Catal Uva Bar and Cafe - lunch - March 3, 2001
It was a bit early for lunch, around 11:45, and there was no one else in the tapas bar. It was a bit chilly outside, so no one was sitting at the patio area either. We were seated at one of the numerous tables by the window. After looking further at the menu, we decided on our initial order. We figured we could order more if we wanted. We had the spicy ahi tuna tartare, an order of the mixed marinated olives, and an order of caprese.
The tuna is basically a mound of cut tuna (not quite as mushed as what you'd get in a spicy tuna roll - there were actually cubed bits of tuna) which has been mixed in a spicy sauce, and it comes with one waffle chip. Absolutely excellent. If you like tuna sushi and/or sashimi, I highly recommend it. If you're not into spicy, you might see if you can get the spicy sauce on the side. We plan to return with a friend who loves sushi but who can't tolerate spicyness, so we figure we'll try to ask for the sauce on the side. It's a nice appetizer side, enough for two sushi lovers.
The mixed marinated olives consisted of Spanish olives, Italian olives, and one other kind I can't remember. If you like really good marinated olives, this is a great side dish to have. It's rather salty, but I'm a salt addict, so that was fine with me.
The caprese had sliced tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, basil and olive oil (literally dripping off) on warm soft flatbread. In comes in a little pizza size, round, and cut in four quarters.
We decided to try one more dish and settled on the three Middle Eastern dips with pita chips. When the waiter brought the dish over, we asked what the three dips were since the menu had not stated. He wasn't sure, so he called over another waiter. As we'd been eating, we had noticed a couple of the waiters standing with the chef going over what ingredients were in each dish so that they could answer these very questions. Their whole group came over to our table, and one of the waiters asked the chef if she wanted to tell us, and she said no, she just wanted to hear if he told it right. :) The three dips consisted of hummus, eggplant hummus, and tabouleh (sp?). The dips were ok, but a bit blander than I'd anticipated, though that may have been because of the rather flavorful dishes we'd already had. Also, I didn't much like the pita chips. I would have much preferred just soft pita bread pieces. While I would certainly have the other three items again, I would not jump to order this dish again.
Overall, we really enjoyed our lunch and the food, and the service was terrific. When the chef was at our table, we asked about the spices in the tuna, which she told us but which I forget, and we told her how much we liked it. The design of the indoor seating makes you kinda feel like you're eating in a fish bowl (only two tables aren't window seating), but we didn't mind too much. I can definitely see enjoying a nice lunch in the outdoor seating area come late spring, early summer.
For other Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar reviews, please click here.
For the current dinner menu offerings in the upstairs restaurant, please click here.
For the current uva bar and cafe menu offerings, please click here.
For Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar menu offerings from prior seasons, please click here.
To see Catal's specific webpage in the Patina Group website, please click here. (Note that the menus on the site are out-of-date, but there are some nice views of the restaurant and some background.)
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