I had noticed the Cafe Artermis in the Pruneyard, and one of the local papers had a free appetizer coupon, so following a movie at Camera 7, we decided to wander over and check it out. Any reasonable experience would have met our expectations for the evening, just a relaxed movie and "let's go out and eat something" kind of day, but Cafe Artermis was way better than that . . . It was great!!
We had baba ganoush and steamed mussels for appetizers. The baba ganoush was totally pureed, and I think the melitzanosalata was more what I was imagining, but anyway it was delicious. The mussels were excellent, served in a red sauce, not entirely tomato, more red pepper maybe. The server suggested that we shouldn't fill up on the bread. That was tough. It's house made and wonderful and came with some kind of smokey peppery spread. I used a lot of the bread to soak up the sauce from the mussels.
My husband had lamb souvlaki and I had lamb kofte. Each was flavorful and engaging in its own way. Both were served with two versions of rice and grilled vegetables. Cafe Artemis had what appeared to be an excellent wine list that included several interesting Turkish wines, but we have a serious culinary character flaw, and we never pass on retsina, so others of you will have to report on the rest.
After the main course, the server, who was totally charming, quickly sold my husband on the idea of chocolate ouzo cake, dark, molten chocolate cake, which came with a scoop of very good vanilla gelato.
The restaurant is casual, pretty and warm. When we left, our server helped me on with my jacket, assuring me that she wanted us all to feel as though we were visiting at her home. And indeed that's exactly how it felt, and it's a feeling I'm going to be happy to recapture on visits in the future.
www.cafeartemis.com for menus, the wine list, and a look at the decor!
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