A Japanese Pub on the Saugatuck


The chef Bill Taibe began his gustatory takeover of Westport modestly, with the minuscule Le Farm. Then he opened the Welk. His newest venture is Kawa Ni, which is Japanese for “on the river” — it is at the bridge overlooking the Saugatuck River.

Each of these Taibe ventures relies mostly on fresh, locally grown ingredients; at least nine area growers supply many of them to Kawa Ni.

What differentiates Kawa Ni, which opened in August, is Chef Taibe’s riff on a Japanese theme. “I wanted to do something challenging to myself and my staff,” he told me in a phone conversation after my visits. “I fell in love with the Japanese culture on a trip there, which made me want to do my own creative interpretation of it.”

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