Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Have you tried the Kalamata Cafe yet

Some girlfriends and I went out the other weekend. We were in the mood for Greek food and decided to try the Kalamata Cafe. Were we ever in for a surprise. Just inside the entrance is a large sushi bar. Yes, you did read that right. Since dining there I've heard the Kalamata Cafe described as "Japanese, Greek, Asian fusion".

The restaurant decor is an Asian deep red with murals. The mood is relaxed and casual. Our hostess seated us immediately. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was a Thursday night just after 5:00. I didn't get an opening time out of the server. She did say that they close for a couple of hours after lunch and had not been open for dinner long before we arrived.

While she got our sodas and iced tea we perused the menu. It's an unusual eclectic mix. There were very few Greek food items. A full menu of sushi was offered on a separate menu and mentioned on the main list. We ordered a Stir Fry pasta, Lemon Chicken Pasta and Souvlaki. These came with either soup or salad. Our selections were lentil soup, tabbouli, garden and Caesar salads,  We also ordered the hummus appetizer.

Our food was excellent is quality and quantity. All dishes were at the appropriate temperature. The hummus was good but not spectacular. My skewers of souvlaki were flavorful and moist. The steamed vegetables were crisp but had good flavor. My friends said they enjoyed their meals.

The main problem I had was with the menu. It is so widely varied that it's hard to tell where they are trying to go with the restaurant. When you hear a name like Kalamata Cafe it speaks of Greek food (or at least Mediterranean). Instead, most of the menu options were Asian. I like Asian food so there was no problem there. It just doesn't go with what you expect the restaurant to be.

Dessert was to die for. We ordered the dessert skewers to share. These offer a taste of a couple of different desserts. Included were brownies, fresh fruit strawberries and tempura cheesecake. On the side were a few slices of oranges that were covered in a strawberry glaze. Everything was covered in a zig zag stripes of chocolate syrup. Two skewers came on each plate. The oranges with strawberry glaze and chocolate were a little sweet for all of us. It did help make for a pretty arrangement.

The brownie bites were excellent. I thought the tempura cheesecake was interesting. The cheesecake bits are dipped in tempura batter and deep friend. That's a little too different for my taste but my girlfriend loved it.

The casual decor is oriental style with deep red walls. Service was spot on. A friendly server and prompt refills are definitely a plus.

Without tip the total bill was just under $80 for the four of us.


The restaurant itself does not have a website. I did manage to find the following:
Kalamata Café
9405 S. Northshore Dr.
KnoxvilleTN  37922
Phone: 865-531-2363
The partial menu looks to be a little out of date. It's available at: http://www.easttennesseedining.com/kalamata.html
Credit cards and cash are accepted.

Resources:
Grub Scout