My son Rahul turned 20 on May 3rd. It just feels like he was born only a few years ago. Rahul is finishing his third year at the Smith Business School at University of MD and has got a year more to complete his under-graduation. May 3rd being a working day and as he was busy with his exams etc we decided to take him out on a Sunday night (a day earlier than his actual birthday). He got home from college around 5pm and we wanted to have an early dinner.
Every-time an occasion like this comes up, we keep having difficulty finalizing where to go and eat apart from our own restaurants. After a lot of discussions back and forth, my wife and kids leave the decision to me. So far I have not failed them and have managed to take them to places where they have had memorable experiences.
We walk into Cava around 5.30 PM - Rahul on his crutches after he had a freak accident. The restaurant was packed to capacity and there was a wait going on. We sat in the bar counter and waited for a table to open up - about 15 minutes. In the meantime we looked at the menu, I had a glass of Gouguenheim Malbec from Argentina ($7). While waiting for the table I took these pictures sitting in the bar counter.
We were seated on a four top almost at the entrance of the restaurant. The Menu here is all greek Mezze (small plates). Hot pitas are cut into triangles and served hot along with the condiment tray consisting of olives, olive oil and a relish made with tomato. I forget the name.....
While we were contemplating our order, a flambe dish was served at the next table - that certainly got our attention. So we decided to add that to our list.. I let the ordering to my wife and kids, ready to savor anything. We started with "Saganaki" - a spectacular start indeed! - this flambed dish with the flame touching all the way to the ceiling was presented on a mini cast iron pan.
In addition to all these we also had a spanakopita - which was fresh spinach, onion and feta wrapped and baked in a phyllo dough, which was very light and airy. This dish vanished before I could take out my camera.
Only Rahul knows what this birthday dessert was? Rathi did not want to try it as she is afraid of nut allergies, Nisha and I decided to stay away from desserts .Overall a great evening, good food, good company, good ambiance and a fiery display thrown in for good measure. Cheers!