Walking into Kid Cashew is like walking into a chic, rustic farmhouse kitchen. Located on East Blvd. in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood, this urban farmhouse features Mediterranean inspired small plates using farm fresh ingredients cooked on a wood fire grill.
To start off our late lunch, we decided it was time for an early happy hour. So we chose a cocktail featured on their “Living Libations” menu and their “Seasonal Cocktail” menu: the Cucumber Basil Mule & the Peach Apricot. In a desperate attempt to mentally escape the frigid weather just outside the front door, I figured a refreshing cucumber basil mule would do the trick. Boy was I right, the balanced mixture of basil, cucumber, gin, lemon, a touch of honey and ginger beer brings a feeling of springtime to the lips. The Peach Apricot cocktail was a glamorous entity all of its own. A warming winter mixture of rye whiskey, peach apricot syrup and freshly squeezed lemon. If fruity cocktails are your kind of thing, this is a nice direction to go as it gives you that sweetness from the peach and apricot syrup, but the warmth that only a rye whiskey can bring to any drink.
To keep the warmth circulating, we placed an order for their baked spinach and feta dip. Obviously a spin off of your classic spinach dip. Baked and served in a miniature cast iron pan, this dip is “smothered and covered” with shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses; whereupon you’ll get a salty, yet creamy bite of feta cheese and wilted spinach. Served alongside soft grilled pita triangles, this is the perfect starter to any Mediterranean feast.
The next dish delivered to our table was a classic starter you can find on most Spanish tapas menus: octopus. This dish was also created with a unique twist; the octopus is wood fire grilled, which leaves a slight char to its outer skin. It is then plated in a pool of lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled with flakes of oregano. You can almost taste it can’t you?
Our salad course was next, and we decided the gold + red beet with arugula would pair nicely with the octopus. Tossed with chopped pistachios, whipped goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, this salad honestly would pair well with any dish on the menu. The slight bitterness of arugula, earthiness of the beets, crunch of chopped pistachios and creamy richness of goat cheese creates a flavorful winter salad.
Last, but certainly not least, was the Portobello Hummus Gyro. A veggie twist on a classic gyro pays homage to the flavors that you would expect, but as a lighter, healthier version. The fire grilled portobellos and hummus provide a heartiness that makes you forget you are eating a vegan dish. The addition of chipotle sauce and basil provides a slight elevation of flavor above your traditional gyro ingredients. The only change I would make, if I were to replicate this dish at home, would be to use sun-dried tomatoes in place of fresh tomatoes (especially during the winter season). This could add a splash of zest to the other garden fresh ingredients.
With an abundance of Mediterranean fare available throughout the city, Kid Cashew sets the bar for classic Mediterranean dishes with a uniquely modern twist. So pull up a chair at the communal table and invite everyone to join!
Meet Susannah: Charlotte transplant by way of Arkansas. A passion for experiencing new places dish by dish, sip by sip. I’ve led a life of southern hospitality beginning with my education from the University of New Orleans where I was always looking for the next best piece of bread pudding or king cake, former professional cook and travel agent (best job ever!). I love to share my food, drink and travel experiences for anyone who wants to listen. Giving back is part of my life professionally and leisurely because “the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”—William Shakespeare