My friend Cheri doesn't get up to the Valley too often. I see her maybe twice a year. We made plans weeks ago to meet for dinner this week, but the question remained: where do go for dinner?
Cheri's a vegetarian, and I'm on this anti-migraine diet this month that forbids cheese, nuts, chocolate, and sadly, wine. (I know, right?)
It needed to be local, as I was meeting her immediately after work and needed to be home in time to put the boys to bed. Our local options include, of course, Italian and south-of-the-border - but both are heavy on cheese.
How about Mediterranean? I suggested.
We met at Cafe Artemis, the little gem of a Turkish-Greek bistro tucked into the center courtyards of the Pruneyard. Hidden, for lack of exterior building signage, but accessible with a charming outdoor patio. We were the first into the restaurant of the dinner crowd and, to my delight, the menu offered plenty of options for both of us.
I've enjoyed Cafe Artemis before - the feta and kebabs alone are worth a visit, but it's not in my diet at the moment. Instead, I ordered the tabouli and lentil kofte and we enjoyed a tapas-style meal.
The tabouli tasted of summer - light on the bulgar and heavy on the fresh. It was perfect and oh-so-healthy.
The lentil kofte were something new, soft patties of red lentils mixed with spices and herbs, and delicious.
Cheri ordered tzatziki (creamy greek yogurt blended with yumminess and cucumbers, with pita triangles for dipping) and one of my previous favorites, Cigar Borek (pastry filled with feta, dill and parsley, and deep fried. Oh yes.)
The restaurant is suitably thematic with enormous wall frescos setting the viewer in beaches and coves of a decidely Greek persuasion. Wicker furniture, enormous urns overflowing with vines, and cobalt glassware on the tables.
Despite the March gloom outside, we could have been on Santorini...
Priced reasonably, it was the perfect meal to catch up over. If you haven't yet tried Cafe Artemis, you're missing out.
Note: Come on Wednesday nights for the belly dancing, if you dare.