A Foodie's Paradise

The popular food truck housed in an Airstream trailer evolved into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Westport last year. While ordering gourmet Mexican food from the side of a trailer is a unique experience, the modern yet rustic Southwestern atmosphere of the full-scale restaurant (and music that is occasionally cranked to high decibels) is equally as unique.

This is a new concept for a lot of people. An option for those who don’t have a reservation, don’t want to wait in the cue for a private table, don’t want to grab a seat at the bar, or for those who really enjoy making new friends, the community table is a large wood table surrounded by several barstool-style chairs. You may be elbow to elbow with strangers, but at least you may overhear an interesting conversation or two.

Don’t try to go for lunch during the week. You’ll find locked doors. Tuesday through Friday, Port Fonda is only open for dinner and drinks, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. On the weekend, however, hours are 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. And the restaurant also serves a fantastic Sunday brunch worth waiting for.

The staff’s uniforms were designed locally. Matt and Emily Baldwin, owners of Standard Style and Baldwin boutiques, designed the uniforms worn by Port Fonda staff, which is simply pretty cool.

Don’t expect average tacos and enchiladas, or even the staple chips and salsa. Port Fonda does serve tortilla chips but the two types of salsa offered are homemade and refreshingly unexpected. And the tacos are made with unusual options like pork shoulder, pork belly, braised beef tongue, fried oysters and mussels.
Dishes definitely worth trying are:
Camarones En Pipian — a bowl of grilled shrimp, green peanut mole, grilled green onions and crispy potatoes.
Esquite Asado — grilled sweet corn (off the cob) topped with epazote, cotija, habañero mayonnaise, chile and lime.
Rancho Gordo — a bean salad with fried plantains, queso fresco, chile and lime, topped with a fried egg.
Panza — crispy pork belly, rancho gordo beans, pickled tomatillo, salsa negra, argula and queso añejo.
Pulpo — tomato braised octopus, chipotle, bacon, baby spinach and red onion.

photo: Brooke Vandever

*Update 3/8/13: Port Fonda has just opened its doors for lunch during the week.