When presented with the opportunity to go out to dinner on a Saturday night, to a new restaurant, the first emotion that comes to mind is elation, followed quickly by nervous energy and a slight pang of anxiety. I love going to new places to eat because it's filled with all of that happy-nervous excitement you feel before anything new happens. You kind of know what to expect but you don't know entirely, and that gives way to a nervous energy that consumes you until finally arriving at that new experience and living it.
However, as someone with Celiac Disease, that nervous energy takes over, to some degree, even more than usual because I don't really know what to expect at all when dining somewhere I haven't yet been. What if the waiter doesn't know how to handle Celiac? What if they say I can't have anything on the menu that sounds remotely appetizing? What if I anticipate a great night out and it ends up being soured by a restaurant that just doesn't know what to make of said Celiac? All legitimate questions and fears I have had, and these are all situations I've encountered before.
Thankfully, this was not the case whatsoever when we went to a new-to-us restaurant, Kava Neo-Taverna, and had an absolutely charming night out with great friends, and my Celiac finally took a spot on the back burner instead of being a main focus to mark the evening's success.
The restaurant transported us to Greece with the bright white interior and ocean tones along the bench pillows, and a menu that included a wide variety of Greek wine and a handful of unfamiliar text. Disclaimer: I have not been to Greece and have only seen photos from trips of those who have recently traveled there. It looks gorgeous and extremely relaxing. It's very much on my "must go someday" travel list.
We enjoyed a terrific bottle of white wine from Greece that the server let us taste first (always appreciated) and then allowed us the luxury of taking our time ordering dinner. Nothing makes me more encouraged at a new restaurant than when a server doesn't rush the dinner order process. Especially when I wanted to scan the menu for as many Celiac-safe options as possible, and enjoy chatting with our friends for a while.
When it was finally time to order, we chose a handful of the small plates to share for the table, anticipating we may end up ordering another "round" as the night went on. I informed the server of my allergy right away, and it was not a problem with any of the items we ordered except one, which I happily let the rest of the group enjoy. I love when my allergy is noted, as it needs to be, but is not made the focus of the ordering process. I clearly didn't choose any of the fried items, and double-checked the ones we picked along the way. It's not too often that the ordering of dinner at a new restaurant goes so smoothly. I was thrilled!
Bottles of white wine, many small plates, and hours of great conversations later, it was finally time to head home. Overall, I was completely taken with Kava and cannot wait to return. The food, service, atmosphere, and ease-of-ordering will definitely encourage repeat visits this summer when I'm sure we will enjoy more white wine, a lot of wonderful food, and more fun times with friends. Living life to the fullest, even with my food allergy in tow.