Mario Batali's Saugatuck restaurant to open in July
Mario Batali's new Saugatuck restaurant will likely open within the next month, a colleague of the celebrity chef and television personality said Friday.
"We're hoping to open in early July, we're optimistic," said Nancy Selzer, a business partner with Batali in the Tarry Lodge Enoteca Pizzeria. The restaurant at 30 Charles St. will likely have 80 to 100 seats and also include a wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill, she said.
Batali and several business partners in February acquired the Saugatuck property for $900,000, according to Town Clerk's Office records. The site had been vacant since the April 2010 closing of the Abbondanza specialty food store and catering service and Bonda restaurant. Bonda has since relocated to Hillside Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield.
Batali owns 17 restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, notable among them Babbo, Del Posto, Esca and Eataly NYC.
He has also hosted several television shows on the Food Network and written a series of culinary books.
Batali and his frequent partner, Joe Bastianich, opened the first Tarry Lodge restaurant in 2008 in Port Chester, N.Y., followed by the Tarry Market in 2010. The Westport restaurant will be the Batali partnership's first in Connecticut.
While bearing the same name, Selzer said the ambiance at the Saugatuck Tarry Lodge would be slightly different than at its Port Chester predecessor.
"We think of this restaurant as a great casual reinterpretation of Tarry Lodge," she said.