Japanese izakaya in Connecticut? That would be correct. The restaurant by the owners of The Whelk and Jesup Hall serves up Japanese pub fare Tuesday through Sunday in the town of Westport. Chef Jeff Taibe traveled through Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto to learn about the cuisine and now puts his creative touch on Japanese techniques using mostly local ingredients.
The restaurant sits on the Saugatuck river and has a rooftop deck that is open during the warmer months. Kawa Ni is known for its large steaming bowls of noodles (our favorite being the spicy kai udon with crab, pickled clams and sesame) and its small plates. While the dishes change often there are a few that seem to always stick around. The smoked bone marrow topped with clam tsukemono and bonito is not to be missed, nor are the szechuan pork dumplings with barrel aged ponzu and garlic hot oil.
While you may be here to eat, don't sleep on the cocktails. Beverage manager Craig Ventrice has curated quite the list of sake, beer and whiskey and is regularly switching up the beverage menu. Some of our favorite cocktails include the Toyko 75, a variation on a French 75 that includes sake and yuzu juice, and the Spicy Bomb with Thai chili, sake and beer.
19A Bridge Square Westport, CT 06880
Kani crab salad
Smoked bone marrow
Spicy kai udon
Eating At The Bar