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Jul 9, 2007 07:18 PM

Mansion Clam House- Westport, CT

The Mansion Clam House re-opened early summer under new ownership. First visit was O.K . second visit, July 4 weekend was terrible. Had the wrong information on the reservation and flat out told us we were wrong and seemed to think we were a nuisence. No sorry, no have a seat in the bar and no trying to save the customer at all. We were quiet and polite, no hard time, we just assumed they would work it out; they made no attemt to help us so we left and went elsewhere for a lovely evening.
We had been going to the Mansion for over 20 years before they closed last year and were thrilled about having a Westport institiution back.We are no longer thrilled and suggest mangement is going to need all we locals once Labor Day arrives and we are still in town. There are better places for seafood but we had a sentiental attachment and now we have no reason to return.

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  1. Mansion is an old standby from my child- and neighborhood. Too bad to hear about this turn of events. And though I understand their being overwhelmed on THE summer holiday weekend, they could have handled it much, much better (as you pointed out).

    Do you know who the new proprietors are? Anyone local? (Actually, I think I found this information; and I'm surprised at your bad treatment, because as I understand it, he has a pretty good reputation.)

    And where did you have the lovely evening? (Please don't say Viva Zapatas.....)

    3 Replies
    1. re: harrie

      No...we went to Rory's in Darien another one of favorites. I have never even been to Viva Zapata's.

      1. re: harrie

        I don't know what you found out about the new owners, but as I understand it, two of the women who were waitresses there for a long time bought it. Our difficulty was with a woman who said:" I wouldn't know if you are old regulars or not because I just bought it in April." We were just very disappointed in how we were treated.

        1. re: jshap

          I must have had older (about a year ago) information, then. I don't want to say the name of who I thought it was, but he's had other restaurants in Westport that did well. Maybe he turned it around quickly or something, or maybe I got bad info.

          "Our difficulty was with a woman who said:" I wouldn't know if you are old regulars or not because I just bought it in April." " Ouch.

      2. I had a very similar experience here about 2 weeks ago. We had a party of 10 on a Saturday night and had made our reservation 1 week in advance. We were all very excited that the Mansion had reopened and were looking forward to revisiting an old favorite. When we arrived the place was in total chaos. There were at least 10 people waiting for their tables and the bar was 3 deep. Of course our table wasn't ready and the woman who was hosting ( who I later found out was one of the new owners) was just completely rude to us. She treated us like it was our fault for making a ten top resie on a Saturday night. We stayed cool and were eventually seated 20 minutes after our res. I watched this woman throughout the evening and she needs to remove herself from the host stand quickly. She was rude to pretty much everyone who walked in the door. Like the original poster said the mansion isn't the best seafood in town but it is the ambience that we all like. With attitude like the new ownership has that ambience will soon be gone.

        4 Replies
        1. re: foiegrashead

          Very interesting. Thanks for posting your experience because I thought maybe it was just us. This doesn't bode well and that is a shame when it is a place with so much potential to do a fabulous business with very little effort.

          1. re: jshap

            Agreed. Winter will prove to be a good test.

            1. re: jshap

              apparently ownership has changed again. One of the women owners has left and the other owner brought in the chef as a partner. We were there last, for valentines dinner, and it was wonderful! Walls have been painted & fresh flowers on the tables. It's hard to guage how they are doing as I believe all restaurants were packed last night, as were they. As always tho, the food was out of this world!

            2. re: foiegrashead

              I have had completely different experience at the Mansion House. Our first visit was on a Friday night with no reservation ( they really need to get their correct phone number out). We were greetedly pleasantly and given a half hour wait. We were seated in about 35 minutes. The second time (a week ago Sat) we made a reservation and were seated right away. Complaints-Inside is VERY noisy. Our second visit we were on the terrace which was far more pleasant. The food, on both occasions, was fabulous. Better than I remember it having been, although I was told it was the same chef as before. We will be returning. (If the chef ever runs his seafood casserole as special again I highly recommend it!)

            3. I was so surprised to come upon this post I just had to reply! I grew up in this area (Fairfield) and spent alot of time (and money) at the 'old' Mansion Clam House. I stopped going near the end as it had become dirty and inconsistant. I was skepical when the 'new' Mansio opened having heard that it was owned by old staff. My skeptisism was unfounded. We have gone there almost every week since they opened! The food is consistantly EXCELLENT! We have brought friends from out of town who still rave about it. My husband even took one of the owners aside a few weeks ago to comment that in the few minutes we stood at the front door on a busy Friday nght EVERY staff member who walked by us acknowleded our presence with a smile and a "someone will be right with you" We locals will definately be patronizing them come 'off season' and for many years I hope.

              1. My finacee & I were there about 2 weeks after it reopened. The serive was a little disorganized, but friendly. The food was excellent.

                We tried to make a reservation last weekend but couldn't locate the phone #. The information has and that's allover the internet is wrong.

                Anyone know it?

                1 Reply
                1. Your experience sounds terrible, but I'm surprised to hear it. Have been going to Mansion Clam House for many years, but was had become disgusted with the place in the year before it closed. When it re-opened, we were so happy that it is back in good form, and have had nothing but good experiences with the "new" version. Food is great--better than ever--and the staff has been extremely pleasant. Weekends may be different (we try to avoid Westport restaurants on weekends in summer), but our visits during the week have been just great. In fact, am going again tonight!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: fancyfeast

                    wondering what the latest is on Mansion-has the service improved from what some were experiencing after the reopening? Is the food still good?

                    1. re: Ima Foodie

                      We frequent the Restaurant and with the exception of one visit we have had wonderful service, and more importantly food! (the one visit the service wasn't "bad" just not up to par) The patio is delightful (and quieter / roomier) than the inside. The food is EXCEPTIONAL!