In the summer of 2006, long-time friends Ike Grigoropoulos and Ted Xenohristos, along with chef Dimitri Moshovitis came up with the idea for CAVA over coffee. As children of Greek immigrants they wondered to themselves why no one had opened a Greek restaurant that reminded them of the mezze/tapas style dining in Greece. One day a friend had told them of a bakery that was for sale. They visited the location, which was a strip center gone bad. They wondered if they or anyone else could ever succeed there. Within days of purchasing the business, construction was started. After 4 months that included running out of money during construction, the restaurant finally opened in the fall of 2006. A year later with the help of word of mouth they made Washingtonian's Top 100 Restaurants, and the rest is history.
There are now three CAVA locations, and a fast casual spin off called CAVA Grill. The trio also sells their all natural spreads in food markets up and down the east coast. CAVA mezze's philosophy is quite simple: Big flavor with a small footprint. The food is made from delicious, simple, authentic Greek and fresh, local ingredients. The kitchen adheres to the foundation ingredients of authentic Greek dishes, which are salt, pepper, oregano (an herb native of Greece), olive oil and lemon.
Chef Dimitri was born in Washington DC to Greek immigrant parents. It was his dream to open a restaurant here. He attended Baltimore Culinary College and studied abroad in Ireland and Greece. His roots have always been in DC and for years he worked in many of the kitchens throughout the city before finally opening CAVA mezze in 2006 with his friends. At CAVA he uses simple ingredients and the freshest local food. And he draws from his many experiences of cooking at home with his mother. No matter where he went or what he learned, he always carried with him the lessons taught in his mother's kitchen: freshness, simplicity and quality.
Lunch on weekdays (close on Monday for lunch) Tuesday - Friday: 11:30 AM - 02:30 PM
We're disappointed when we catch sight of the first dish to come our way at the new Cava on Capitol Hill. Whereas the original Greek restaurant in Rockville ignites its breaded, brandy-splashed cheese at the table, its sibling dispenses with the light show. Co-owner Dimitri Moshovitis blames the ceiling for the lack of fireworks: "Leather panels," he explains. The other differences between the two dining rooms, both noisy, are mostly pleasant ones. The new place, with 120 seats, is double the size of Cava in the suburbs. . .
Casual-rustic digs, clever takes on Greek mezze, and gentle prices make these eateries among the buzziest around. Sometimes the kitchen takes liberties with tradition—gyros, for example, are fashioned into sliders—but it’s usually to the good, and chef Dimitri Moshovitis understands that a bit of innovation goes a long way. And though it might seem there’s little reason to stray from the small plates, a whole branzino crisscrossed with char marks convinced us otherwise.
Recently named one of our 100 Very Best Restaurants, this spot offers a number of healthy options. Cava Mezze, with locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, is known for adding a touch of modern flair to its fresh Greek-inspired dishes. Here at The Washingtonian, we love their moderately priced dishes so much we recently named Cava Mezze one of the 100 Very Best Restaurants of 2013. It also scored major points for offering a pretty lengthy gluten-free menu. We asked nutritionist Jared Rice to check out the lunch menu and pick out the healthiest and worst items. Read on for what he chose. . .
Parking:Street Parking, Valet Service
Average Price ( Per Person ):Under $20
Alcoholic Beverages:Full Bar
Cuisine:Tapas/Small Plate, Greek, Mediterranean
Credit Cards:Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express