Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cava - A Restaurant Review

Someone who is not familiar with the origin of the word "Cava," would automatically assume that this restaurant has a Spanish flare to it. Simply because when we hear of Cava, we often think of that yummy and sweet white/pink sparkling (my preferrence) wine produced in Catalonia, Spain. But did you know that Cava is actually a Greek term (per wikipedia) that was used to refer to a "high end" table wine cellar? Furthermore, it comes from the Latin word "cava" which means cave in English.  This restaurant, by no means, doesn't resemble a cave and Spanish tapas is not their forte. Their dishes, however, are served mezze style (similar to how tapas are served, which are in small dishes).  Mezze is what they usually refered to a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean and Middle East. 

This restaurant, located in the middle of suburbia, is probably one of the best Greek restaurant in the area (unfortunately, there are not that many), never lacks customers despite the never ending wait. And I don't know what it is with Greek restaurants keeping their space limited. It's either too crowded because of the lack of space or people just really love coming here.  And I usually dislike waiting for over 45 minutes.  But since Greek is one of B's favorite food, I decided to hold his surprise birthday dinner here despite the fact that they don't even accept reservations. Anything for my B, just for this one time though (lol), I was willing to wait for an hour or two as long as we were with company and the booze was flowing. LOL! Well at least the staff tried to apologize for the ridiculous amoun of time we had to wait. Not only that, they made a boo boo when they gave up our table to one of the groups who came after us. UGH! (A birthday discount would have been nice to compensate, hello?).

An hour and half later, we were finally seated and served a basket of home made pita bread with some olive and spicy tomato tapenade. Yum! Maybe that was just my hunger brain telling me that everything was good. The prices of each dish was not bad while others, I think were over priced.


I just happened to take my camera (don't ask why) while I was in the girls room and they had a painting of this vintage gown and a series of shoes vignette (picture below) hanging on the wall. What do you guys think? Classy? Tacky? Appropriate? I guess something pretty to look at while you do your business. LOL!

I ordered this for my first course. It was the rocket salad - feta cheese, baby arugula, spanish onion with balsamic dressing. $9.95? Nothing special and too over priced in my opinion. Hmmm, start of my meal wasn't impressive so not sure on what to expect for the rest of my meal.  

This was B's order.  Crazy feta...we love feta and this wasn't bad. It went well with their fresh pita bread. It was priced at $5.95 if I recall.

Calamari, which was one of table mate's order. It came with like a mayonaisse chipotle sauce. This was good. Perfectly crispy.

Grilled Octupus is one of my all time favorite. You can usually tell if a restaurant is any good base on how great they cook their octupus. HAHA! It can either get too rubbery or under cooked. This however got my thumbs up. Yum yum yum!

This method of pan searing cheese is called the Saganaki. Cheese Flambe for short:-). Most people in the restaurant were ordering this left and right. I guess it's more for the entertainment. So we put in an order also. $9.95 for fried cheese? I love fried cheese, don't get me wrong but this was over priced in my opinion. I think I can fry cheese better than this. Ha!  


I think the cheese use for this Saganaki was Kefalograviera. It's a hard sheep milk cheese. Similar to that of a mozzarella.

Of all the meal I've had this was my number one favorite. Scallops risotto! The scallops were perfectly seared and the risotto was perfectly cooked.

One of our table mate's order - lamb sliders. I think she said it was good.

We also ordered a few other stuff which I forgot to take pictures.  It was hard sitting in a very small table and having to keep taking my dslr out of my bag. And people were looking at me snapping pictures away. Next time, I'll just say that I am a professional food critique. HAHA! It was over all a great meal. The pricing was not bad. Service was great. It's just the wait time is so long. I wanted to order dessert but none of the group wanted any:-(.

I was able to experience the hype and I won't mind coming back to this place as there were so much we didn't order in the menu. Next time, I'll definitely go back during lunch time when it's less busy. The good company we had made our meal a lot better. Happy Happy Happy Belated Birthday B:-)
love you xoxo


  1. Love this place but not the wait because they don't let you make reservation for the one in Rockville ;-\

  2. Oh their location in DC lets you? Friday and Saturday are just hopping...I guess people in the suburbia have no where else to go:-)

  3. Food looks wonderful though the $9.95 salad seems too much lol :) but maybe I'm just cheap :) should you and B come and visit, I know where to take him to dinner :) please greet B for me. God bless you both

  4. D - the description sounded appealing and I thought for $9.95 for a salad, it has to have foies gras hidden somewhere lol. Needless to say I was disappointed.
    I will tell B and yes I will take up your offer def when I go visit.