Sunday, September 15, 2013

DC Spotlight: Greek Mezze at Kapnos

I recently dined at Kapnos, one of DC's newest and hottest restaurants.  Kapnos was opened by local celebrity chef Mike Isabella, and if my next meal is as good as my first, it's soon likely to become one of my favorite DC restaurants (competing with Zengo and Estadio).  I am excited to add it to the Washington, DC Restaurants page of this website.

Kapnos is located in the U Street neighborhood, and its menu draws inspiration from northern Greece.  According to its general manager, sixty percent of the menu is vegetarian and, according to our server, many of those dishes also can be made vegan.  Although the restaurant does not (yet?  I am hopeful!) offer a separate vegetarian menu, it seems (based on my experience and that of my dining partner, who is mostly vegan and also suffers from food allergies) to take dietary restrictions very seriously.  I was impressed by the first-class ambiance and attentiveness of our server.

Everything was absolutely delicious, and I had a hard time narrowing down what to order.  Vegetarian options include tasty spreads and protein-rich garden mezze.  I loved every bite of the dishes pictured below!

Stone baked flatbread with garlic oil and revithosalata spread (chickpea, tahini, sultan chutney)
Spicy watermelon salad
Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice and pinenuts)

Fava with yellow lentils, corn, spinach, and pearl onions

Braised cauliflower with tomato, chickpeas, and fenugreek
Smokey hen of the woods mushroom with kolrabi, graviera cheese, and oregano

TIP:  A word of warning -- while sitting at the chef's counter may be tempting, especially if you're dining alone, those seats will put you in direct view of the whole animals roasting on the rotisserie.  On the other hand, your omnivore friends might love it, and this really is a great place where vegetarians and non-vegetarians can dine together and be treated equally!

Kapnos on Urbanspoon