I have a problem with chicken and waffles. Not that I’m annoyed by this dish because that’s not it at all. It’s more like a “problem” in the sense that I have an addiction. When I found out that one of Westport’s newest restaurants, The Blu Parrot, had chicken and waffles on its menu, I knew I had to try it. We’ll get to that in a bit.
The Blu Parrot is more than just fried chicken and waffles; in fact it has quite a bit with two main attractions of this restaurant, an art gallery of a dining room and live music. The art, showcased on virtually every wall, comes from local artists of the past, present, and future, many of whom have Westport roots.
Live music at The Blu Parrot is its other form of art with sounds of jazz, Brazilian jazz, country, rock, and like the video on their website says, on Sundays they’ll even have sounds of gospel filling the dining room.
But before you think those are the only two arts showcased here, there is a third, the food. The menu itself is American with a few dishes with roots in other parts of the world (Morocco, France, and the Mediterranean) and can be enjoyed for a reasonable price with the highest menu item being just $24.
On my visit, with a guest of course, we sampled six dishes. We wanted to start out the meal with something light since we knew chicken and waffles was looming so we went with a Cesar salad ($8) and triple smoked bacon popcorn (all popcorn $5). I know what you’re thinking, not your typical appetizers, but both were wise choices. While the Cesar was well coated with fresh dressing, we couldn’t stop eating the popcorn. The popcorn menu at The Blu Parrot is worth a look with choices like cheddar cheese, spicy Moroccan, the interesting green tea and wasabi, and others. Once I spotted bacon popcorn it was a no-brainer, everything tastes better with bacon, including popcorn. Their bacon popcorn is tossed in bacon fat and served with bacon bits. Beat that, movie theaters! The only appetizer regret was not ordering the crispy pork belly that the table behind us was raving about. Next time!
For the main courses, well, if you’ve been paying attention you know what one is already, but the other was Bubbe’s Brisket with mashed potatoes ($16). When the brisket came out, I have to admit to the expectations of it being smoked. Their version was braised and was so tender that I barely used my knife so I was pleasantly surprised and the braising liquid was good enough to swirl the mashed potatoes in.
Now, it was time for the chicken and waffles moment of truth. The fried chicken itself had a nice, thick crust and the chicken was juicy. My only gripe was that I wanted more waffle, but for one reason. One of the ways to eat chicken and waffles is with manners completely out the window by de-boning the chicken, putting it on top of the waffle, drizzling syrup on top, and folding it up to eat. I was able to do that in some capacity but not in the sandwich style I’m accustomed to and preferred the syrup over the white gravy. With all said and done, it still passed my test.
Believe it or not, ordering dessert actually happened. We sampled the Sweet Lee chocolate chip and sea salt cookie sandwich with caramel ice cream and a cinnamon baked Cortland apple with vanilla ice cream (both $6). I loved the grown up version of the cookie and ice cream sandwich but the apple was a nice change-up that reminded me of apple pie without the crust and even though some say the crust is their favorite, you might surprise yourself and really like the soft, warm apple with vanilla ice cream melting on top.
If you’re intrigued about The Blu Parrot, you should be. I’ve seen places try a similar theme but weren’t nearly as much of an attraction like The Blu Parrot already is and should be for a while. Whether you like live music and drinks, an art gallery worth browsing, small plates and beer with your friends at the bar, or dinner with the family, The Blu Parrot has you covered.
And each table is even supplied with a bunch of crayons, so why not get in on the art theme here? The Blu Parrot will even post the good ones on Facebook, making an artist out of you too.
The Blu Parrot
60 Charles Street
Westport, CT 06880
Hours: Monday-Tuesday Closed, Wednesday-Thursday 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Kitchen closes at 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Kitchen closes at 12 a.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Kitchen closes at 12 a.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.