.

I Miss You So, 'Sano

Seriously, I am like a rudderless ship - and I have to make my own salad.

There's something missing in my life.

For the last five years or so, we've had a tight bond. We would see each other two, maybe even three, times a week. Sometimes it was just the two of us. Sometimes we would be a whole big group. Sometimes I was all business and brought my laptop. Other times, I brought kids along. Day, night, it didn't matter. Sometimes there was wine.

I am talking, of course - gosh, get your mind out of the gutter - about

Poor Cafesano, the Mediterranean restaurant at South Lakes Village Center that It is still under repair and the management estimates that it will not reopen until Feb. 1.

Seriously, I feel like I have a relationship that broke up without warning. Now, I usually don't use this space to endorse any particular place, but in this case I am going to make an exception, mainly because I feel like many people in the community feel the same way.

I live in walking distance of South Lakes Village Center and I work from home. To me, eating at Cafesano (or 'sano, as I call it in shorthand) had become automatic. Sometimes, I even did my work there (Free WiFi).

Need to meet a friend for lunch (which, for those of us who work from home, puts some structure in the day), 'sano is your place. Tired of cooking and need an inexpensive dinner? 'sano. Sunny day and you want to sit and look at the lake? 'sano. Meeting a friend for a quick glass of wine? OK, I think you get it.

Also, I am mostly a vegetarian. For those of us not looking for a hamburger and french fries, this is a good place.

Cafesano is lots of things to lots of people. First and foremost, women. I eat there a lot. My friends eat there a lot. There are lots of salads and hummus and other what I call "lady food." Heavy on vegetables and wraps and can accommodate a wide range of diety-picky eaters.

Yet it is a rare restaurant with something for everyone. Kids like it. There are pizza, pasta, things to dip, high tolerance for noise and a big place to run around and feed ducks on a summer night. I was once there with three other families and the kids ran up from the dock to tell us Emma fell in Lake Thoreau. No worries, she's on the swim team and the other kids were looking out for her. Very Reston.

Teenagers like it. My son and his friends from went there in groups of approximately 3,000 the last two homecomings. It was corsage and chaos friendly.

My husband is fan, so I guess unless you are a total meat-and-potatoes guy, men like the place too.

But of major importance - Cafesano is locally owned in an increasingly chain-store world. Every time I order a Pizza Bianca Insalata or a Signature Salad (I do believe I have the menu memorized), I am helping to keep money and jobs right here in the community.

Speaking of jobs, I have been urging people to order food from Cafesano's catering market a few doors down. I selfishly want my place to return. I have lunch dates to make and baklava to eat.

Also, it can't be good for the people who work there to have their work schedule and cashflow disrupted, especially during the holidays. Supporting the catering market is supporting the whole business and the local folks who work there.

So get well soon, Cafesano. I might be the first person in line when you re-open your doors. Save me a Greek salad and a shrimp skewer.

Karen Goff December 17, 2011 at 09:20 PM
RKO - that is not the case at all. The Master Plan Phase 2 is going to look at all the village centers and decide what, if anything, should be done to accomodate future growth, construction in Reston. No one has said anything ever about tearing anything down at South Lakes. It is Lake Anne they have been scrutinizing, but there are no plans to do anything there yet either and likely will not be unless it comes from individual owners.
Kathy December 17, 2011 at 11:23 PM
Actually, Karen, the county wants all the village centers redeveloped. I was told by a county planner that they want 500 residential units added to each village center and more commercial space there as well. The only way they get additional residential units is by tearing down what is currently there and rebuilding. South Lakes isn't run-down at all, but the county wants to put more people there so they can make more revenue. There IS a new comprehensive plan amendment for Lake Anne. It's a guide for future development there. While it is not a CDP/FDP (conceptual development plan submitted to the county by a developer), I would call it a plan. The Lake Anne Plan Amendment is the template for redevelopment of the other village centers. It expands the footprint of the village center. It is likely the footprints of the other village centers will be expanded, too. Anybody who wants to read it can find it on the county website. Google Lake Anne Plan Amendment. It may be some time before developers have access to enough money to redevelop the village centers, and in the meantime Cafesano needs a roof. Kathy Kaplan Reston
Tim Shea December 22, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Miss Cafesano too but tried the "new" menu at Lakeside Inn and it was pretty good. Tuesday night's Chicken Fajita half-price special is tasty and very reasonable.
Marguerite Nafey December 23, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Dropped over to Cafesano the other night hoping it had reopened and was saddened that it was still closed. When do they planned to open? Tim Shea, thanks for the tip.
Jessica Lopez December 23, 2011 at 01:46 AM
I called today and they told me the restaurant will reopen in February <sigh>.

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