Ridgefield Press, The (CT)

February 24, 2005

The time was right for Bobby and Kelley LeRose to open their first restaurant, Bobby Q's, in Westport. Former Greenwich residents, the LeRoses restored the multi-level rustic wood interior of the former Onion Alley Restaurant, removed the carpeting and installed a state-of-the-art cement floor on the first floor and refreshed the wood floors on the second floor; added new lighting and barbeque-related art work and their favorite blues background music.
The barbeque dining concept came about because Kelly LeRose's father lives in Kansas City, and they have been going there to visit and enjoy the food. Bob LeRose has always been fascinated by barbeque techniques. They wanted to bring the culinary style back to Connecticut, and combine it with an expanded menu of wrap sandwiches and salads.
The LeRoses brought in executive chef Dana Smith, Jr. A California Culinary Institute graduate and a disciple of Chef Alice Waters in Berkeley, Cal., he is no stranger to smoking and grilling and at Bobby Q's, he uses a smoker that can handle up to 600 pounds of meat.
He was previously at Tartine in Westport and Chez Noüe in Ridgefield and was chef
Salmon with Citrus Butter four 8-oz. salmon filets 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup Kosher salt 6 bay leaves, crumbled 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns Citrus Butter:
1 lb. butter at room temperature, but not too soft zest of 2 lemons zest of 2 limes zest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup juice, mixture of lemon, lime and orange Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in food processor with zest and process until starting to smooth out. Add juice and process until smooth, but not too liquid. Remove from processor and roll into cylinder shape in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate until hardened. Bring to room temperature for serving.
Combine sugar, salt, bay leaves and peppercorns in a bowl and mix well. Place salmon filets on sheet pan and cover completely with mixture. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours until mixture starts to dissolve. Rinse with water, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Preheat grill. Place salmon filets on grill and mark. Remove from heat, place on sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes.
To plate, Place salad greens lightly dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper on four plates. Place one salmon filet on greens and top with 1 to 2 slices of butter, and let melt over salmon and greens. de cuisine at Litchfield's West Street Grill before coming back to Westport.
Chef Dana and Bob LeRose did their barbeque research in the South, incorporating recipes from Texas, Memphis and the Carolinas and creating their own recipes and signature sauces, dry rubs and natural hickory wood smoking process.
Slow-roasted baby back ribs with sweet honey-molasses and St. Louis hickorysmoked pork ribs set the tone for the menu, with tender brisket of beef, fried shrimp po' boy, smoked chicken and turkey, veal and pork sausages and pulled pork.
There's also cornmeal-pecan-crusted catfish, lightly cured grilled wild salmon over fresh greens (my choice and so delicious); and spiced up beer-can chicken with roasted sweet potato salad and Swiss chard. The chicken is dry-rubbed and set on an open beer can and the evaporating beer keeps the slow roasted chicken moist as it cooks in the oven.
Starters are Texas cheese toast smothered with creamy parmesan and baked until golden brown; Cousin's Nick's spicy wings tossed in a tangy house sauce; spinach dip with crispy corn chips; and frizzled onions made with a spicy batter with a chipotle-mayo dipping sauce. A selection of sauces is on the tables.
You can have a field day with the sides, including the most unusual and tasty cowboy beans, queso corn bake, jicama peanut slaw, mac & cheese, grilled veggies, grit cakes and smoked corn and black bean salad.
Desserts at Bobby Q's, all made in-house, lead off with the fried Twinkie, drizzled with raspberry or chocolate sauce.
Other temptations are Key lime pie, coffee- toffee ice cream pie, brownie tart with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream, peach cobbler, peanut butter mousse pie, and an old-fashioned bread pudding with raisins, a hint of almond and rum, and drizzled with caramel sauce.
There's one more signature dessert, the S'morealicious, a take-off on the campfire classic, melted chocolate and marshmallow on a graham cracker.
Beverages include a popular housemade limeade, fountain sodas, domestic, imported, bottled and draft beer. Wines are global.
The bold flavors and southern hospitality the LeRoses experienced while in Kansas and throughout the South are what defines Bobby Q's. They even consulted with KC Masterpiece, a leader in the food industry and makers of barbeque sauces, marinades and seasonings, in order to absorb as much insight into what an authentic barbeque is all about. It's now all about being in Westport.
Vincente and Kleber Siguenza are the owners/operators of the new Cava Wine Bar & Restaurant at 2 Forest Street in New Canaan, featuring a Mediterranean menu. Reservations, 203-966-6946...The Silvermine Tavern 10th Annual Taste of Italy wine dinner will take place Feb. 27 at 6. The five-course menu, with eight Italian wines from all regions of Italy, includes pear, parma, prosciutto and honey-mustard bruschetta; pan-seared sea scallops with roasted fennel; sweet sausage radicchio and pine nut risotto with a parmesan crisp; braised quail with caramelized shallots, soft polenta and aged balsamic vinegar reduction; and an in-season berry dessert. The price is $80 per person, tax and tip not included. Reservations, 203-847-4558.
Former Greenwich residents Kelley LeRose and her husband Bob (not shown) are the owners of the new Bobby Q's Barbeque & Grill (formerly Onion Alley) in a rustic setting in Westport, featuring authentic barbeque dishes in addition to a diverse menu including wraps and salads.
- Scott Mullin photos
42 Main Street, Westport, 203-454-7800
Hours of service: Lunch from 11:30 to 4:30
Monday to Saturday; noon to 4:30 on Sunday. Dinner: 4:30 to 9:30 Monday to Thursday; 4:30 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday; 4:30 to 8 Sunday.
Reservations accepted for parties of 5 or more; major credit cards; handicapped accessible; children's menu; full bar; American barbeque; vegetarian selections; take out; seasonal roof top dining; casual dress; entertainment, variety of bands appearing weekly; original and nonalcoholic drinks; private functions; street and municipal parking. Soups: cup, $3.95; bowl, $4.95
Starters: $5.95 to $10.95 Lunch entrees: $6.95 to $15.95
Dinner entrees: $8.95 to $26.95 Slow-smoked barbeque: $13.95 to $24.95
Sides: $2.95 to $4.50
Salads: $4.95 to $12.95 Sandwiches: $8.95 to $10.95
Wraps: $8.95 Children's menu: $4.50 to $8.95 Wines by the glass: $5 to $12
By the bottle: $17 to $90 In-house made desserts: $2.50 to $7 Dessert wines: $5 to $8 Coffee drinks: $8

Section: Food