Friday, May 6, 2011


527 8th street SE, washington, DC 20003
tel: 202) 543-9090
hours: monday 5pm-10pm; tuesday-thursday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; friday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm; saturday 11:30am-11pm; sunday 12pm-10pm

what was consumed: some variation of the following - taramosalata (whipped salmon roe, citrus), green beans (sautéed, roasted garlic, dill) lollipop chicken (fried, honey, walnuts, greek yogurt), shrimp orzo (san marzano tomatoes, wilted bitter greens), grilled baby octopus (baby octopus, grilled to perfection), kokkinisto (braised beef short ribs, tomato, cinnamon, burgundy, evoo crisped fries), roasted beet tartare (dodonis feta, sea salt, evoo, onions), donuts, and monday half-price wines (yay!)

yay small plates, yay sharing, yay cava!

right as you sit down, a friendly server (all male, btw. i thought that interesting) comes to take your drink orders and drops off some tasty bites of pita bread with oil, olives, and tapenade-like spread. now, this spread. it is so delicious. a bit spicy, the spread ended up finding itself on all sorts of things as the meal progressed. apparently, you can purchase it retail (maybe at whole foods?). as for drinks, cava has a variety of specialty cocktails as well as the standard beer and wine. they also have a half-off bottled wine day which is always wonderful, especially because i think their wines are good and reasonably priced (even more so when they're half off!). cava also has their own lemonade (with and without alcohol). it was a bit sweet/sour for my palate, but when i mixed it with a glass of club soda, it was perfect (i know - weird), though that was on a non-drinking day. some cava lemonade, a splash of club soda, and a clear adult beverage sounds wonderful.

on my first visit to cava, it was a seafood day - taramosalata (whipped salmon roe) and grilled baby octopus. i love seafood (not see food), i love roe, i love octopus. so, while i'm biased in that i probably have a higher tolerance for bad seafood, i most confidently say that these two dishes were wonderful. the taramosalata was lightly whipped, great as is or spread on some pita. i probably could have eaten twice the amount that was served, on my own, in one seating (though sitting with k prevented me from such gluttonous activities. i share, people!). and it was just the right amount of roe-y-ness. if you don't like roe, don't try it! but if you do, or are curious, it's a must. the baby octopus was also delightful. grilled just enough so that there's a bit of char and crunch, fresh octopus that is soft and chewy at the same time ... and with some lemon sprinkled? wonderful.

at subsequent visits, i've had the pleasure of trying out more plates (not-pictured as where we were sitting was light enough as a diner, but too dark to take some good photos). as a whole, i can confidently say that i thoroughly enjoyed all of the plates that i have the pleasure of tasting. i would recommend getting a number of plates and sharing them among you (i guess that's sort of the point of tapas and small plates, no?). the ingredients are fresh, the dishes are well seasoned. and at the end of the night, all gone.

i would also like to note that cava has some great outdoor seating. of course, this also meant that people stopped by to say "hello" to k so often (k is really popular), but it was such a nice day it was worth it! i am more of a washingtonian than i'd like to admit (haha). all the better that the waitstaff is good about making sure we were well taken care of. that's important!

cava, i can't wait to visit you again!

1 comment:

DH and DW said...

I got to your blog from the FSO google group. Congrats on becoming an FSO. My husband, Nelson, will also be part of your class. He's in the PD track too. I'm originally from Los Angeles and went to Stanford for undergrad! Go Cardinal! Looking forward to meeting another foodie!