Westport Café and Bar is a locally owned hometown café with a French flair. I had the opportunity to check it out a couple weeks ago for lunch with my friend Amanda, who knew the owner and introduced me.
I love being able to meet the owners of locally owned places. It somehow makes me feel more connected with our community. The more and more I get into trying places that are locally owned, the more I want to search them out. I see the passion these people put into their businesses and the quality product they want to produce, and from what I have tasted, you can tell the difference.
Many local places around KC use seasonal and local ingredients, which mean there is always going to be something fresh and different. However, they also realize there are those out there that do not like change and always keep a few consistent things on the menu.
I have done a little homework to find new places to try and now have quite a list. Kansas City is filled with amazingly talented chefs and dedicated restaurant owners with wonderful places to eat that can compete with some of the best places across the country. I hope this blog helps you find new places to go that are not only delicious, but that support our local neighbor too.
Westport Café and Bar is one of those wonderful locally owned establishments. The owner is Aaron Confessori and he is no stranger to the food scene, he attended the French Culinary Institute in New York, helped open numerous Kona Grill locations and previously owned Sol Cantina. His passion for owning his own French inspired café became reality when he learned that blanc burgers + bottles had outgrown their location in Westport leaving that space vacant. It was the perfect spot!
If you are leery of the phrase, “French Flair” don’t let that detour you from trying it out. Westport Café and Bar has taken plenty of classic favorites and just put a bit of a French twist to them and the outcome will please any pallet.
Being the gracious host Confessori is, he had a selection of house favorites for the table to try. We started with the Spring Pea Ravioli, Grilled Octopus and Pomme Frites. The ravioli is made for Westport Café and Bar by the locally owned Italian restaurant Cupini’s just right down the street.
What a treat to have fresh handmade local pasta. The Pasta is served with a brown butter sauce that is just delicious. The Pomme Frites are simple, fresh, and crisp served with a house made mayo.
Now for the grilled Octopus. Normally I would have been frozen with fear at the shear mention of the dish, for some reason I am just not a big seafood fan. However, this whole foodie adventure I am on has really taken me out of my culinary box. I was at a dinner just earlier in the week and a dish with octopus prepared almost the same way was there. I thought OK I’m going to try it. Turns out it’s not half bad. Not so sure, what I was afraid of.
The version at Westport Café and Bar has it prepared with linguica sausage, lemon and potatoes. I thought the preparation with the linquica gave a nice spice to the octopus and I have never met a potato I did not like. It was a wonderful combination.
After all those tasty bites, which was plenty and I could have gone away completely satisfied, but when Confessori asked what I would choose off the menu I was happy to scan it. A few things stuck out Baked Ricotta with Goat Cheese and Truffled Honey, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I finally decided on the Bar Steak Sandwich. It is served with sautéed onions and truffled cream on fresh baked bread from the local Farm to Market Bread Company. The steak was perfectly cooked, the onions added a great depth of flavor, and the bread is so fresh it practically melts in your mouth!
But wait there’s more! The name of the place is Westport Café and Bar, and the bar is no exception! Ryan Maybee one of the founders of The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition and a mean mixologist helped consult on the drink menu. The cocktail menu includes all the classics such as the Tom Collins and the Champagne Cocktail to signature drinks like their Rhubarb Cocktail or Westport Fizz. In addition to that of course is a wide selection of wine and beer.
The cocktail I chose was Pimm’s Cup, which is actually the official drink of Wimbledon. It has house made ginger ale, lime, mint, and cucumber. This drink is refreshing and tasty I would highly recommend it.
The desserts at Westport Café and Bar fit right in with the French inspired cuisine with choices like house made profiteroles or croissant bread pudding. If I had not been so stuffed, I would have gotten the mixed berries with pound cake and honey lavender syrup. I am really looking forward to just going back for coffee and dessert sometime.
Westport Café and Bar serves a full menu until 1:00 a.m. so if hunger strikes late forget the drive thru when you can have Foie Gras at midnight! They also serve brunch that comes with a complimentary cocktail on Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you have not had the chance to visit Westport Café and Bar you are missing out and it needs to be added to your foodie bucket list.
Westport Café and Bar
419 Westport Road
Kansas City, MO 64111
And as always if you have a great food find in KC you think I am missing email me