Friday, March 21, 2014

Kapnos, DC #3

Kapnos again? Yeah, I guess it has become one of my favorite restaurants in DC and a standard go-to now when I have friends in from out of town. Kapnos is Mike Isabella's Greek restaurant that has taken the U Street area by storm.

On this particular visit, I went with five other people at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night.  We started with a bottle of Syrah/Merlot/Xinomavro Kapnos reserve (2011) for $49. This wine was much lighter than I had expected and wasn't nearly as good as I thought it might be. I must admit that we were pretty disappointed with this wine and surprised to see that Kapnos bottled it with their own label as well.

I decided to order four small plates to share while the other half of the table ordered additional plates as well. I started with my favorite Revithosalata, the incredibly good chickpea and tahini spread with sultan chutney served with their buttery flatbread. This was a hit across the table.

Next up, was the Fava, which isn't fava beans at all!  It is a yellow lentil dish with squash, spinach, and pearl onions. I enjoyed this dish, but felt like it needed something more -- maybe more spice or salt...something.

Then, we ordered another of my favorites -- the Gigandes. This dish is quite a piece of artwork with its white gigande beans, onion seeds, bulbs, stems, and flowers. It couldn't have been more perfect.

Lastly, I tried a new dish -- the Braised Cauliflower. This simple dish of cauliflower in a tomato-based sauce with chickpeas and fenugreek was savory and satisfying.

Because we were so displeased with the wine, we switched to cocktails later on in the night. I ordered the Angry Elf, which was spicy and delicious! It was made with espolon reposado tequila, serrano infused yellow chartreuse, lemon, and benedictine with a salted rim.

My friend ordered the Cilantro Gives You Wings, which he was very please with as well. It was made with old overholt rye, peach liqueur, lemon, drambuie, and cilantro.

So while the food is consistently good and the cocktails are fantastic, we were disappointed with the wine and service. There were several big parties there that night and the service was quite slow. It took them a very long time to take our order, then, because, there were so many reservations that night, they ended up asking us to leave so they could make that table available to the next party because we had finished our meals and were just talking. Now, while I can appreciate that they had to keep their reservations on schedule, I wish they could have just acknowledged that it was really due to their slow service that our meal even took as long as it did. That said, they offered to buy us a round of drinks at the bar, which more than made up for being asked to move. So, we left fairly pleased.

Every restaurant has their good and bad days and I won't hold this one against them. Kapnos is a great restaurant to bring any group of people as their menu selection is sure to please just about everyone.

Previous reviews
January 16, 2014
August 13, 2013

2201 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 234-5000

Kapnos on Urbanspoon

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