Today is a sad day in Providence for many of us, as we mourn the loss of CAV Restaurant Owner Sylvia Moubayed. In 2013, we honored Sylvia as our Member of the Year. She was thrilled and brought her large, loving family with her to celebrate. That night, she handed all 200 or so people in the room a little card offering them a complimentary glass of champagne at CAV. On a night that was supposed to be all about her, she made it a joyous occasion for everyone. That was Sylvia.

I wrote the script for the award ceremony and she liked it so much that she asked me to send it to her. From then on, every time she introduced me to someone, she would say, “This is my friend Kristen. She wrote the most beautiful things about me.”  

It is my honor to print them here, one last time, in remembrance of an extraordinary life, well-lived:

It is now my pleasure to give our Member of the Year award to a local legend. A trailblazing woman who has been a fixture in our restaurant community for 23 years. 

Tucked away in a cobblestone courtyard is a place that is part restaurant and part autobiography. Through its many antiques and curios, it tells the story of the journey of its owner. And what a journey it has been.  

She is a loving mother, a seasoned businesswoman, a curious traveler, and a spiritual force of nature. She is warm and kind, doting on her staff like they are members of her family. The value that she places on courtesy and harmony permeates every corner of her restaurant. Stepping through the door and down the little ramp at the entrance feels like entering the parlor of a favorite relative or an old friend.

What is really striking about our award winner is her unbelievable generosity and thoughtfulness. Reporters, meeting planners and other guests that we bring to her restaurant are instantly charmed and frequently overwhelmed by the hospitality and the plate after plate of exquisite food that is sent their way.

She is equally kind to our staff, insisting that we stay for a treat or two — or ten — after a meeting or a visit. Her magnanimous acts are legendary in the restaurant community. Everyone has a story of a warm and loving gesture that she has undertaken on their behalf.

For being not only the heart, but the soul, of Providence’s restaurant community for more than two decades, it is our absolute pleasure to recognize Sylvia Moubayed of CAV as our Member of the Year. 

Sylvia Member of the Year 2013