HIDDEN GEMS, WYOMING’S BEST EATS: Sitti’s Table Features Authentic Mediterranean Family Recipes
- Published In: Hidden Gems: Wyoming's Best Eats
- Last Updated: Jul 27, 2023
Sitti’s Table co-owners and husband and wife Jacob Scott and Porter Koury share a moment with Koury’s grandmother, Marie Koury, who visited the cafe named in her honor in June. (Courtesy photo from Sitti’s Table/Kayleigh Rust)
By Ruffin Prevost
Special to the Wyoming Truth
CODY, Wyo. — Northwestern Wyoming isn’t where you’d expect to find a matbucha tartine for breakfast, served with labneh and spiced with za’atar. But that’s just one of the authentic family recipes the diners at Sitti’s Table have been lining up for this summer.
Matbucha is a Moroccan tomato salad, and labneh is a creamy Mediterranean cheese derived from yogurt. Za’atar is a zesty Middle Eastern herb and spice blend of the same name that includes sesame seeds, thyme and sumac. Spread all of that on a big slice of homemade, toasted sourdough, and you have a pretty serious tartine.
It’s not the typical bacon and eggs found on breakfast menus around Cody. But that difference has helped Sitti’s Table build a loyal following of regulars and a growing influx of tourists seeking freshly made, locally sourced breakfast and lunch fare.
Husband and wife Jacob Scott and Porter Koury opened their cafe and food market in May 2022 with two tables and a small display refrigerator offering a few grab-and-go food and beverage options. The menu, seating, staff and clientele have been growing ever since.
“It was just going to be lox and bagels and grab-and-go sandwiches and some drinks,” Scott said.
Koury finished her husband’s thought: “As we got in here and followed the passion from the community for what they have wanted, it has grown and changed and followed its own course.”
The bright and busy cafe has a mix of counter seating and indoor and outdoor tables where diners rub elbows with shoppers picking up takeout orders or browsing gourmet and international grocery items like Amarena black cherries from Italy, Spanish paprika and sofrito for paella or single-origin Peruvian chocolate.
The menus seem simple at first glance, with just five breakfast items, five lunch sandwiches, four entrees and a few sides and salads, plus some takeaway options that usually sell out. But the ingredients are top-shelf, and locally sourced whenever possible. Portions are generous, with diners often struggling to finish an entire sandwich.
But it’s worth saving the other half of that bestselling, local favorite Italian sandwich for later. At $15, the Italian is pricier than many other sandwich options in town, but it’s twice as big and built with house-made focaccia, genoa salami, mortadella, gran biscotto ham, aioli, roasted tomato, olive relish, Calabrian honey and a little arugula—just so you eat something green.
The recipes are a combination of Scott’s background as a former fine dining restaurant chef trained at culinary school and Koury’s experiences gardening and cooking with her grandmother, Marie Koury, the matriarch of a large Lebanese-American family.
Sitti is Lebanese for “grandmother,” and Sitti’s Table is decorated with newspaper clippings and photos featuring Koury’s 97-year-old paternal grandmother. Marie Koury lives in North Carolina, where Koury grew up, but she takes a keen interest in sales reports for pita bread, succotash and other items based on her recipes.
Koury said she never imagined so many Wyoming diners would develop a hankering for dishes like her grandmother’s lamb man’oushe—a Lebanese flatbread that is similar to a pizza—crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside.
So it was a major milestone for Koury when grandmother Marie and other family members traveled to Cody in June to visit Sitti’s Table and, perhaps not coincidentally, be on hand while Guy Fieri was in Cody filming for his popular Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Scott and Koury declined to comment on Fieri’s swing through Cody, citing confidentiality restrictions. But the host’s movements were a poorly kept secret, and included tapings at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s chuckwagon dinner and Cassie’s Supper Club.
Fieri also filmed a segment at Sitti’s Table, trading recipes and kitchen stories with Koury’s grandmother, according to others who were present. That could mean a big bump in traffic for the cafe after the segment airs, since Fieri’s show is known for driving tourists to featured eateries.
But it won’t be the first brush with fame for Koury and Scott. Former “Saturday Night Live” player and comic film actor Will Ferrell stopped by Sitti’s Table last summer during a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Entrepreneur and record executive Damon Dash, a vegetarian with a home west of Cody, is a frequent customer, Koury said. Before opening Sitti’s Table, the couple regularly catered meals for Kanye West, serving lunch and dinner for the rapper and dozens in his entourage for almost a year.
So for those with a taste for something different—perhaps even a little exotic—Sitti’s Table is the kind of place where you can grab a tabouli salad made with farm-fresh, local ingredients, and maybe even bump into a top-rated TV host, a famous comedian, a superstar rapper or (most importantly) a proud nonagenarian Lebanese grandmother.
Sitti’s Table, 1034 13th St., Cody, Wyoming; (307) 213-0378. Serving breakfast and lunch 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with the market open until 6 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.