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Westport Daily Voice serves Weston & Westport

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Editor's Choice: Dunville's

Steve Carpentieri likes to say that you’re only a stranger at Dunville’s until the first time you walk through the door. The owner of this homey, lively roadside pub understands the value of a friendly face, a stiff drink, and great food.

While the impressively diverse menu doesn’t pretend to offer any sort of highbrow culinary adventure, it goes well beyond the great burgers and other standard pub fare served. The chef makes all his own sauces, soups and salad dressings. All the meat – roast beef, turkey, ham – is roasted and baked in house. There are sandwiches and salads, meat, fish and poultry items, and more. If you love ribs, get out the wet naps. Dunville’s’ slow roasted, sticky glazed baby backs are a heavenly, finger-sucking slurp fest. The brown-sugar scented sauce is laced with bourbon – sweet but not cloying – and the meat falls right off the bone. The rack comes with crunchy, tangy and lightly creamy cole slaw that adds the perfect counterpoint.

The house favorite London Broil, marinated in a top-secret, soy-based bath of herbs and spices, is so tender and mouth-wateringly savory that the Bearnaise sauce it’s served with is almost overkill (who thought that was possible?). Ask for it on the side and dip.

My choice? Even with all the formidable and fancy brunch alternatives in the area, you’d be hard pressed to find better Eggs Benedict than the exceptional, straightforward version served here. Unfailingly, the eggs are perfectly poached and cooked enough to be ever so slightly firm on the outside but with a lovely, oozy yolk. The Canadian bacon is lean and not overly salty, and the hollandaise sauce is absolutely sublime, with a creamy, drizzle-worthy consistency, and a lovely, lemony overtone. It arrives piping hot on its English muffin bed with the requisite home fries, savory and seasoned and dotted with caramelized onion (we like to ask for them well done). After 12 years of sampling, I’d stack this version against any in Fairfield County. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for brunch to try them. Dunville’s serves all their egg dishes, along with their entire menu, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. A brunch menu on Sunday adds more specials until 4:00 p.m. And don’t forget the Sunday Special, a dangerously easy-drinking libation of orange vodka, cointreau, champagne, and orange juice. Dunville’s is located just off I-95 at 41 Saugatuck Avenue in Westport, telephone: 203-227-0511.

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