Culinary Café

Siphon Owner Expands to Greenway with Cavo

Ladybird chef Adrian de la Cerda will add an intelligent menu to the upscale coffee bar.

By Alice Levitt June 22, 2016

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A cup of love

Cult Montrose café Siphon Coffee will get a new cousin this fall with the opening of Cavo. Michael Caplan, who opened the original shop with Edward Treistman in 2014, says that the build-out will begin soon on the bottom floor of Regions Financial Center at 3773 Richmond Avenue. He's always liked the neighborhood, says Caplan, who formerly owned the night club Uropa nearby. 

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The Regions Financial Center awaits its new coffee shop.

The shop will specialize in the same two-chamber, vacuum-style brew that gives Siphon its name. Also like Siphon, specialty drinks will be made with Houston-roasted Amaya Coffee, while other beans come from craft roasters Heart and Stumptown Coffee Roasters. There will also be wine, bottles and cans of local beer, kombucha and Mexican Coke to drink. Happy hour will last most of the day.

But the solid sustenance is what will really set Cavo apart. Chef Adrian de la Cerda is best known for his big orange food truck, the now-retired Ladybird, but between life on the streets and his new gig, he worked as a consultant and in the kitchen at Weights & Measures. He's cooked up a quirky menu as likely to draw in serious gourmets as local business people looking for something from the grab-and-go case. 

Trendy toasts will be a focus, but that doesn't mean the cuisine will be simple. De la Cerda's avocado toast is far from basic with the addition of frisée salad, a sous-vide egg and honey gochujang. Another pairs beet hummus with local goat cheese, strawberries and cilantro. A sweet version plays on the café setting with cinnamon, sugar and smoked coffee cream. Diners looking just for something sugary will be able to grab treats provided by Fluff Bake Bar.

Tacos will appear in both breakfast and lunch iterations (food will be served until at least 6 p.m., likely later) with combos including chorizo-kimchi-and-cheddar and nopalitos with tofu and apple pico. Salads will include one centered around soba noodles in tomato miso with coffee-dusted skirt steak and julienned vegetables.

Sandwiches will certainly include de la Cerda's famous grilled cheese—ricotta, goat cheese, green tomato and "a little cheddar" griddled in sesame semolina with pickled okra remoulade for dipping. But the chef says he hopes to feature a different grilled cheese each month. "I guess I'm dating my grilled cheese, but we're not married," he jokes. "I can date around with a lot of grilled cheeses." And come autumn, diners will likely be ready to play the field at Cavo, too.

[Disclosure: Michael Caplan is the husband of Houstonia publisher Diane Caplan.]

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