Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hidden Cafe--Restaurant Review

Last week, Alex and I were out running some errands alone and we decided to grab some lunch. 

Because we were alone....we decided to check out a place that we'd been interested in trying that we didn't think anyone else (the kids) would be interested in.

We went to the Hidden Cafe (Delaware Plaza, 185 Delaware Avenue, Delmar NY).  Alex LOVES Greek and Mediterranean style food.  I, however, have very little experience with this type of cuisine.  We'd been talking about finding a place and our errands took us by Delaware Plaza that day so it seemed like a good plan.

It was a GREAT plan.

First off, it's a charming and beautiful little restaurant.  Dimly lit and decorated with rustic items, it was very quiet and romantic.  If you read my review on Cici's Pizza, then you know that this is quite a different and much appreciated change from my last dining experience.  Also, I'm not sure what it was, but the restaurant smelled incredible.  It wasn't a food smell, maybe a collection of spices or potpourri of some sort--whatever it was, I wanted to bottle it up and take it home with me.  I felt a little under-dressed in my jeans and t-shirt (and no makeup *gasp!*) but not overly much.  I think this had to do with the fact that many of the customers were people on their lunch breaks who were wearing business clothes.  The working folks seemed a little out of place to me...this restaurant seems much more appropriate for date night than business lunches.

The server was very friendly.  She brought us ice water in a carafe that resembled an old fashioned milk bottle (not overly important...but man was it cute!) and she was attentive to our needs and requests.  I watched her navigate her tables efficiently--nobody seemed to want or need anything for very long.

The restaurant has separate lunch and dinner menus.  For lunch, the appetizers were in the $5-$9 range and entrees were $8-$14.  Fountain drinks were Pepsi products (yay! Always makes me happy) and they also offer a wide variety of hot drinks, bottled drinks and also serve wine and beer.  They have a kids menu as well ($4-$7) even though I'd wager this place is too pretty and serene to bring kids (at least my brood anyway)  Their website is well laid out and contains their full menu and price list...I was really impressed when I checked it out earlier.  It can be found here.

As I stated in my last restaurant review, I've decided to transition to a meatless diet.  In fact, I haven't had any meat since the incident at Cici's.  Hidden Cafe doesn't have an extensive selection of meatless options on the lunch menu--but it does have them and it seems to me that any number of their entrees could be equally delicious minus the meat.  Alex and I chose the falafel pita which comes with a choice of french fries or house salad for a side item.  We both chose the salad. 

I've never had falafel before going there and I just have to say:  this is the best lunch out that I've had in quite some time!!!  Everything was delicious and beautifully presented.  If falafel always tastes this good, then I have no idea why I haven't tried it sooner.  Lunch for two came to $20 before tip--which is very reasonable.

I can't say enough good things about Hidden Cafe.  The food is wonderful.  The atmosphere and service were wonderful.  The prices were reasonable.  I think it would make a really nice place to take a special somebody for a date.  If you you live in my area--GO THERE!!! You won't be disappointed.

Atmosphere:  4/5 tacos  Lovely, rustic, romantic....and did I mention how good the place smelled??!!
Service:  4/5 tacos  Friendly, efficient service. 
Food:  5/5 tacos  The absolute best place I eaten in quite some time.  My lunch was fantastic!!!
Price:  4/5 tacos  Reasonable prices for a sit-down casual restaurant, reasonable prices for great tasting food.

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