I found myself in Washington, DC again recently for work – which is becoming more and more fun as I get to take a little time in the evening to enjoy a new restaurant I wouldn’t normally get to try. Don’t get me wrong, my heart is 110% committed to NYC. But it doesn’t hurt to flirt with other cities’ cuisine every now and then, am I right?
On my last trip I was lucky enough to meet up with two of my favorite DC ladies for a happy hour extravaganza followed by a tapas dinner extravaganza. For dinner, we ended up at Kapnos – a Greek restaurant that is one of some reality cooking show star’s restaurants. I don’t have cable, so I actually have no idea who the guy is. But apparently he’s kind of a big deal. We headed there just around sunset and scored a table outside – perfect for the not-too-muggy evening we were lucky enough to have.
Now, this post also requires a disclaimer. After the happy hour extravaganza, I was not on the top of my game for photographing or triple checking the dishes for sneaky items that were not vegan. If there was cheese or yogurt of some kind, I ate around it or picked it off, or if it was explicitly mentioned on the menu – I asked for it without. Like our first order which was supposed to be topped with yogurt. We had it on the side instead. And honestly, I didn’t miss a thing. The wild mushroom phyllo pie was by far the best thing we ordered (in fact at the end of the meal when the waitress asked if we would like dessert we ordered another phyllo pie for the table instead).
It had the most amazing flavor that I still can’t figure out what exactly was in it that made it so darn delicious. The mushrooms were so flavorful, the phyllo was flaky and crispy and then it was topped with some sort of raisn-y thing that just took it over the top. There are some items on a menu that will keep popping up in my head for weeks afterwards and the next time I’m back at the restaurant, I can’t help but order. And the next time. And the time after that. This mushroom phyllo pie was that dish.
When you’ve got a couple girls and a lot of wine, you really can’t go wrong with tapas, (or mezze if you’re Greek), which is what made this dinner exactly what we were looking for. Everyone gets to taste everything, there’s sharing and all sorts of deliciousness. After the phyllo pie came out the next item up was hummus. Because I have a hummus addiction in addition to my avocado addiction. And I just simply can’t go to a restaurant with hummus on the menu and not order it.
The hummus was great – but not amazing (like the pie!!). It was creamy, had the right amount of flavor without being too overbearing, and came with a delicious bread to soak it all up with. So clearly, no complaints here.
Another favorite of mine is dolmas – the rice stuffed grape leaves so often found at Greek restaurants. These did not disappoint. Full of flavor, and just the right amount of stuffing, they were gone in about 5 seconds flat.
What Greek dinner is complete without falafel? Another favorite of mine we simply couldn’t pass up. It wasn’t the best falafel I’ve ever had but it definitely got the job done. Super crispy, a tid bit spicy, it was perfect dunked into the hummus. As I sit here writing this post – I can’t help but think “holy hell how did we eat all that?!” It just keeps coming…but I swear we’re nearing the end.
The Greek fries were one of the last mezze orders we had. I’m not up on my Greek enough to know that there was cheese on them, but luckily it was easily brushed off and consumed without making me feel sick. They were also delicious, hearty and crispy on the outside but kind of mushy on the inside. They were made with peppercorns which gave it a nice kick every now and then.
The very last item I have to share with you is the grilled cauliflower with pistachio, mint, coriander and honey. It was definitely one of the most interesting takes I’ve seen on a cauliflower. The grilled pieces gave it a charred flavor that overpowered the pistachio and mint a bit, but the non grilled pieces helped to balance the dish out a bit.
All in all, the dinner was terrific. Each and every dish was presented so well, it was really like staring at hours of food porn. I loved the presentation on everything and I was clearly a fan of the vast majority of the many, many dishes we tried. The waitress was really nice and attentive but not annoying, and if we bugged her by camping out and continuing to eat and drink till well past dinner time, she didn’t show it. Moral of the story? If you visit DC or live in DC, take the time to try out this place. You won’t be disappointed.