Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >
Feb 15, 2010 11:59 AM

Contes Gone - Rizzutos In? (Westport CT)

Jfood was driving from the beach yesterday and noticed rizzutos where he thought Contes used to be. True and any feedback?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There have been posts and reviews here of Rizzuto's. Nothing great from what I hear. Also some reviews of Rizzuto's on CTbites.
    Conte's moved to the Westport Inn (also known as "the kiss of death")!!!

    7 Replies
        1. re: Gourmetguy5757

          And I believe that Conte's is now gone. Drove by the other day, all the signage is gone. Called the number, no longer in service. Didn't last long, but not surprising as the location is terrible for a restaurant. I wonder if they are opening elsewhere...

          1. re: sibeats

            What about the one in Mt. Kisco? Does anybody go there anymore... used to be super hot back at the turn of the Century! Dean will probably turn up in Fairfield with a brand new place and tons of backers... you gotta admit, when Conte's was hot, it was one fun restaurant... particularly cougar ladies band night on Fridays!

            1. re: Gourmetguy5757

              I didn't know there was one in Mt Kisco...never was a fan of Conte's...went once for dinner, once to hear a was mediocre/bad, band was fun, cougars were disturbing....

              1. re: sibeats

                contes is gone. it's called the "curse of the westport inn". no restaurant has lasted there longer than 1 year and they've had about 10 in 8 years

                1. re: wreckers00

                  Yup, I said the same thing above...can't understand why they would have moved there to begin with, not surprised it's closed...

      1. Unfortunately it's true. I say that only because I liked Contes. On the other hand, I also like Rizzutos. I haven't eaten at the one in Westport, but we go to the one in Bethel fairly frequently (every other month or so). Food is good, some of it is very good. decent wines by the glass. The downside is that it's a tad overpriced. Not ridiculously so, but still on the high side. Compared to some other places in Westport, it will probably be right in line.

        5 Replies
        1. re: scapegrace

          I keep hearing stories of the terrible service and long waits in the Westport one...not sure if the same is true of the one in Bethel...

          1. re: sibeats

            So far I've only been once, but the service was great. The food was very good as well. They make pastas and breads in house. It is big and airy, with an open kitchen - not for those looking for an intimate dining experience. They seem to be very family friendly, so it's nice to be able to have a kid-appropriate restaurant where I can also get great wines by the glass and good food.

            1. re: Ima Foodie

              Okay, I just went back and read the CtBites review to see if my previous post was incorrect. I think I was reacting to the comments after the review...2 of them said that the noise was deafening, and that it was enough to keep them from ever returning. Seemed like the food was decent though! Just wanted to make sure I wasn't misleading in my prior comments...

            2. re: sibeats

              the Rizzutos in Bethel is a really fun little restaurant with some great people who work there. Van the waitress..oops, serving person.... comes to mind. But Bethel is a VERY different kind of place than Westport. It's kind of a blue collar backwater that offers Applebys and Chi Chi's (is there STILL a Chi CHi's?) as the chief competitors to Rizzuto. Its in an office bulding, the signing is invisible and you really have to know where it is EXACTLY to find it...

              Typically, the booths are full of families of 8, with at least two kids and two toothless seniors eating a couple of pizzas and a bar full of contractors enthusiastically talking about Tea Parties. The food USED to be great, but he (the dreaded, always angry RIzzuto, HIMSELF) took his best chef and moved him to Westport.

              So the question is...Can overpriced, blue collar Italian food from a suburb of Bethel... make it in Glorious, Fabulous, AMAZING, Oh-SO-NOW Westport? Seems that if you make it really, REALLY expensive, make it REALLY.. OMG...Noisy... !!!!!!!!!!!!! its BOUND to be a hit... RIGHT?

              Oh, sorry, I thought we were talking about ZEST!

              RIP, baby

              1. re: sibeats

                We actually stumbled into the West Hartford one a few months back while shopping up in that area on a Sunday. (At the time, we didn't know it was a chain and/or open in Westport.) We were with our kids and the pizza's looked good so we gave it a try. They also had a kids menu for lunch (so I'm assuming they have one for dinner, too).
                We had an awful experience with super poor and super slow service. The pizzas came out near cold and the crust was getting saturated from the sauce & cheese - - - my guess is they sat out for at least 10 - 15 minutes before someone shuffled them to our table. It probably took us 1 1/2 hours to have 2 pizzas and get out. Even paying the bill took so long that I had to walk up to the bar with my credit card. (And this place was not overly busy; they were nearly full when we arrived around 1 pm, but were 1/2 empty come 2:30 - - - yet I couldn't find a person to flag down to our table).
                I'm not one to avoid places because of a single bad service experience, but this place almost changed my mind.
                The only saving grace is that the pizza's would probably have been good if served hot. The non-pizza portion of the menu looked OK too. And they had a small, but nicely varied by-the-glass wine list.
                I'd definitely give them another chance despite one of my worst service experiences ever.

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. Yup, just decent. Glorified pizza place to me and not in a good way (like the place that came and went in New Canaan). But at least it's got a good design & outdoor seating. Have enough to drink and then you can overlook the lack of taste in the food and enjoy being there.

                Got truffle ravioli on Easter which I was excited about but dismayed when in arrived in a puddle of butter. My dining partner had lasagne and offered the leftovers to the nightime animals that visit instead of wanting to save it for his lunch.

                On another visit, my mother had to send back the pizza, which is a joke because they've got this huge shiny oven that costs about $60K to make the pizza. It came out like dry cardboard and we needed to get a replacement.

                That being said, I have had some good dishes there too. I guess it's more hit or miss on the food so stick to the drinks. Though! One day I went for a glass of wine and saw no interesting selections available so decided to buy a bottle of Sancerre for like $60, have a glass and take the rest home. They were out of the Sancerre! Oh vey...

                1. Rizzuto's is ok. Don't find it incredibly noisy (though perhaps, not having children, I tend to go at different hours than the loud kids). Some of the food is pretty good (fried calamari, salads, bread), though the pizza is just OK. Recommend asking for the pizza well done, as it is usually too soft, and I find I like it better after reheating it in a hot oven at home. Have not tried the pastas or mains. Not a horrible option for the convenient location and big menu, but if I want pizza I'd prefer fat cat.