Charlie Kafferman and James O’Shea, owners of the famed West Street Grill in Litchfield, are pretty used to having at least one or two well-known celebrities in the dining room each night. The place is a star-gazing Mecca with an “A-list” reputation.
But the two were pleasantly surprised and impressed Sunday night when a celebrity politician stopped by, the nation’s former secretary of state, former U.S. senator and potential Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
“We weren’t sure she was coming but had an idea she might,” said Kafferman, about Clinton, who was also the nation’s First Lady as the wife of former U.S.President Bill Clinton. “But when the Secret Service showed up just before 8 p.m. we knew for sure.”
Clinton, it seems, was the guest of well-known Massachusetts doctor, Mark Hyman, a family friend. Clinton, Dr. Hyman and the entourage dined in the restaurant’s private “Monkey Club Room.”
“She was wonderful,” said O’Shea, noting that Clinton nodded and smiled as she was escorted through the main dining room that became uncommonly quiet as diners realized who had walked in.
Clinton dined on salmon and tomato salad and loved the whimsy of the sophisticated private dining room with its hand painted monkey murals.
“We had met her before at a neighbor’s house,” said O’Shea about what he considered one of the restaurant’s most exciting guests. “She is so down to earth and she makes people feel like they have known her forever.”
So Java had to ask. Was there any concrete info on what the elusive Clinton might be planning when it comes to her political future?
“No, we did our best to make sure they had privacy,” said O’Shea. “But she did mention that her husband was in Africa with Chelsea,” he said, referring to the Clinton’s daughter.