Westport tacks NEAT onto its list of coffeeshops

Eliza Goldberg, Staff Writer

When I first entered Westport’s newest coffee shop/bar, NEAT, in pursuit of my coffee, I was instantly taken aback by the sleek countertops and comfortable ambiance of the room. Friendly servers greeted me, and I walked up to the counter to make my very difficult decision— what kind of latte should I have?

I chose the ever-so-trendy almond milk latte, and a chocolate chip cookie to munch on. My first impression of  the latte was the sophisticated heart-shaped milk pattern on the top. You definitely don’t get that at Starbucks. After taking my first sip, I was overcome with the rich flavor of coffee and the underlying sweet almond flavor. My cookie was a perfect partner for the latte— sweet, crunchy, with a hint of salt.

NEAT, located at 6 Wilton Rd, may be a bar at night, but I still felt completely at home as I sat at the counter. Daytime at NEAT is time for coffee with a friend or a lunch date, and the perfect spot to do so. Students are even able to enjoy the hospitable environment to get homework done.

Kevin Lalumiere and Bobby Werhane, co-owners of Experience Hospitality, teamed up with Rachel Haughey owner of NEAT’s first location, Darien, to create a restaurant fit to their common philosophies. I spoke to Lalumiere, who was more than kind enough to let me interrupt his busy schedule to chat. Lalumiere described his belief/goal for his restaurant, which is to “use ingredients in a thoughtful mindful way and to take the time to do it carefully and precisely”.

Lalumiere emphasized that he wanted to do more than just provide really good food in a really good space.

“I want to educate people about awesome ingredients without being pretentious,” said Lalumiere.

Overall, I was incredibly excited about my experience at NEAT. The people were helpful and kind, the food was good (a little on the expensive side, but worth it due to the well thought out ingredients), and I left planning my order for next time’s visit.