Cheap Eats 2007: Cava

Forget Zorba the Greek clichés. Think instead of the ouzeri you’d find in Athens’s stylish Kolonaki neighborhood.

Mezze rules at this lively restaurant and nightspot owned by three second-generation Greek-Americans. From the tangy grilled baby octopus and the mini souvlakis to the charcoal-grilled loukanika (orange-scented sausage), the cooking is always gutsy and frequently interesting. Doughnut fans will want to indulge in Greece’s take on fried dough: loukoumades kissed with honey and cinnamon.

Portions are generous, and most dishes are under $9. The deal gets even better Mondays with $5 martinis and Tuesdays with half-price bottles of wine, including lots of interesting Greek picks.

Open weekdays for lunch, Monday through Saturday for dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.