Saturday, January 18, 2014
Acqua of Westport - A Shining Star in the Westport Dining Scene
I had the recent pleasure of enjoying a lunch with my mother at Acqua of Westport. We had noted how nice it looked many times in the past, but had never stopped in; after our meal there is no doubt we will return!
We had trouble deciding what to order, as there truly wasn't a single unappealing dish on the menu. Everything had a nice balance of unique preparations and ingredients without sounding overdone. It's an approachable menu but not at all run of the mill. In addition to the regular menu, there is an "express lunch" menu with more limited choices for $15.
After debating our options, we chose two appetizers and two entrees, and shared everything. First, Yellowfin tuna crudo with avocado, sliced radish, ginger-lime juice, & micro onions. Not only was the dish beautifully presented, but the combination of flavors was spot-on. The tuna was fresh and sweet, the avocado perfectly ripe, and the vinaigrette added a tanginess that didn't detract from the brightness of the tuna.
For our second appetizer, we chose the Prince Edward Island mussels with red curry, cream, fava beans, & cilantro. I love mussels, and these were sweet and tender. I was particularly impressed by the broth; it was completely different from the lemony white wine broth one often encounters with a dish like this. It wasn't heavy at all, but the splash of cream added a sweetness to the slight bite of red curry. We gobbled up all the mussels and proceeded to soak up the broth with focaccia. Yum!
We were already feeling full and happy, but there were entrees on the way, and we were more than happy to make room. I chose the pan roasted bronzini with crisp spaetzle, brussels sprouts, wild mushrooms, and tart apple mustard. I was surprised by the combination of flavors. I love bronzini because the skin is so deliciously flavorful and crispy. I'm used to it being served with savory accompaniments, and the sweet applesauce-like dressing wasn't to my liking. Of course, that's just an issue of personal taste - it wasn't bad at all. The wild mushrooms were a nice touch.
My mother definitely picked a winner: seared dry sea scallops with fennel - orange salad, pomegranate vinaigrette, & crisp prosciutto. I had to resist stealing all of her scallops, which were cooked perfectly. They were completely tender, with just the right amount of char. Absolutely excellent.
Acqua was a pleasant spot for lunch, and would be perfect for a date night. The bar area is just the right size to be intimate without seeming so small that everyone can hear your conversation, and they have a nice wine list. I look forward to my next visit!
Acqua is located at 43 MAIN STREET, WESTPORT, CT 06880 . (203) 222-8899