New Paleo Cafe Seasons Saugatuck

Cindy Hartog is a formally trained chef. She moved to Westport in 1990 for her husband Mark’s job — he’s deputy director of Westport EMS — and built her own thriving kids’ cooking classes/birthday party business called Cindy’s Sous Chefs.

Two and a half years ago though, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She lost interest in cooking things she could not eat. She concentrated instead on foods that did not make her sick.

Three months later Cindy’s middle daughter Danielle — herself a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America — was diagnosed with a different autoimmune disorder.

Danielle and Cindy Hartog

They searched fruitlessly for ways to fulfill their fondness for gourmet food.

So they set about creating their own place. They wanted it to be warm and welcoming — not, Cindy says, “a stark ‘health food’ place.”

They found space in Bethel, but it did not work out. Then, online, they spotted a vacant storefront right here in Westport.

This Tuesday (June 6) — next to Dunville’s on Saugatuck Avenue — they’ll open NewBrook Kitchen + Artisan Market.

It’s a “paleo cafe”: no gluten, milk, soy or corn.

But that does not mean there’s no flavor or creativity.

In fact, the menu — to eat in or take out — sounds mouth-watering.

There are 3 salads daily, each with a protein like chicken, steak or salmon. Sandwiches are served with paleo bread, baked in-house. There’s soup, cookies, nut milk coffee and vegan ice cream. Cindy makes desserts with coconut — not white – sugar.

Several Saturdays a month, Danielle will cook savory 4-course meals, served at a communal table. She describes a 16-hour braised short ribs with onions, carrots, wine and a good beef stock — without flour or corn starch. It’s served with a vinaigrette berry salad, and almond cake.

The “Artisan Market” part of NewBrook Kitchen offers handmade jewelry, candles, scarves, and gourmet chocolate.

The official opening is Tuesday (with samples all day).

Cindy and Danielle Hartog, in their new space.

And the name?

Cindy’s father — who died 12 years ago — was a self-made man. He named his 2 businesses after their 2 sites: New Jersey and Brooklyn.

NewBrook Kitchen is an homage to him.

And a great destination for anyone looking for fresh, well-prepared and very flavorful paleo food.

9 responses to “New Paleo Cafe Seasons Saugatuck

  1. Elaine Nord

    Fantastic! Can’t wait to sample your choices that may fit my needs….I follow a flour free and sugar free diet.

  2. I grew up eating much more gluten than most because my mother baked loaves and loaves of delicious ciabatta bread twice a week. But that pales in comparison to today’s American diet; with wheat products in, around and through everything. I gave up gluten over 7 years ago (with no cheating and no desire to cheat) and life is so much better. No more bloating and food tastes fabulous. I will be there very soon. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  3. Warren Shapiro

    The Hartogs are wonderful people! So happy to read about this. I will be sure to go there. Thanks Dan!

  4. Antonia Propper

    So excited to hear about this – the timing couldn’t be better! Having recently being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition myself, i’ve been paleo for 6 weeks now, and whilst it can be challenging i’ve seen huge improvements in my health. I’ll be there on Tuesday!

  5. Armelle Daniels

    How wonderful! I too cured ALL of my autoimmune disorders by adopting a Paleo lifestyle (most of the time…). Bravo to Danielle and Cindy… I cannot wait to become a loyal customer!

  6. Best of luck! We will certainly be stopping in.

  7. Cathy Romano

    Welcome to the neighborhood. Will surely drop in

  8. Renée Serfaty

    Congratulations Cindy & Danielle! I know your cafe is going to be a tremendous success. Looking forward to trying your delicious foods!

  9. Lorie Exline

    Please open one in Wichita! We need you too!