Le Penguin to open in downtown Westport
Published 10:10 am, Friday, July 8, 2016
After enjoying tremendous success at their Greenwich location for the past three years, the partners decided to open a second location.
Prior to joining forces in Greenwich, the two men had illustrious careers. Blech’s history includes such restaurants as Spago, L’Orangerie, Le Bec Fin, Le Bilboquet, Le Comptoir, Le Colonial and Orienta, which he co-owned in Manhattan. Vidyarthi’s past accomplishments include Los Angeles’ famous The Ivy, Brentwood Bar & Grill and The Olive, as well as the landmark location of Le Colonial in New York City. In 2003, Vidyarthi delighted guests as director of operations of l'Escale in Greenwich.
Le Penguin offers traditional French bistro fare with a farm-to-table approach. Local seasonal ingredients heighten the bistro experience.
Diners can look forward to such favorites as escargots, frisee au lardons, salade nicoise, steak tartare, steak frites, steak au poivre, soupe a l’oignon, coq au vin and tarte tatin among many other menu selections.
Le Penguin Westport
15 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT 06880
“The restaurant experience is much more than the food. It is about the ambiance,” Blech said. “We have cheerful restaurants. We like to make everyone feel happy. We even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to our guests.”
“The decor is happy and colorful, too,” added Blech, who plans to paint the wall near the bar bright orange.
Longtime family friend Lynn Morgan of Lynn Morgan Design planned out the Greenwich location and is working on the Westport site.
“Penguin Westport has been styled with a modern vibe, a chic atmosphere and garden dining,” Morgan said. “Le Penguin’s got great food and a few surprises.”
The restaurant’s name came to Blech as he was designing a logo for a restaurant he was taking over in Manhattan.
“It completely lacked character,” he said. “The first thing I designed was a penguin logo. I liked the logo and I knew I wanted to do something with it. One day I asked my daughter what kind of animal I would be and she told me, ‘You are free spirited and you’re funny, but you can’t fly, so you’d be a penguin.’ Also, my son was the chef for a few months when we first opened and, when he was in L.A., he worked in a restaurant and that was his nickname.”
“The Penguin” is also a term used to describe the old-style French waiters with their white aprons and black suits.