When a brand new spot opens on the town, we’re wanting to test it out, let you understand our preliminary impressions, share a couple of photographs, and dish about some menu gadgets. First Taste, because the title implies, will not be a full-blown assessment, however as a substitute a peek inside eating places which have simply opened — an event to pattern a couple of gadgets and fulfill curiosities (each yours and ours).
Restaurant: Kavala Restaurant & Café
Location: 1455 West Elliot Highway, Gilbert
Open: About two months
Eats: Greek-meets-Italian consolation meals
Value: $12 to $50
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day
I’ve not dined out since March, however I want I may have stayed at Kavala Restaurant & Café, which is cool, quiet, and decked out with a white-and-blue theme that does its finest to move you to an precise Greek eatery. Giant panorama photographs of a Mamma Mia!-esque scene are wallpapered all through.
Instrumental hip hop performed at a tender quantity. A separate espresso bar was with neatly organized ingredient mugs and occasional machines. Navy, velvety cubicles regarded plush and ultra-inviting. I ached to remain and get a server’s consideration. However because of a ruthless pandemic and a mother-in-common-law’s birthday, we needed to seize and go — and drive 15 minutes earlier than we may eat.
Some dishes simply didn’t make it.
The wounded included a caprese panini — Buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. The Texas Toast-like bread was puffy and a pleasure, and the innermost bites had been tacky and flavorful. Sadly, the surface bites had been devoid of any of these listed substances. Simply mouthfuls of bread. The heirloom tomatoes — and there have been just a few them — did not actually work with this panino, both.
A straight-up casualty of journey time was the aspect order of grilled shrimp with tahini sauce: 4 supposedly lemon-garlic-seasoned, medium-to-smallish shrimp skewered over some wilted greens. Whereas the tahini sauce was good (adequate for use with another dishes, even) the shrimp dish was unhappy. And at practically $8, fairly disappointing.
Nevertheless, there have been successes.
The steak shawarma platter was killer. This was yogurt-marinated slices of shawarma gyro, closely layered over basmati saffron rice. The portion was enormous, capable of be cut up between three individuals and properly making up for the unhappy shrimp. The thins slivers of steak had been as tender and flavorful as marketed, and the rice jogged my memory of the basic Mahatma yellow seasoned rice (although it’s arduous to beat a recent serving of that stuff).
A Greek lamb burger additionally made it properly to the dinner desk. This was an 8-ounce lamb patty joined with an excellent tender bun and topped with arugula and feta cheese. That feta actually stood out on this dish.
Yogurt-marinated slices of shawarma gyro, closely layered over basmati saffron rice.
The decision should still be out on the Pastichio Bechamel — the Greek lasagna and a signature dish at Kavala. That is the order I most hope to eat someday recent from the kitchen. It’s an oven-baked dish filled with tender penne pasta, layers of creamy bechamel sauce, Italian cheeses, and minced beef. The highest was a heavy layer of cheese, as interesting as any drunken slice of plain cheese pizza. It was good at house, however I believe would have been distinctive in-house.
Every chew of this Greek lasagna was consolation meals in its highest type — all carbs and lotions and cheese. It was adequate to sneak chilly bites of later because it was being packed for the fridge. It’ll reheat nicely.
Kavala Restaurant & Café serves an fascinating hybrid of Greek and Italian dishes, leaning extra Greek than I initially assumed. It was an intriguing sufficient place for us to move its neighbor, Sherpa Kitchen (probably the greatest eating places on the town) to test it out.
If something, it’s one other strong cease that can hopefully be cherished by the encircling suburban neighborhood.