasn't visiting when we were there. One odd thing. . . I could somehow see this restaurant turning into a popular blue-hair joint, although the day we were there, the crowd was quite diverse with a good mix of ages--hope it stays this way.

This is their website: www.dressingroomhomegrown.com

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I dined there for lunch a few weeks ago, and thought the meal was mostly excellent (albeit pricey).

One problem was that chocolate souffle cake. It was really bad and we sent it back. Very dry and flavorless. I am surprised they are still serving it, am I the only one who mentioned it to them...

Another problem, the bathrooms smelled horrible to the point of making me nauseous. My husband said the men's room smelled just as bad. Do you know if that has been fixed? I hpe so because I would like to go back again sometime.

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Chocolate souffle cake (Yes! If you can call it that) was what I had and it was such a disappointment. I've read about all these other incredible desserts, but they weren't offered the day we were there--lemon meringue pie, fig dessert, etc.

Funny, you say that about the bathrooms because although I did not venture down there, my sister did with my son and she was raving about how nice it was and that they have real hand towels with a hamper--huge laundry bill if you ask me! So, maybe there was a problem the day you were there or a very very smelly couple who used the bathroom before you entered--perhaps they ate too much pork belly - - - GROSS.

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The ribs were very good...smoked and unsauced. It came with a very refreshing apple slaw with no mayo but an apple cider vinaigrette which I thought was perfect. We shared an appetizer of them.

I had the chicken and dumplings — delicious. Not a traditional preparation. The jus was really flavorful. The chicken was top notch.

Husband had the hot turkey sandwich. Would have been excellent with twice as much gravy. Very tender and good turkey. The ultra small side of cranberry sauce was quite good, not too sweet.

Mixed drinks were on the small side, but nicely prepared. Great spot for upscale comfort food. I hear Paul can mostly be seen early evenings.

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Just a quick note that the Dressing room is closed for about one week (starting Feb 7) due to a burst overhead sprinkler pipe flooding one of the dining rooms. There was only relatively minor damage, but things need to be mopped up.

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