The opening of Kava Neo-Taverna came and went and I was nowhere to be seen. What has happened to me? I used to be at the front door of a new restaurant waiting for it to open, but these days its weeks, sometimes months and in Kava’s case six months before I walked through their doors. I would like to say it is because there are too many restaurant openings but if truth be known, I am little stuck in my ways and tend to frequent restaurants closer to home or work.
I was meeting my friend, Erika for dinner a few weeks ago. We were doing the usual dance of where shall we go and offering up our current haunts, which these days always seems to be Porto and for good reason. “We should go to Kava in the South End” I announced firmly. There was no argument from Erika.
We met early, around 5.45pm on a quiet Monday. The white-washed, tiny restaurant was practically empty and we got our pick of a table, which I believe is not the norm and there is oftentimes a 1-2 hour wait. Seated towards the back of the narrow space I got to have a look around. The long white marble bar facing a wall of wines and spirits seats around 14 people, while the restaurant can sit about 40 at most on white wicker chairs. Artwork of famous Greeks such as Aristotle adorn the walls.
While I consider myself more than familiar with wine lists, I am clueless when it comes to Greek wine except for Retsina, which sends me hurtling painfully back to my 20s and going to Greece with my friends. I asked our waiter for some help with picking a glass of wine, which she agreed to in a very business-like and helpful manner. If you are unfamiliar with Greek wine or cuisine, their waitstaff absolutely know their stuff and are very willing to advise you. The wine she picked for me, a Moschofilero was a superb crisp, dry white and exactly what I described I was looking for.
The dinner menu is filled with traditional Greek small plates combining ingredients of olive, feta and lamb as well as entrées of Moussaka, lamb chops and seafood. All the dishes from small plate to entrée are shareable so that is exactly what we decided to do with a selection of small plates.
Everything we ordered came out as made starting with a bowl of briny green and black olives soaking in olive oil and sprinkled liberally with oregano.
One of my favorite dishes was the baked gooey feta with juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes.
Vibrant and sweet beets were up next resting on scordalia, a Greek dipping sauce made up of garlic, potatoes and walnuts. A delicious combination of flavors.
I love zucchini chips and are next plate did not disappoint with crispy chips and a fabulous tzatziki for dipping.
While Erika is not much of a lamb fan, I am and their lamb meatballs were particularly pleasing to me. I went back again and sat at the bar enjoying the meatballs with a side of freshest horiatiki, a traditional Greek salad and another glass of the Moschofilero.
Although we were surprisingly full, what meal is complete without fries? Well, probably all of them but we could not resist their Greek fries with crumbly feta and oregano.
Forget you are on the corner of Shawmut Ave and let Kava carry to a small town in Kos surrounded by blue waters while enjoying their unpretentious and simply good Greek cuisine.
In the summer they have seating on their outside patio, which I must try once we get back to the warmer months.