Did someone say small-plate Mediterranean?
If you've tried the delicious South End Greek standard, Kava Neo-Taverna, you'll be as thrilled as I am to hear that its sister restaurant, ilona, opened this summer. With it's self-described lively atmosphere and lounge, ilona serves a carefully curated cocktail and wine list alongside their menu inspired by dishes you would find between the eastern Mediterranean and the shores of the Black Sea.
Here are the plates I'm dying to try:
Fasolakia | potato, fresh tomato, zucchini, garlic, parsley
Crispy Eggplant | tempura style, yogurt, pomegranate
Lobio | red beans, garlic, onions, cilantro, parsley
Octopus | escabeche style, onion, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, garlic, coriander
Shish Barak | Phyllo dough stuffed with onions, lamb, pine nuts, yogurt sauce
Watermelon Salad | watercress, figs, red onions, mint, pomegranate vinaigrette
Ashish Baladi | Egyptian flatbread, whole wheat, wheat bran coating
Their menu is surprisingly extensive (I didn't even include any of the Kebabs and Home Style large plates) and I was trying to hold back with my list of have-to-tries. They have a number of vegetarian dishes, which is always a huge plus for me.
Let me know if you'd like to join and I'll make us a res ;-)