Welcome to Chiara, a neighborhood Bistro in the heart of Westwood Massachusetts., since 2005
The Italian name "Chiara", also Chef LaCount's grandmother's name, was adopted as the bistro's name because she proved to be an early inspiration toward his culinary career.
A photo of Chiara dons the wall of the restaurant's foyer.
Thank you for your continued support of
Below is a small sampling of our menu items.
A Boston native, Executive Chef/owner Steve LaCount began his career in the restaurant business at the age of fourteen at The Country Club in Brookline, MA. Steve worked there under six talented chefs, gaining knowledge in Italian and French cooking techniques before becoming the youngest person appointed to that position in 1983. He held this coveted position for over twenty years until deciding with Michelle, his wife to open Chiara. Steve was also an adjunct professor at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Management, and did private consultations for restaurants and recipe development for food companies.
In addition to his training in European cooking at the club, Steve continued studies of his craft abroad with work study programs in France, Italy and Switzerland. A graduate of Boston Latin School, Steve also pursued a business degree from Bentley College while working at the club, graduating with honors.
Steve constantly focused on continuing education, enrolling in many classes and seminars related to the study of food and wine. He joined the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) local chapters the Mass. Chefs de Cuisine and the Epicurean Club of Boston, where he became involved as a member of the Board of Directors for both chapters. As an ACF member, Steve studied for and received his designations of CEC (Certified Executive Chef) and AAC (American Academy of Chefs – the ACF’s honor society), was invited to become a member of Les Amis d’Escoffier Society, and began to accumulate medals at culinary competitions. He was elected the last chapter President of The Mass. Chefs and was elected President of the Epicurean Club of Boston after the merger of the two chapters. As President of this revitalized professional chefs’ organization, Steve formed a merger with a third chapter – the ACF Greater Boston Chefs, to form one of the nation’s largest and most active chapters of the ACF. He received Chef of the Year awards from both the Mass Chefs and the Epicurean Club in 1994 and 1999 respectively, and also received a chapter President’s Medallion from the Epicurean Club of Boston.
Under Steve’s leadership, the Epicurean Club focused on programs that benefited the continuing education of chefs, established a junior members’ culinary competition team that medaled annually, provided thousands of dollars for culinary scholarships, and established an annual golf tournament that yielded substantial profits toward children’s charities. During his terms, the chapter received two ACF’s Gold Plate Chapter Awards and the National Chapter of the Year Award in 2000. Steve was also recognized nationally for his efforts at the 2000 ACF convention with a National President’s Medallion. He has also been a nominee for regional Chef of the Year and for the Chef’s Professionalism Award.
Jeff started in the restaurant business at the young age of 19. He began his culinary journey at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After studying and receiving his degree in the Culinary Arts, Jeff lived in South Carolina. He learned about the Southern culture and styles of food in Charleston where he worked at the Hominy Grill which specializes in classic Southern cuisine including Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits and yes, Biscuits & Gravy. He then went to the Charleston Grill also in Charleston, South Carolina. This fine dining, white table cloth restaurant lead Jeff back to Massachusetts where he worked at a nearby local country club until Chiara was lucky enough to hire him in 2015.
Jeff spends his free time reading and learning about different food trends around the world. He enjoys sharing his culinary ideas with his friends and family, especially his Dad who has encouraged and inspired Jeff from the beginning.
He also likes to relax playing with his daughter and taking fishing trips when he has time off.
Michelle is Co-Owner of Chiara and Chef LaCount’s wife. Michelle has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years. She has held various positions in the food service industry. She started her career at a local wine and liquor distributor in their customer service division. She then moved into the foodservice side of the business working as the Executive Assistant for the CEO of a restaurant company that grew from six to nine locations during her tenure. Then she went on to a large B & I company where she was the Assistant Vice President of the Northeast region. Before coming to Chiara permanently, she was the Marketing director for two food brokerage companies in New England. Michelle currently holds the position of Restaurant Manager at Chiara. Michelle is the Treasurer of Les Dames d’Escoffier Society and does volunteer work for various charities and contributes to the daily operations of Chiara both in the executive offices and in the dining room.
Meet our culinary and hospitality team driven to provide you with the most wonderful dining experience!
The kitchen and dining staff at Chiara work together, forming a fine blend of culinary and hospitality professionals. Our kitchen team is a diverse group of talented young chefs with varied culinary backgrounds, each bringing his or her unique style to the menu. Our service team demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the foods and wines offered, while providing hospitable, refined service.