When I recently revisited 160 Bedford Road (which I wrote about last week) I initially thought that I’d pulled into the wrong driveway. What I remembered as a wooded property, albeit with a great lawn in front, was now wide open with great, sweeping vistas over all its eight acres. Because there’s nothing worse than barging unexpectedly and uninvited into a stranger’s home, I snuck around back to make sure that the distinctive pool and pool house were still there. They were so, emboldened, I entered the house and met its listing agent Jane Gosden. “So what happened?” says I, and Jane explained that last summer’s tornado swept away sixty-five mature trees and a similar number from the neighboring property. “Mother Nature’s vacuum cleaner” was how Jane described the process, and she was absolutely right. It cost the poor homeowner close to $100,000 to clean up the wreckage (home owner’s insurance pays for damage caused by trees that hit your house; otherwise, you’re on your on own here) but the salutary effect was probably well worth it. My point is, if you’re cleaning up your house to prepare it for sale, take a look at your grounds. Trees have a habit of growing ever larger and, if you’ve owned your house for a long time, they may have crowded close and now block your views. I’m not suggesting a clear-cutting operation but there are very few homes in town that wouldn’t benefit from a session with a chainsaw-wielding tree-cutter.
26 Mayfair Lane
Carolyn Sarsen (David Ogilvy & Associates) has just listed this beautiful old home for $8,350,000, which is a tad out of my price range but perhaps not for you Wall Street bonus babies. It was built in 1936 and last renovated in 1971 which means it’s due for more, but what a house. Set on five acres off of Pecksland Road, it reminds me of some of the houses of my (rich) friends that I used to visit growing up. Beautiful grounds, a nice pool and terrace it is, as the owner described it, “just a good house to live in.” It certainly is; today’s buyer will probably want to expand it, needlessly, in my opinion, but there’s plenty of room to do that, should you wish.
Moving Down the Food Chain
Alice Duff (Soetheby’s) has listed 27 Doverton Drive, off of Sabine Road, for $3,985,000. A terrific contemporary that was completely rehabilitated by its present owners-fellow agents who remembered it in its previous condition were astonished when we attended its open house. Big, wide open spaces, a nice 2 ½ acre lot and an excellent location. Good deal.
Will Morton’s Rotisserie
Some time back, traveling to New Mexico to research a book, I left the interstate somewhere in western Arkansas and drove for miles searching for my favorite food, barbeque. I finally found what I wanted at a run-down spot, with a screen door that slammed behind me, and filled with locals, all in their Sunday best, chowing down. Ambrosia. I’ve never found its equal around here until a friend, Wilson Alling recommended Will Morton’s new restaurant at 280 Railroad Avenue. Will’s a Greenwich native and graduate of France’s Cordon Bleu who for some reason decided to combine French rotisserie cooking with southern barbeque, and has produced a felicitous marriage of both. His pulled pork is the best I’ve had, ever, and his ribs and chicken are just as good. The restaurant is easily overlooked, as it’s located in that small building complex next to Pet Pantry, but it’s convenient to the movies and the Avenue. As an eat-in destination, I’d describe the place as somewhere between bleak and cozy (bleak’s too harsh; perhaps “utilitarian”), but there’s take-out available and delivery for just $1.50. If you eat in you’ll gain the presence of Will himself who’s always there, cooking. Very nice guy. There’s a very tasty sandwich menu and, for Thanksgiving, he’s offering an incredible range of dishes that obviously take advantage of his training and which go far beyond “mere” rotisserie foods: Turkeys, roasted or uncooked, a huge variety of side dishes and deserts, soups, salads and so on. I smoke cigarettes precisely because it frees me from worrying about such lesser hazards but health-nuts will be relieved to know that everything served is free-range, all natural, pesticide free, etc. Call 661-0100 or hit willmortonsrotisserie.com to order or view the menu. You’ll thank me for this, just as I did Wilson.