October 29, 2010


My friend Patty's birthday falls on Halloween--I mean Halloween falls on her BIRTHDAY--so a group of us rounded up on Friday evening for a birthday dinner. We decided to try a spot off our normal roster and we hit up an old favorite of mine: Kashkaval, on 9th Avenue. I used to work across the street from here when I was at the talk show, and every once in a while I would pop in for an out of this world lunch--or to take a slice or two of baklava home.

One of my favorite things about this place--their cold dishes. Their spreads are outrageously delicious, especially their tzatziki (crazy powerfully garlicky), their ajvar (red pepper spread), and their olive tapenade. Oh man..soooo good. For $18, we got a plate with up to 6 items (we got the hummus, ajvar, tapenade, baked beets, and TWO servings of the tzatziki). Everything was insanely scrumptious. I could easily make a meal of all these spreads.

Up next, we got the Basic Fondue, which has Swiss & Emmenthaler ($10 per person). It comes with bread cubes, or you can pay extra for veggies or meats. Emily & I loved this, especially when it got to the bottom of the dish and all those yummy bits of garlic came to the surface. Patty thought this was just meh--"just cheese and bread," she said, to which I say JUST cheese and bread!? Just DELICIOUS cheese and bread!! :)

We ordered the chicken kabobs ($11), which come with 2 skewers and a bed of orzo, as well as a delicious mix of veggies and feta on the side. Two people could easily split this as a meal--we each took a piece of chicken and onions/peppers as a snack.

For dessert we got the chocolate fondue (also $10 per person), and this came with bananas, pears, strawberries, and marshmallows. The chocolate was super yummy--the only drawback was the way they sliced the fruit--usually you get big chunks, all the better to dip securely. These were sometimes paper-thin slices and tougher to manage. Still, any fruit and chocolate is a good thing.

We also got an order of baklava--which I love. Theirs is super-soaked in the syrup, so you can eat a bite and not have it fall apart in your hands. The nuts are finely ground, which I like, and the overall texture is just scrumptious to me. I LOVE this baklava. Love, love love it. It's actually cheaper if you get it to go than if you order it at the table, but I resisted the urge to bring more home with me...a move I'm now regretting!

Kashkaval also has a great, affordable wine list, and you can eat and drink quite well for not too much per person. I've eaten there for anywhere to 15-35 dollars a person (depending on if we ordered wine, etc.) and I ALWAYS feel it's worth the money and the trip.

856 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10019-4451
(212) 581-8282

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