Some like it HOT - the Healthy Hedon delivers
This tiny café (or is it a bistro?!) on Belmont is a real gem, especially if you like spicy foods, but even if you don't. It's great for an adventurous date night! The only thing that kept me from giving it a Perfect 10 rating is that it has a few of the quirks of a newly-established business. Nothing to bring it down, just need to work out a few kinks. Service style is *very* friendly and casual.
I am a spice wimp, and I barely made it through the meal, but I still considered it absolutely delicious. *Everything* on the menu is spicy, including the complimentary popcorn.
This is a vegetarian, nearly vegan, café, and the chef is Brilliant! The decor is colorful and tasteful, international in style - as is the menu, a creative and eclectic collection of flavors with influences from Jamaican, Asian, and African traditions. Here is an example:
Lavender Lamb marinated in fresh Green herbs, grilled & served w/ a rich coconut cream & white wine sauce featuring shitake & crimini mushrooms, smoked Swiss, & caramelized onions.
Caribbean citrus spiced & Dark Rum marinated grilled Shrimp served w/ smoked Scotch Bonnet & Grilled Pineapple Salsa, accompanied by warm seasoned chips
Plan to order the Chocolate Tea for dessert. It is an exquisite taste adventure. It also has the benefit of requiring some assembly, reminding me of the satisfying ritual of making coffee in a French press pot, versus an automatic drip. The Chocolate Tea is truly fun, interesting, delicious, and innovative. And big enough for 3 people to share. Heck, go just for this dessert.
The Healthy Hedon is a bit hard to find, being tucked back off the sidewalk on a small side street, and parking is the usual pain of Capitol Hill. If you know where Half Price Books is, you're doing good - it's just a stone's throw from Healthy Hedon.
But even if you're loathe to deal with Cap Hill, go anyway. Finding the place is just the beginning of the adventure.