Bon Appetit plans new restaurant in Coventry

Jay and Jade Novak at their new restaurant in Cleveland Heights.

Café Bon Appetit—a restaurant that specializes in healthy food, including organic and vegetarian items—is poised for an early May opening on Euclid Heights Boulevard, at the south end of Coventry Road. This will be the restaurant’s second location. The first opened in 2010, at 1900 Euclid Ave., near Cleveland State University (CSU).

Cleveland Heights residents Jay Novak and his wife, Jade Novak, own both restaurants. They have lived on Superior Avenue near Euclid Heights Boulevard since 2009, and both are immigrants from southeastern Europe. Jade, 31, moved here when she was a teenager, and Jay, 39, moved here about 15 years ago. They met in Cleveland, and their first date was at La Cave du Vin on Coventry Road.

Jay is a civil engineer by profession, who learned about cooking as a child. His mother taught cooking classes, and that inspired him to get involved with food and cooking.

Jade, who teaches biology at Cuyahoga Community College, attended CSU. While a student there, she realized that “there were no healthy restaurants near the campus. Just pizza places, fast-food places. But there was nothing that served healthy food or organic food.”

So, she and Jay decided to open a restaurant near the campus. Their first idea was to open one in Cleveland Heights, but they could not find an appropriate location then. “We would come to Cleveland Heights all the time,” Jay said. “We would go to the restaurants on Coventry, to the Grog Shop and to the Cedar Lee Theatre.” At the time, they were living in Mentor.

The success of their restaurant near Cleveland State enabled them to plan a second restaurant. “Financially, we were able to make a move,” Jay said. “And our first thought was to open a restaurant in Cleveland Heights.”

The restaurant is located at 2767 Euclid Heights Blvd., in the space previously occupied by a restaurant called the Dog House, which specialized in hot dogs.

Bon Appetit’s menu features a variety of organic salads, including a Greek salad with tabouli, cucumbers and feta cheese; and a Mediterranean salad that includes dried apricots, plums, cranberries, almonds and fresh mozzarella. Most of the salads are priced at $6.99. The restaurant also serves several different wraps, most of which cost $5.99. The Italy wrap includes ham, cheese, cucumbers, tabouli, spring mix and balsamic vinaigrette. The smoked salmon wrap features cream cheese, spring mix, tabouli and avocados, and the turkey wrap includes tabouli, cucumbers and spring mix.

With the new restaurant’s opening, the Novaks are adding some new items to the menu, including $9.99 dinner plates. One dinner plate will consist of grilled chicken breast, portabello mushroom and an organic side salad. Another will be the tomato-basil-mozzarella plate. 

In addition to lunch and dinner items, Bon Appetit also serves breakfast. The “breakfast deluxe” features two eggs, two slices of French toast and four pieces of sausage or bacon, for $5.99. Croissants and bagels are also available for breakfast.

Bon Appetit has just started serving organic coffee, and the owners plan to add more vegan and vegetarian items to their Cleveland Heights menu. “Our main goal is to serve high-quality food at a reasonable price,” Jay said. “Everything we serve is oven-baked or grilled. Nothing is fried.”

The Novaks are extremely excited about the opening of their new restaurant, and they love Cleveland Heights. “If Cleveland Heights didn’t exist,” Jay said, laughing, “I would probably move away from Cleveland.”

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 7:09 PM, 04.30.2015