Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

ON THE GRILL

Readers of my three previous volumes will know something
of my enthusiasm for saloons. I’ve written often of my
admiration for such disreputable Manhattan watering
holes as “21,” the Four Seasons, Primola, San Pietro, Vice
Versa, Club A Steakhouse, Porter House, Circo, Cellini, and
all three incarnations of Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque. And
just to prove I’m not a snob, I’ve celebrated such far-flung
joints as Bernie Murray’s and Tommy Moretti’s way
upstate in Elmira. And lest I forget, my beloved Mario’s
on Arthur Avenue in the Little Italy section of the Bronx.

In all of these disparate venues there’s usually some news
and, often, a good story to be had just by listening to the
fascinating cast of characters assembled at their tables of
an evening.

One of my all-time favorites is the West Street Grill, a
marvelous restaurant owned by two endearing characters,
Charlie Kafferman and James O’Shea, in historic
Litchfield, Connecticut. Over the years the Grill has also
won the favor of Rose and Bill Styron, Rex Reed, Jim
Hoge, Bill vanden Heuvel, Richard Gere, Caryl and Bill
Plunkett, Sirio Maccioni, Danny Meyer, Richard Widmark,
Phillip Roth, and Jonathan Bush. I did this piece in April
2010, when O’Shea and Kafferman celebrated the Grill’s
first twenty years.

Foodies from all over New England patronize this pristine
jewel of an eatery for the superb cuisine.

I go for O’Shea and Kafferman.

Twenty years is a pretty damn good run for an upscale, quality restaurant—or for any endeavor—in this turbulent day and age.

Litchfield’s West Street Grill has survived the two tumultuous decades since its founding with grace and considerable style. Great style, in fact.

-347-

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