Vespa, the latest restaurant from New York restauranteur Bobby Werhane, serves Modern Rustic Italian—simple and thoughtful dishes inspired by the Mediterranean in general and Italy specifically—in the heart of Westport National Hall revival.
With an old-world, ingredient-driven approach, Vespa displays the Italian trademarks that have always stood the test of time, but with versatile and local New England ingredients. Simplicity met with sophistication catapulted the position of Vespa in Fairfield’s dining scene since opening in January 2015.
The menu has plenty of options, but seafood and pasta lovers will be especially delighted. Start with small plates like fresh crudo, cured meats, roasted octopus, and house –made Stracciatella Cheese, Thyme, Buckwheat Honey. Then move on to seasonal entrées, like Maine sea scallops and Chicken Al Mattone. Or choose from a rotating selection of handmade pasta dishes, from classic spinach Spinach Gramigna, Ragu Bolognese Tradizionale, to rich Ricotta Cavatelli, Marsala Braised Duck, Smoked Mozzarella. And after dinner, sample a few of pastry chef Suzanne Berne’s Italian-inspired desserts, like Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp and bomboloni doughnuts served with three house made dipping sauces.
Equally chic and cozy, the restaurant is divided into three “rooms” that flow gracefully into each other. Dominated by a black and white herringbone topped bar, the bar area provides the perfect spot for sipping craft cocktails and people watching, the understated main dining room offers sleek tables and minimalist lighting, while the wine room is paneled in racks of vino creating an intimate feel . The overall effect is contemporary, yet casual enough for a family gathering or weeknight dinner out with friends, yet sophisticated enough to feel special on a weekend night. Without question on of the most beautiful dining experience is all of Fairfield County is outdise on Vespa’s Patio over looking the Saugatuck River.
Guests are invited to stop by after work or arrive before dinner for a drink at the spacious bar. Enjoy a specialty cocktail, or have a glass or bottle from the hand-picked beer and wine list.
Whether you’re planning a lunch meeting, a dinner date, or a private event, there’s a table for you at Vespa.
Meet our Executive Chef, David White
Born in Ochenfurt, Germany and raised in Pennsylvania, Executive Chef David White has spent his entire life surrounded by the sights, smells, and flavors of the kitchen. David’s “piquant” fascination with food and its origins led him to start traveling at a young age, affording him the opportunity to strengthen his familial ties while simultaneously learning about European cuisine. Although inspired by the journey, David claims his culinary libido was truly sparked by creating new fare for his mother and brother using any ingredient he could forage – a catalyst for what would become his handmade, creative approach to cooking.
After attending Culinary School (and graduating second in his class), Chef White cut his teeth in many well-established kitchens throughout Europe. It was there he expanded upon his love of the ingredient and brought definition to his craft; by handling each item as few times as possible, he developed a style that put emphasis on showcasing the natural flavor profile for every component of the dish. Equipped with ambition, talent, and a newfound trademark, it didn’t take long for people to take notice.
The culinary mecca of New York called in 2012, bringing Chef White back stateside to hone in on his skills as Chef de Cuisine under the award-wining Andrew Masciangelo. Soon after, he helped Masciangelo open Savona – an establishment which went on to win Best New Restaurant in 2013. The next year, Chef White went on to pursue the same position with acclaimed chef Jean-Gorges Vongerichten at the highly touted Inn at Pound Ridge.
Now Chef White endeavors to make his mark on the tawny town of Westport, CT where he will head the kitchen of Vespa, a full-service modern rustic Italian restaurant located on the shores of The Saugatuck River in historic National Hall.