Travelers and locals love driving through Downtown Salisbury's historic district. With homes built more than a hundred years ago, onlookers can catch a glimpse of creative inspiration of the past. With architectural styles ranging from Italianate and Queen Anne to Jacobean and Spanish Mission, there is certainly plenty to take in. And in the midst of this community, located on the corner of S Church St and E Horah is the quaint, but beautiful La Cava restaurant owned by Gianni and Mona Moscardini. Originally built in 1897, much of the original structure still stands. The ambience created by the larger than life stained glass windows and white plaster walls transports guests to a time and place where the world seems to turn a little slower.
La Cava offers authentic Italian and Continental cuisine along with a vintage wine collection that is out of this world. With entrees averaging $20+ this is definitely a spot for special occasions and celebrations but let me tell you, it is worth every penny spent. When my partner and I wanted to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary, of course, La Cava was the perfect place.
With white table cloths and wine glasses, La Cava does give a feeling of fine dining that is beautifully contrasted with the relaxed wait style. It didn't take long for us to realize that the best course was just to settle in, take in the atmosphere and enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cocktail. The servers were buzzing around taking care of one table after the next and all servers waited on all tables seamlessly.
We were provided waters along with fresh focaccia bread and olive oil with cracked peppercorns before being handed a drink menu. And about the time we finished the last nibble of bread, a server stopped to give us a copy of the daily menu and to tell us about the specials of the evening. The specials included a charcuterie board, a warm kale salad and a Wahoo in lemon, butter and capers.
With the Charcuterie in eye shot, we could hardly resist. The server cut the cheese from a block and carved the meat right from the bone. The board included prosciutto, a smoky chorizo and a spicy Coppa paired with a creamy cheese, pickled vegetable and olives. Honestly, I could have had this as my meal. It was so yummy!
From here we decided to try the Portobello Ravioli which was rich in flavor. The robust and savory sauce was full of mushrooms and had a hearty quality. Paired with the delicate ravioli this dish really hit the spot. We also tried the Wahoo special which came with crispy, rosemary potatoes and vegetables. After a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bite of capers, this dish offered one of those perfect bites that you never forget. Both dishes were beautifully plated and simple in their design. This only added to the relaxed feel of La Cava. We imagined we were in a lovely cafe on the streets of an Italian village with no worries. A place where nothing matters more than the food and the company.
And just when we thought we couldn't fit another bite of food into our mouth, we spotted a server heading our way with a cart full of gorgeous desserts and an offering of coffee. With a display so grand I really don't understand how anyone could resist. The display included a chocolate ganache cheesecake, a traditional tiramisu, a dulce de leche cheesecake, a decadent chocolate cake and a limoncello cake amongst others. As a lover of all things lemon, I opted for the limoncello cake.
The cake was so light and so fluffy it seemed to melt away the second it hit the tongue. And unlike the thick icing found on many cakes, this icing was cool and airy with a lovely aromatic quality that cleansed the palette in the most perfect way.
If you're looking for something in Salisbury that is truly special, La Cava is certainly a top contender. You will need a reservation so plan ahead. And if the occasion is a romantic one, be sure to request a table in the wine alcove. Home to the original church altar, this romantic nook now sits inside walls of vintage wine where sneaking a kiss is not unheard of. La Cava is open evenings Monday through Saturday and offers a brunch on the first Sunday of every month. To check out their daily menus and specials, be sure to follow along on the Facebook page
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