Positano’s makes long-awaited debut next to Westport Playhouse
Updated 6:07 am, Tuesday, August 4, 2015
If it weren’t mid-summer, you might swear that it was Christmas Day for Mike Herlihy.
The Norwalk resident discovered last week that his “favorite restaurant in the world” had finally re-opened. “We were waiting six months for this,” he said. “It’s like the baby has been born.”
Herlihy was referring to the recent opening of Positano’s restaurant on Powers Court, adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse. “We were calling every month and now it’s open,” he said.
The site most recently had been the Dressing Room restaurant, which closed in early 2014, founded by Chef Michel Nischan and the late actor Paul Newman.
Gianni Rizzi, manager, said the restaurant opened one week ago, adding it’s been slow since many former and soon-to-be customers are not aware it has re-opened. “But we are getting customers from playhouse” he said.
The restaurant had been located on Hillspoint Road for about 15 years before closing last December. At that time it was announced the restaurant would be moving to the new Powers Court location in February. But Rizzi said it took longer than anticipated.
Besides a new address there have been other changes, including the menu, according to Chef Fernando Scarpati. “We are using more seasonal foods,” he said.
Lunch and dinner are served daily and plans are to offer brunch Sundays, Rizzi said.
Diners can feast on pasta, ravioli or a variety of chicken, veal and fish dishes, such as Mediterranean sea bass Marechiaro, which is poached in a seafood guazetto with sautéed beans and escarole.
The wine list includes 100 labels, said Rizzi, who added the restaurant can accommodate up to 160 people. There are two main dining areas upstairs and another downstairs for private parties, he said.
Another change is the décor, designed by EcoChi, LLC, in New York City, said Aida Scarpati, assistant manager.
She said much of the restaurant is made of sustainable products. “It’s eco-friendly,” she said. This includes Alabama barn wood that was reused in building the bar.
Energy-efficient light fixtures with LED and Halogen bulbs were chosen “as a way to enhance the experience of diners,” according to an EcoChi pamphlet, which also explains that the company “creates cutting-edge solutions for existing spaces and new build-outs, designing sustainable interiors that promote health, harmony, prosperity and ecological integrity.”
Owner Guiseppe Scarpati came to Westport in 1998, opening a restaurant on the Post Road that he called Positano, named after a village on Italy's famed Amalfi coast, located south of Naples. In 2001, Positano's moved to its Hillspoint site.
Positano’s, located at 27 Powers Court, is open Sunday and Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.