cava mezze opens in clarendon.

Cava Mezze, a Greek restaurant with locations in Rockville and Capitol Hill… has now opened up in Clarendon!  I could not be more delighted.  As a half-Greek, I cannot get enough of the cuisine! First of all, I will say that my mother makes the best Greek food that I know.  However, my friend Amy (another serious foodie) and I SO enjoyed our experience at Cava Mezze!

Some starters were brought to us, and we devoured the olives immediately (as shown in the photo).  We also ordered some drinks.  Amy was excited to get a Strongbow, and I ordered a Blood Orange Mimosa.  I think that ever since I tried the Blood Orange Sorbet at Café Atlántico, I have been hooked on everything blood orange.

Starters & My Blood Orange Mimosa

Greek mezze is just like Spanish tapas… it is all small plates.  I love it.  We ordered the Crazy Feta, Sautéed Zucchini, Opa Opa Shrimp, and Lamb!

Crazy Feta (Dodonis Feta / Whipped Jalapeño)

Sautéed Zucchini

Opa Opa Shrimp (Sautéed Shrimp/Dill/Cream/Tomatoes/Ouzo for the OPA OPA)

Lamb

My maiden name is Lamb, and even though I’m Greek, it has only been recently that I’ve felt okay about eating lamb (sometimes eating it almost seems like cannibalism!).   I truly enjoy it though, and this dish was absolutely delicious.  In fact, all of the mezze we ordered proved to be really wonderful.  Each dish contained just a little spice, and we loved it all.

The wait staff was also lovely.  Our waiter complimented Amy and I, and told us that our eating pace was right on.  I guess some people speed through, while others pick at their food… who knows!  Anyway, Cava Mezze is the kind of place that distracts you from your conversation.  We couldn’t help but pause at different points and exclaim about what we were eating… the food was just that good.  We’ll definitely be returning so that we can try out more mezze!

prosciutto lasagna with angry sauce.

Earlier this week, I decided to tweak my mother’s amazing lasagna recipe in order to include some ingredients that I’ve been loving lately.  Here are two things I’ve been obsessed with since honeymooning in Italy: prosciutto and arrabiata sauce.  Prosciutto, according to Caitlin Fitzgibbons on HelloGiggles, is “like ham that went to university abroad — sophisticated and cultured.”  Love it.  Arrabiata sauce is spicy red sauce.  I learned in Italy that arrabiata actually means angry!  The Italian language is so beautiful.

So here is a rough recipe of my Prosciutto Lasagna with Arrabiata Sauce….

INGREDIENTS

  • 13 x 9 pan
  • 6 oz prosciutto
  • 2 jars of Arrabiata sauce (I only had one, so when I realized I needed more, I added some ground cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes to a jar of normal sauce)
  • Package of lasagna noodles
  • 1 pint ricotta cheese
  • 12 oz mozzarella cheese block
  • (I also threw in some fontina cheese, since it had it on hand.)
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs

Ingredients.

DIRECTIONS

  • Apply a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan.
  • Then 3 long noodles.  (I usually cook the noodles, but happened to have the oven-ready kind on hand.)
  • Alternate blobs of ricotta mixture (which is ricotta mixed with the eggs and parsley) and mozzarella across noodles.
  • Add sauce on top, just to cover, along with proscuitto.  Sprinkle parmesan.
  • Repeat layering order, ending with sauce and some parmesan cheese on top.
  • Cook for 30 minutes (covered in foil) at 350 degrees.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Prosciutto Lasagna w/Arrabiata Sauce + Zucchini.