contributed by Katy Morris; photos by Liz Rueven
After their highly successful launch of O.A.T.S. Granola, Westport “mom-preneurs” Dana Noorily and Julie Levitt have jointly opened an “enlightened” Westport eatery called The Granola Bar where you can pick up some of their famous granola, sip on some delicious coffee from Tobey’s Estate in Brooklyn, or nibble on simple, clean, whole foods.
Why do we like this place so much? They have a ton of great, healthy options (including several Jewish-inspired-creatively-named items like the “Bubby” Sandwich and the “Challaback” Panino) that are beautifully constructed, creatively presented, vegetarian and kosher friendly and simply scrumptious.
Their mission was to provide a relaxing café vibe where people of all ages can enjoy pure, non-processed meals and snacks. It’s a perfect spot for casual coffee and breakfast with friends or solo, business lunches, or for high school students to grab a quick smoothie or snack after school.
As members of this community, they know exactly what Westporters like. “Some customers come in and read the menu and tell us that they think we were reading their minds!” said Dana.
When they first opened their doors three months ago, they were about 60% organic; now, they are proud to say that 100% of their produce and dairy is completely organic.
And when they say their focus is on pure, healthfully prepared foods, they’re not kidding. The kitchen only has one skillet for cooking and a bakery – nothing is fried or even sautéed and the only oils used in this place are for their salad dressings.
Kosher Like Me was invited to sit down and chat with these lovely ladies and savor their vegetarian options.
Our first dish was one of their most popular items, the “Bubby”: house-cured salmon (cured for 2 days) atop a chive-cream cheese smeared bagel served with sliced tomatoes and a shot glass piled with capers. The salmon was pleasantly mild and fresh.
Not eating bagels these days? The gluten free multigrain bread, served with their avocado toast, would be a perfect alternative.
While talking with Chef Jessica Bengston, who stepped away from the busy kitchen to greet us, we learned that their house-cured salmon can be ordered by the pound, with advanced notice. Good to know since the recipe is her well guarded secret.
The avocado toast was a simple presentation of buttery smooth avocado mounded on gluten-free whole grain toast. The subtle nuttiness of the black sesame seeds topping lent texture and was accompanied by house-made baked sweet potato chips and side of their green goddess dressing.
Another extremely popular item on the menu is the Karma Salad. Made with raw kale and topped with juicy red and yellow baby cherry tomatoes and a little bit of shaved parmesan and sea salt, the salad arrived with deliciously tangy house made lemon dressing (lemon, olive oil, a bit of sugar and salt).
The dairy free avocado deviled eggs were great too. While they needed another dash of salt, they had a subtle and unexpected hint of jalapeno oil. See the easy recipe, below.
The Veggie Wrap, was bursting with veggie goodness including broccoli, zucchini, greens, avocado and house made hummus .
The theme of uncomplicated preparations and wholesome ingredients ran through the entire menu and was throughly appealing.
Need a couple more reasons to love this place?
Dana & Julie also make every effort to give back to the Westport community. Each day, they serve their freshly baked “Autism Speaks Cookies”; and for each sale, they donate $1 to the organization.
Looking for an opportunity to support local and give back?
On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, The Granola Bar will donate 15% of EVERY purchase to Autism Speaks. Be sure to mark it on your calendar!
In the spirit of Passover (April 14- 22), the Granola Bar’s head baker, Sal Santamaria (formerly of the Jewish Community Center in Stamford) will be offering matzah brei, and flourless cookies and macaroons. Note that this is not a kosher cafe.
Don’t forget to ask them about their delivery and text-an-order options.
Have you tried to park in this busy plaza but had trouble? They’ve resolved this problem.
Thank you to Dana & Julie for a fantastic tasting. Note that all opinions expressed here are our own.
The Granola Bar, 275 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 (Located in Playhouse Square).
Phone: (203) 349-5202; Open weekdays from 6:30am-6pm; Weekends 8am-4pm.
This easy take on deviled eggs is free of mayo and uses the richness of avocado as a tasty substitute.
This recipe is dairy free and pareve.
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- Ripe avocado
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- A touch of white vinegar
- Black sesame seeds, dill, or paprika for garnish
- Cut off the tip of the egg so it sits flat on the plate.
- Halve the egg the long way.
- Keep the yolk from two halves and dispose of the yolk from the other two halves.
- Take half of a very ripe avocado and mix with the yolk that remains.
- Add salt and pepper and a touch of white vinegar.
- Fill in your eggs whites with the avocado filling.
- Garnish with black sesame seeds, dill or paprika (or all!)
This recipe was shared by The Granola Bar, Westport, CT