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Best New Restaurant 

Bluestem

Yes, Bluestem is on the expensive side. And yes, it's formal in style and service. But that's not why we selected the seven-month-old boutique restaurant as the city's best new dining venue. The ambience is attractive and the details memorable (expensive china and stemware and an amuse-bouche served before customers have time to pick up their napkins). But it's the food that sets this restaurant apart. Owned by the husband-and-wife chef team of Colby and Megan Garrelts, Bluestem is a tribute to culinary perfectionism. Although they're very young (Colby is 30; Megan just turned 25), the couple worked in five-star restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas before opening their own 43-seat place in Westport. "I guess we are perfectionists," Colby agrees. "We know how we want things to be, and that's how we do them." In a day when the phrase casual dining has become a restaurant-industry mantra, the Garrelts are culinary rebels, insisting that fine dining should be a relaxing experience, not a NASCAR-paced sporting event.

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