Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Black Duck, Westport, CT

My wife and I attended the 2011 Greenwich, CT Concors d’Elegance today.  I am a car fanatic so being around all these magnificent automobiles made for a truly amazing day.   We also attended the Bonham Auction.  Many different Marques were represented.   I had to be careful not to scratch my ear so I wouldn’t accidently clean out my retirement account.  Some idiot actually bid on a car by accident. He was playing with his paddle.  The auctioneer was not amused.  Luckily, someone else outbid him. 

On the way home we decided to go the Black Duck in Westport, CT.  I had heard about this place on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  I’m a big fan of the show.  I’ve visited all of the places showcased in Connecticut except the Black Duck.  We set the nav and got onto to the highway.   Fifteen minutes later we pull into the parking lot. Juke box music and chatter can be heard twenty steps before we get into the place.  This is going to be fun. 

The Black Duck was a sea going barge that was built in the mid nineteenth century.  It hauled ice from Gloucester, Boston and Portland and exchanged it for other cargo on its journey.  Ice was a valuable commodity one hundred-seventy years ago. It was  converted into a restaurant and moored on the river, near the railroad station. 

We walk into a loud, raucous and comfortable place.  The view of the Saugatuck River was tremendous.  Nautical tschokes adorned the walls.  The waitress was prompt and attentive.  She swiftly brings out our drinks.  My beer was great, but Sal didn’t like her lemonade.  The taste was lacking.  No problem; the waitress rattles off a bunch of other choices and swiftly replaces her drink.

The menu is pretty much your standard burgers, sandwiches, and seafood.  We ordered a fried calamari appetizer.  It arrived in a few minutes, hot and fresh from the deep fryer.  The calamari was lightly battered and not at all greasy.  The marinara sauce was okay. Too hot for Sal, so she ordered a plain one.  It took a little time to get to the table though.  The bus-girl messed that one up.  The waitress finally arrives with the sauce.  Not the best calamari I’ve had, but by no means the worst.  Sort of in the middle, but very fresh.

I order the Doctor Proctor burger and onion rings.  It is stuffed with bleu cheese.  Can’t wait.   Sal orders a classic bacon cheeseburger with curly fries.  We are not quite done with the calamari when the burgers arrive.  Okay, it was busy that day so I can see the cook wanting the get the orders up.  I usually like to wait a few minutes between the appetizer and the entrée.  I toss some A-1 Steak Sauce on the burger and dig in.  The sharp tang of the bleu cheese hits you immediately.  It oozes out in a savory trail of goodness.  A huge meaty taste from the burger combined with a soft, fresh bun rounds out the package. Absolutely delicious. On to the onion rings.  Hot, fresh and not oily.  Handmade rings of heaven.  The rings have exceptional crunch on the outside with soft, perfectly cooked onions on the inside.  Too many places use industrial onion rings.  You can tell these are handmade by the taste.  A little cole slaw on the side, not as good as my wife’s, but sweet and crunchy. 

Sal loved her bacon-cheeseburger.  I gave her my “I’m still hungry eyes,” but she wasn’t having any of that. She did share her curly fries with me.  They too were cooked right.  Another beer for me and we were ready to leave.  The floor is off kilter so when you get up, you think the room is moving.  Sal made sure the barge was actually secured to the dock.  I was secretly happy I stopped at two beers.   Forty-four bucks plus tip. 

It’s a great joint.  Fun, good service, and great food.  What more can you ask for?

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