Restaurant Spotlight: Kavana Social Kitchen
Kavana Social Kitchen |13570 Ridge Road | North Royalton, OH
We’re back in North Royalton, this time to cover Kavana Social Kitchen. Located in a small strip center off Ridge Road (between Wallings Road and Bennett Road), the restaurant occupies what used to be Matteo’s Italian Restaurant. Interestingly enough, Kavana Social Kitchen has a major connection to Olesia’s Place—the subject of my previous blog.
Remember how we mentioned Olesia’s Place is moving to the former Taverne of Richfield building? Guess who used to own the popular Richfield staple? None other than Serena and Sonya Raybould, owners of Kavana. Seeking a new dining concept and location, the sisters opened their North Royalton digs in November 2018.
With communal dining becoming more prevalent, the importance of small plates and appetizers has never been greater. Diners value shareable dishes that are unique, fun and flavorful. Kavana has embraced the trend and established a shareable menu concept in the suburbs.
Kavana’s menu is eclectic and features not only shareables, but salads, dips, breads, tacos, sliders and à la carte sides. Highlights include mushroom ravioli, charcuterie boards, grouper bites, lobster mac, flank steak, hummus varieties, strawberry fields salads, fish tacos and poke lettuce wraps.
Kavana—closed Sunday and Monday—offers daily specials. Happy hour is three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday; Tuesday features $2 off both tacos and tequila; Wednesday is retail wine night; Thursday is extended happy hour (4 to 8 p.m.); Friday includes specials on French drinks; and Saturday is $5 sangria from 4 to 8 p.m.
Overall, the food at Kavana is solid. On a recent visit, my wife Tiffany and I ordered the spicy crab dip and artisan cheese dip. I thought the crab dip was too rich and needed additional spices; in fairness, this could relate more to personal preference than quality. The cheese platter—parmesan, French brie, Welsh cheddar, fried pita points and green apple slices—was excellent; it was fresh, and all elements paired together expertly. My mom—who visited Kavana Social Kitchen with friends on separate occasions—echoed our sentiments. She endorsed the pull-apart bread but said the coconut chicken needed more flavor to be truly memorable.
Everything on the happy hour menu—available anywhere in the restaurant—is between $2 and $6. The $5 shareables include pretzel bites, fried buffalo cauliflower and hummus with pita. Bottled beers ($2) are Bud Light, Budweiser, Coors Light, Miller Lite and Michelob Ultra while the featured draft ($4) is Stella Artois. Vista Point—chardonnay, white zinfandel and merlot—is the $5 house wine. The stars of happy hour, by far, are the martinis. The selection—especially for a happy hour—is tremendous. $5 offerings include apple, key lime pie, California, cosmopolitan and my mom’s personal favorite, chocolate.
Kavana doesn’t take reservations, though they do employ a call-ahead seating system for the dining room. The bar and patio are first come-first served.
Kavana is a tale of two restaurants, as the bar and dining room are completely separate. I prefer the bar area, which, while tightly packed, features a modern vibe, a scenic back patio, live music on the weekends and an ample number of tables.
Rating Scale & Verdict
🍷 🍷=Average 🍷🍷🍷=Good 🍷🍷🍷🍷=Excellent
Update (9/13) I’ve been back to Kavana multiple times since my original post. Each time has been better than the last. My favorite dishes include the taverne (that’s how it’s spelled on the menu) sliders, arancini and goat cheese marinara. The sliders are fresh and made to order. The arancini is first-rate—the fried risotto balls employ mozzarella cheese, pesto, artisan cheese sauce and house marinara. The goat cheese marina is my favorite. The dish is rich, creamy and accompanied by delicious fried pita pints. Perhaps best of all … Kavana is dog friendly!
I’d be remiss not to mention Kavana’s staff. The employees are top notch. They’re kind, upbeat and attentive. I appreciate how they always go out of their way to greet my dog and bring him water.
🍷🍷🍷🍷 For years I’ve lamented the dearth of quality bars/restaurants in the southern suburbs (Brecksville, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Richfield/Hinckley and Independence, north of Rockside Road). The area is ripe for additions to the dining scene. The success of Michael Angelo’s Winery in Richfield proves that. While the void isn’t filled, Kavana Social Kitchen is a welcome addition. The restaurant is contemporary and has embraced modern dining trends. It’s worth supporting (or, at the very least, visiting). Cheers!
Kavana Social Kitchen:
Tuesday – Thursday 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 4:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Happy Hour: Tuesday & Wednesday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Thursday 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.