CTbites: CM Gourmet Market Brings Casual Sophistication to Daytime Dining in Westport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years, Michelle Weber has fulfilled the artisan chocolate needs of the Westport community. Now, with the opening of CM Gourmet Bistro in Saugatuck Center, she is filling a chasm in Westport’s otherwise crowded dining scene for full service breakfast and lunch. Thanks to chef Molly Brandt, who shares Michelle’s discerning taste, creativity and attention to detail, CM Gourmet Bistro brings us a menu that is simple yet sophisticated, and just bold enough to separate it from the area’s usual breakfast, lunch and brunch fare. The setting can be described similarly - sophisticated, yet approachable, with white linen napkins on reclaimed wood tables, and chairs covered in signature Cocoa Michelle blue fabric, it’s an equally comfortable setting for a business meeting, lunch with friends, or brunch with the family. 

The food and the concept behind CM Gourmet Market and Bistro are unique, and perhaps best captured by Brandt’s lunchtime bacon-fat popover.  Served as a prelude, instead of bread, it sounds heavy, but is in fact incredibly light; it appears excessive, but when broken open reveals its simplicity - a perfectly crisped shell holding no more than a fabulous smoky aroma and a hint of bacon on the palate. It is a perfect harbinger of the food to come.  

Take for instance, the Wilted Spinach Salad with butternut squash, crispy organic egg and caraway croutons. It is dressed with a warm bacon vinaigrette – the temperature and the quantity just enough to make the spinach compliant rather than resigned. The crispy egg is a beautiful presentation, lightly panko-encrusted and flash-fried, its crisp, golden jacket cut in half to expose a perfectly cooked sunny yolk. The shaved Tete de Moine is shaped like an exotic mushroom and presented as an adornment at the side of the dish; when mixed with the rest of the salad it provides a sharp and well-balanced contrast to the other ingredients.

The Cigar Room Salad is an equally impressive array of deliciously seared hangar steak over a bed of arugula, dressed in bourbon-soy vinaigrette, and accented with smoked onions and steak sauce-marinated tomatoes. Thanks to a hint of vinegar in the house-made steak sauce, the roasted tomatoes are small bursts of flavor that complement the dish and entertain the palate. 

The lunch menu is divided into 3 categories: “A Little” includes soup, pate, and small salads; “Plenty” offers risotto, duck frites, and larger salads; “A little Bit More” brings a charcuterie board, sandwiches, and most recently added, a Craft Butchery hamburger with a choice of 3 accompaniments. The menu is small but thorough, and evolving as Michelle and Molly learn more about what their customers’ want.  

Serving breakfast Tuesday through Friday and brunch on the weekends, CM Gourmet Bistro is a welcome addition for those of us who have longed for a breakfast spot in Westport offering more than coffee and pastries.

See the full story at CTbites online. Meanwhile, the vitals:

CM Gourmet Market and Bistro, Saugatuck Center, 580 Riverside Ave. Westport www.cmgourmetmarket.com, Café: 203-222-0070 Market: 203-222-0071

 

CTbites: CM Gourmet Market Brings Casual Sophistication to Daytime Dining in Westport

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