A few weekends ago, Dish Gal found herself in Providence with Michelle visiting Skylar at her new ultra-chic abode. I was excited to try a new restaurant, one that I hadn’t already visited on Thayer Street from my days of dating a Brown student (God I loved that Johnny Rocket’s there though. They ALWAYS sang, and it was amazing.)
I remembered that my coworker Julia always raved about this restaurant CAV, so we decided to check it out. I was determined to not let any Boston elitism sway my views of the restaurant. Yelp reviews were favorable, and everyone raved about the décor. It sounded like it was Dali or Tangerino-esque in its eclectic and exotic artwork. I was excited.
But when we walked in, I wasn’t impressed- maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe it was that it was still light out, but the place seemed old and dated, not necessarily chic and sexy as others had suggested. Plus, the crowd was mostly dressed-down people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Huh?! What time was it, 4:30 p.m.? (Dish Dad is going to relentlessly call me an age-ist for this, but I gotta tell it like it is! ;) However, the food did make up for the lack of a trendy scene. To start we enjoyed goat cheese croquettes with a balsamic glaze that, while WAY smaller than we imagined, were rich and gooey; after eating them, I was glad they were bite-sized.We also really enjoyed the braised lamb shank, accompanied by Israeli cous-cous (which is quickly becoming one of those foods that if it’s offered on a menu, I have to order it) and some sort of “butternut squash flan” as Michelle put it. My only hesitancy with loving this dish was having it in May-- I was hoping for more dishes with asparagus and peas, and less braised meat and butternut squash. I also liked (I think more than the others) a ravioli pasta dish, even though it was SWIMMING in a creamy sauce. But I am totally a sauce girl, so I sopped it up with the bread like the true Italian gal that I am.Though the food at CAV isn’t going to win any James Beard awards soon for innovation or technique, and I'm still kind of confused why everyone's obsessed with the decor, CAV gets points for serving unarguably yummy and rich food at reasonable prices.