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Jan 20, 2011 03:31 PM

An excellant evening at Cava

I had read about Cava, from En Route to the Gazette.
And finally, I had the opportunity to have supper there this week.

I went with one other person and we were determined to stick to Greek food. While Milos is Island Greek with a strong penchant on seafood and fish, Cava takes its menu from the mainland and it is more about meat than seafood.
Every item on the menu seemed to bring a little bit of Greece into the restaurant, speaking of the restaurant, to step inside is to be taken cared of, spoiled, every one in the restaurant, patrons and staff included were happy, relaxed, the atmosphere is enveloping and would make anyone benefit from just being there. From the bar area to the half open kitchen, the dark rich colours and meat aging display, it was enchanting.

As for the staff, they are not only attentive and smart, they actually listen when you speak and really seek to make your evening enjoyable, there are two staff members per table and so the service remains flawless and beautiful.

We did not wish to have a whole bottle of wine and opted to match our courses with different wines, the wine list is imported and delightful, there is no lack of choice, price wise or by the glass. We were served a teaser before even getting out appetizers, a tiny espresso cup of something wonderful, we scarfed it down and wished there was more. (Having been to three amazing restos in two days, I am struggling to remember what I had when, thankfully, I am writing about Cava now, else I would not be able to remember at all!)

The two appetizers were first a feta fondue served with cherry tomatoes and herbs, it was a bit overly hot for my guest, and I would have to agree, as for my own, I had beet and feta salad, oh yum, talk about joy. The beets were al dente, if such can be applied to beet and the cheese with herbs was just so beautiful, it was a large appetizer, and no regrets, there was not a crumb left on my plate.

As for the entrees, I had the filet mignon, a beautiful piece of succulent meat, served with a few perfectly grilled asparagus, my knife slid through the meat, and with the balsamic reduction sauce, it all melded perfectly. My guest had the veal shoulder and orzo slowly cooked in a clay pot, dry goat cheese shavings, what an exquisite dish!

The beautiful thing about that night was when our servers offered us extra time between courses so we had time to digest and finish our wines before the next course.

I rarely have dessert, I rather enjoy a cheese course, however, being that we were in a Greek restaurant, I was told of the Svigous with Kaimaki ice cream and sour cherry compote, it was a dessert for the Gods, and the portion is large, but oh so easy to eat, all of it, down to the last swipe of the spoon. It was gone, having chosen Samos as our dessert wine, it was a beautiful marriage, put to bed with a cup of Greek coffee, my thought of Greek coffee? Why did I not know it existed before today? I do plan on returning, over and over again.

Cava is the place to go, to enjoy, to sit back and be taken cared of, to be pampered and let yourself travel to Greece.

Thank you Vasilli and cie.....

al dente
Montreal, Canada, Montreal, QC , CA

Cava Spiliadis
5357 Av Du Parc, Montreal, QC H2V4G9, CA

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  1. My husband I were there for my birthday in November. We really enjoyed it---except he was weirded out by the server who kept whisking our table full of crumbs; "He doesn't have to do that, I can do that," he muttered---and had only one issue. There was the lingering sensation of saltiness well after we'd finished our meals, paid the bill and went for a nightcap before heading home. It wasn't as palpable for myself but for my spouse, he kept feeling as though he'd been at a salt lick.

    We can amuses of phyllo-rolled mini-spanakopitas. Our starters were the soup of the day (him) and an absolutely gorgeous herb salad (me). Seriously, I love it when a restaurant gets a simple salad right. It was stunningly good. Our mains were the lamb chops (him) and the roasted chicken (me). I love the chicken: tender, juicy, all the positive adjectives one wants to employ when discussing good chicken. I didn't really care for my frites, though. I mean, yes, they were tasty, but the yummy chicken, the rich tzatsiki were already combining for a sensory overload and the frites were gilding that lily for me a little too much! We split a dessert; if I remember correctly, it was little fried dumplings in honey and a fruit sauce. It was also quite good. Drinks were a scotch on the rocks and a dirty martini to start. I also love it when a restaurant makes a dirty martini that doesn't taste predominantly of olive brine. Cava is also responsible for me having the best glass of white wine I have ever had. Our server informed that it was not available at the SAQ and having given me the info card on said wine (nice touch!), my searches for it have only led to US suppliers. Not even LCBO can help me out here. To me, Cava was a lovely experience, but definitely a special occasion only restaurant!

    11 Replies
    1. re: Peaches to Poutine

      About the wine. when a wine is not available at the SAQ, you can ask who is representing them in the province (i.e. private "importers" or agencies).

      I know that some agencies, like Oenopole, are "importing" a lot of greek wines. you can look at their wine list to see if you can find what you drank at Cava.

      But if the restaurant decided that they will "import" their own wine (i.e. not represented by the SAQ or an agency, but always via the SAQ), then you could ask the restaurant to buy a bottle "to-go" (like it's done in restaurants like "L'Emporte Piece" or "Les Cavistes".

      1. re: Maximilien

        Really? Cool! I was under the impression that the restaurant imported this particular Greek wine and had no idea that I could ask for that service. I considered just trying buying a case via import from the US to my SAQ--I'm aware of the cost and it IS ridiculous---and having friends go in on it with me, but I think a wine only person has had and no one else has tried would be a hard sell.

        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

          The Spiliadis (sp?) family also owns a wine agency for their private imports and you can buy through them (by the case) if they are the importers.

          1. re: eat2much

            I'd rather buy a couple of bottles since I am no Daddy Warbucks.

      2. re: Peaches to Poutine

        Peaches, care to tell us the name of the wine you had? I have included a link to the Spiliadis product list for reference; is it there by any chance?

        1. re: certifiedfresh


          It was the 2009 Biblia Chora Areti blanc. A more amazing white I've yet to have. So does this mean it is available for sale at the restaurant?

          1. re: Peaches to Poutine

            You can't buy it at the restaurant directly, you would have to buy it through Cava Spiliadis directly (Cava Spiliadis is owned by the Spiliadis family, which owns both Milos and CAVA). Unfortunately, I don't think the Biblia Chora Areti Blanc is available in Québec since it's a private import wine and not a "spécialité SAQ"; according to their website, "wines are currently available only in Quebec through the SAQ (for Canada)". You should outright call them to sort this out, you have little to lose! Please report back; if you have to buy a 12-bottle case, maybe other hounds would like to go in on the deal with you!

            1. re: certifiedfresh

              I may just do that because I would really love to have a few bottles for my private stash. I'll let y'all know!

              1. re: certifiedfresh

                It should not be a problem, just contact the Spiliadis and order one case and if they still have it in stock, they will ship it to a SAQ outlet where you can get it, also, if it works the same as other private import stuff, you pay for it at the SAQ.


                1. re: Maximilien

                  I am sure I can go that route, but I am throwing out one last "before I end up paying through the nose for a case through Cava" gambit on another board.