Last January, Capri owner’s Iman and wife Tasha decided to move from Gray to a new location on West G Street in Elizabethton. The new facility has a kitchen that is even smaller than a postage stamp-sized dining room seating just 16. If needed, there’s also al fresco dining under the umbrellas outside. Capri’s takeout and delivery service is expertly handled by a capable pair of stalwarts, Jacob and Dustin. Coca-Cola products are available along with more exotic potables like Hibiscus and Karoub. If needed, there is a unisex lavatory off the dining room.
Appetizer: Hummus with pita bread: The dine-around bunch and I dropped in for an early supper and were seated at the “large party” table in the center of the dining room. Our server Jacob obligingly got our drinks as we each pondered what our meal would be. To get things started, I ordered some hummus with pita bread ($4.99) so we could have something to nibble on. With Tasha running the front of the house, Iman was doing the cooking and presented some fresh-baked pita bread to dip into our delicious serving of hummus. The pita bread was dotted with toasted black sesame seeds used here not just because of their taste abut also for their health benefits; adding a bit of hummus was a perfect pairing.
Dolma and falafel: I decided to create my own tasting menu from Capri’s Middle Eastern offerings, choosing the stuffed grape leaves (dolma) appetizer ($4.99) and also a plate of falafel ($4.99). With dolma, young grape leaves are first filled with a mixture of cooked rice, onions and spices, steamed until tender and then served chilled. Iman’s version of a dolma appetizer was everything I expected it to be. His falafel appetizer was a mixture of mashed chickpeas and fava beans along with a good helping of coriander, cumin, mint and parsley. After rolling into a ball and deep-frying, my falafel was plated on a bed of lettuce, with some creamy tahini sauce as needed for dip. Delectable? You betcha.
Stromboli with anchovies, pepperoni, red peppers and Italian sausage: As I was busy with my Middle Eastern supper, my friend the Carnivore was dining on a thoroughly Italian Stromboli ($9). This is pizza dough loaded with anchovies, spicy aged pepperoni, roasted red peppers, savory Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, then smothered in Capri’s own ragu (marinara sauce) and baked until golden brown. The Stromboli was actually causing the Carnivore to eat slowly, taking small forkfuls and chewing each morsel with deliberation and real pleasure.
Mediterranean pizza: Meanwhile, the ladies of the dine-around bunch ordered Capri’s 10-inch Mediterranean pizza ($11.99) to share between them. Made from their scratch pizza dough, the Mediterranean starts with (what else?) the ragu then topped with smoked bacon, spinach, mushrooms, salty feta and shredded mozzarella cheeses. A trip through Capri’s 500-degree pizza oven creates a pizza to linger over, making the most of every delectable bite.
Grilled chicken sub sandwich: After ordering their pizza, further discussion among the ladies questioned if they had ordered enough for the three of them? My dining partner then called Jacob back and added a 12-inch grilled chicken sub sandwich ($8.99) to their order. This proved to be a wonderfully crunchy toasted Italian baguette filled with strips of grilled breast of chicken topped with lettuce, red tomato slices and rings of purple onion and then smothered in shredded mozzarella cheese. My dining partner divided the sandwich so that we all could have some, and a good time was had by all our taste buds.
The bottom line: It is great to see Iman, Tasha and their staff at Capri restaurant back in business. With the changes made to their menu plus their new digs in Elizabethton, these very capable people are working hard to make a go of it. Why not stop in, have a bite and be part of a real success story?
1435 W. G St.
Sun-Thu 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Available on Facebook & at www.caprithefoodislandmenu.com
Credit cards accepted