As you can tell from my previous two posts, the 2009 dining year is off to a lackluster start. One bright spot was last Saturday night’s dinner at Kashkaval in Hell’s Kitchen. I had been intrigued by this specialty grocer/wine and snacks bar since reading this review on serious eats.
My husband and I went to Kashkaval for an early dinner before an Alvin Ailey performance. At a little past 6:00, Kashkaval was already full (it’s a tiny place). We were told that the wait for two was 30 minutes, but seats opened up at the bar within 10 minutes (a table opened up simultaneously – so much for the 30-minute wait). The reason to go to Kashkaval is the cold Mediterranean tapas – we had the sampler plate for “1-2 people” and it was a ton of food. The only tapa (singular of tapas??) that we would skip on our next trip is the olive tapenade (how much tapenade can you eat?). We also ordered chicken kebabs, which came with a side of mushroom bulgur and Greek salad (or at least it seemed like Greek salad to me with hunks of feta). Again, the dish was enormous. The kebabs were rather dry and bland and benefited from the Tzatziki that we ordered with our sampler. Next time, I think we will order fondue rather than the kebabs. We finished dinner with a serving of homemade baklava. I love baklava, but I am almost always disappointed by it. The Kashkaval version was perfect.
Kashkaval is a gem – particularly from a value standpoint. We got out of Kashkaval for $50, which included the tapas sampler, kebabs, one glass of wine (I am trying to dry out a bit this month), and one dessert. The only downside of Kashkaval was the service – the waiter and bartender who were running the show were downright surly. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and look forward to returning to Kashkaval. Add it to the list.