Calvino Cafe

Taking up where Milano left off, Calvino has moved into a notoriously difficult-to-promote space jutting out of the Main Street Market. Fortunately, Kate the owner goes out of her way to make your experience here well worth the trek to almost-downtown. Calvino is the new Greenberry's, the new Mudhouse, the new place to study. And thank heaven most people haven't figured that out yet.

But this blog has never been about studying, or, let's face it, I'd be studying instead of writing. This blog is about food. So to the food!

Kate has managed to do a remarkable thing with this tiny space; go seasonal with a limited menu. For the summer, a shrimp and spinach number with deliciously roasted tomatoes has a bright lemon zing. It might be the most "refreshing" lunch in town for this time of year. In the winter, shrimp is traded with lamb for a stick-to-your-ribs wrap. It is bested as comfort food only by 1) the pork and tuscan bean wrap, also at Calvino, and 2) my mom's brisket. And, perhaps most importantly, there is flavor. It avoids all of the complaints I had regarding Orzo's Orzo, despite being run under the same flag. I can't imagine going to Orzo for lunch when better, cheaper food is around the corner.

Breakfast may be another matter. While the egg paninis are good, they harken back to the awkward panini that Orzo was trying to pull off for lunch. The large chunk of egg is filling, but a bit greasy, and makes it difficult to taste anything else. That being said, unless you want to wait for Bluegrass Grill & Bakery, Calvino has the second-best breakfast in town. Impressive when dozens of restaurants now pretend to serve brunch.

The blended drink options are supposedly fantastic as well; I am yet to try them, so consider this review partially incomplete. But the coffee is certain amazing - significantly better than a place like Greenberry's - and Kate cares about what she serves which clearly comes through.

Buried in there is the main problem. The owner may care, but no one can be there 24 hours a day. Beware of the service when the owner is absent - the children get lazy, the food gets half-assed, and it seems people are more concerned with perfecting their mozy than getting you a delicious wrap.

All in all, Calvino is unquestionably worth it (lord knows I'm there more than I'm in my own apartment) and a fantastic place to study. A final note: bring a sweater - that place gets chilly.

- M.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't read these things they make me too hungry and snacking in the middle of the night ruins my figure...damn you... :)