My husband and I approach date nights differently. Al likes to stick with the neighborhood establishments where we recognize the staff and menu. I like to try new places, venturing out to different parts of the city and sampling new foods.
When date night came up last week, we made a fair compromise. We journeyed out of the neighborhood to Kafé 421 – a familiar place that’d we never gone for dinner.
Kafé 421 is situated amongst the espresso drinkers, pot smokers, and dinkytowners that scatter the streets of 14th Avenue. With a casual environment and delicious food, it’s a sure favorite of professors, TAs and students alike.
When we stepped in, the restaurant felt both informal and elegant, just as I remembered. The server welcomed and seated us at a table for two, perfectly crowded and close at the two-seater for our date. Al, feeling awfully romantic, ordered us each a glass of wine ($5.75) to enjoy while we skimmed the menu.
Our server stopped back shortly after delivering our wine with a warm basket of bread and some dipping oil. A simple and satisfying way to start the meal.
Because we had a Restaurant.com coupon (thanks mom!), we were able to spend more lavishly than usual. On a normal date, we would forgo the appetizer in order to enjoy a drink with dinner, but with the coupon this evening we were able to afford both!
We agreed that we had to try the Mezedes Platter. It was full of the greek flavors we came for — vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, greek meatballs, pan roasted shrimp, chicken satay and baked artichoke and feta dip ($12).
As I mentioned, we had only been here for a quick happy hour and more affordable appetizers in the past. I remembered the food being good, but not this good! We both snatched up our grape leaves first knowing that there were only two to go around. After trying each sampler, Al claimed the greek meatball as his favorite and my choice, the artichoke feta dip.
We were starting to fill up after such a hearty plate of starters, but when we smelled the aroma of our entrees approaching, we gulped a drink of wine and prepared ourselves for the main event.
My choice, the Eggplant Milanese ($9.95), was a winner. Thick, crispy slices of eggplant topped with peppers, tomato, mozzarella, spinach and fresh pesto. And the Greek Side Salad was a given. I can’t remember if I was more excited to have ordered such a delicious dinner or to know that I’d get to enjoy the other half for lunch the next day!
Alex went with the Shrimp Santorini ($16.50). Unfortunately, I was so distracted by my own delicious plate (and my second glass of wine!) that I forgot to take a photo of his meal. He too, thought his dish was more than satisfying — fresh, zesty flavor with the perfect amount of garlic. Though, unlike me, Alex decided that enjoying the meal in the present was more pleasing than saving some for lunch the next day. No linguini to spare.
Overall, it was a great experience. We lingered a little, getting to know the table next to us, and then paid our bill. Our treat yo self dinner was luckily paired with the $50 Restaurant.com coupon so we had some cash to spare for the next time.
We can’t wait to stop back for their Tuesday night cheap dinner for two, something we can always afford!
My favorite: down-to-earth and fancy all at the same time!
Friendly servers who seem to genuinely care about the food and their visitors.
Everything I saw come out of the kitchen looked delicious. The presentation was tasteful, or maybe that was the smell!
Everything was full of flavor, from the chicken satay to the tomato sauce in the santorini.
Value for Dollars
I would have paid every penny, with our without the coupon. Generous proportioned plates that greatly outweighed their price.
But don’t take my word for it…