A day’s catch and a harvest of greens to satiate two superheroes

22 10 2009

ONE WOULD usually need a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens to shine into the night sky the “Bat signal,” so that The Dark Knight will know he is needed.  And sometimes, one would usually have to shriek like a damsel in distress so that this bespectacled newspaperman will step into a phone booth to change into The Man of Steel.  Lucky for me, all I have to do is send a text message and they will show up – superhero costumes not required.  Though I will have to admit that the stars need to be aligned for both of them to be available at the same time.

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Dinner with the (almost) Justice League – eNTeNG with Batman and Superman!

It was a starlit September night not too looong ago when both Batman and Superman arrived divine – an homage to their demigod-like provenance.  As I was the mere mortal in the triumvirate, I took it upon myself to choose where to dine.  Superheroes have far bigger cares than I do so I thought it was too much already to busy their minds with the perrenial question that has plagued mankind – “Where do we eat?”

For superheroes tasked to save this world, I’ve often wondered how anything will be enough to fuel Batman and Superman – if at all they need it.  They’re not exactly in want of sustenance.  Though I can attest to their fine tastes.  As I traipsed through the stretches of restaurant options in all the Greenbelt annexes – as I traipsed while they glided more than strutted – it suddenly occurred to me to treat these two to the cuisine of the gods and goddesses.  How fitting!

Cyma Estiatorio at Greenbelt 2 – now that’s Greek to me.  Opah!

If I had saved my dear superheroes precious neural traffic from having to choose the restaurant, I might as well extend it all the way to ordering.  Fortunately, they would always let me have my way.  We had a full table that night.  We asked for the Steak (Beef Tenderloin) Souvlaki, which is the traditional kabob, skewered with fresh vegetables and grilled to perfection.  In deference to the evening’s company, I told the kitchen to make ours medium-well.  I would’ve wanted medium-rare, really pink in the center of the humongous meat chunks.  The kabob came with warm pita bread and garlic yogurt sauce.  I tore the pita piece by piece as I went on munching them.  I totally ignored the yogurt sauce.  But that’s just me.

With protein taken care of, I veered to asking for carbohydrates.  At Cyma, it could only be Solomos Angel Hair for me.  And judging from the response I got from Batman and Superman – usually light eaters themselves – it was a runaway hit.  Anybody offering me pasta can stop at the mere mention of “angel hair.”  Angel hair?  I’m there!  But the Solomos Angel Hair warrants a full accounting of all the scrumptious ingredients that go into the dish.  Writing them down now, I had to glance at my expanded girth as culling them (the ingredients) from memory – one by one – seems to be adding pounds!  Each strand of pasta was generously coated with the tomato-cream sauce, then topped with the best crumbled feta cheese.  It was a wickedly perfect mound on a pristine white serving platter.  It was so good it felt like a sin loving it too much.

It may seem that satiation came to us by way of those two dishes.  Not.  Just.  Yet.  It really did come by way of an unassuming but arguably the best soup and the best salad I’ve ever had here at home.

The Roka Salata is a salad of fresh arugula and delicate hearts of romaine lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, and candied walnuts topped with shaved parmesan cheese in a special, original Greek vinaigrette.  I’ve taken great pride in my considerable success in reproducing restaurant-created salads – most notable my version of the Café Breton seafood salad with mangoes in a honey mustard dressing.  But I haven’t had success with Cyma’s yet.  I take it as a testament to the restaurant’s genius.  And oh yes, a testament to my failure as well.  Hahaha!

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Roka Salata on a superhero's plate!

The ultimate in soups will have to be the Kakavia, or Greek Fisherman’s Soup.  Usually, this soup is made by fishermen from the day’s catch.  So imagine how all the more excellent this would have tasted if it were made a mere minutes from when the fish and the seafood had been caught.  After all, the best fish and seafood are the freshest fish and seafood.  Start with those and you can never go wrong.  Cyma’s kakavia was chockful with the freshest seafood, in a saffron broth infused with fresh herbs – I got the dill right away (I’m thinking it could be dill though most recipes call for thyme).  The thread-like foliage of the dill, together with the saffron, gave the soup its aromatic quality.  Each spoonful was a medley of chunks of vegetables and bites of fish, mussels and clams.  And with each (quiet!) slurp came the faint saltiness reminiscent of the seas, tempered perfectly by the natural sweetness from the juices of the shellfish and the fragrance from the herbs.

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Kakavia – arguably the best soup I've ever had in a restaurant.

Cyma Estiatorio at Greenbelt 2 – now that’s REALLY Greek to me.  And with a couple of demigods around, I couldn’t help but say, Opah!

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The representatives of the Justice League and I moved to Classic Confections for dessert.