The Red Hen, located within Westport Inn in Westport, CT, is quite a hidden gem. With only a handful of tables, the small, cozy restaurant makes you feel like you’re sitting at someone’s kitchen table.
The Red Hen uses only local, seasonal, and organic ingredients to craft their dishes and are happy to make modifications to the dishes upon request. Have allergies? Don’t like cilantro? Just simply ask and Chef Paul will be happy to oblige. Because each dish is crafted fresh and on the spot, they have a lot of flexibility.
Chef Paul prepared a nine course tasting menu for us and some of our blogging comrades. The idea was to get an idea of the range and styles that would be incorporated into the menu that we might experience on a typical night at The Red Hen. By the way, I say “might” experience because the menu changes every day! There may be a few things that stay on for more than one day, but new dishes will be added each day. This goes with the theme of local, seasonal dishes that are sustainable.
Another cool thing… for any table of four or more that gives the restaurant a few days notice, Chef Paul will create a customized menu for you! That’s right, Chef Paul will cook anything you like that he can source (which is pretty much anything)…
So what kinds of dishes might you find when you take a trip to see Chef Paul? Well, how does a Scallop Crudo with Blood Orange or a Bacon Crusted Arctic Char sound? I’ll tell you, absolutely delicious! Those were certainly a couple of our favorites, thanks to both the imagination and of course, the taste. We also couldn’t get enough of the Garden Vegetable Fritters with the Chipotle Aioli (a dish that is part of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Local Dish Education Drive).
There were a few things that we felt needed a little more development, like the Vegan Gluten-free Gnocchi. It’s a difficult feat to accomplish to be sure, but we found them to be a bit too tough. However, the flavors of the dish were there. With some more experimentation, we’re sure that they will be perfected. We also felt that the Chicken Marsala with Roasted Garlic Polenta was lacking in flavor. With a little seasoning and more Marsala sauce, it can certainly be perfected. Polenta can be very bland served just plain. The team at the Red Hen is very open and honest about their quest for breaking new ground and doing things that have never been done before.
We look forward to going back!
The Red Hen at the Westport Inn
Address: 1595 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: (203) 293-4113
Do they take reservations? Yes
Attire? Smart casual
Vibe? Rustic, Relaxed, Quiet
Monday – Friday, 7am – 11am
Saturday – Sunday, 7am – 12pm
Monday – Friday, 5pm – 10pm
Saturday – Sunday, 5pm – 11pm
Sunday – Thursday, 5pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 11pm