The only consolation we had coming back from our magical visit to Greece last summer was that DC is home to some quality Greek restaurants. The timing seemed right a few months ago to check out Kapnos, Mike Isabella’s Greek restaurant in DC. We were missing Greece and ready to try their array of small plates – and Greek wine!
We met up with our friend Judd, who has also been to Greece and was equally excited about the cuisine. As we sampled dishes like the revithosalata (chickpea, tahini, sultan chutney) and the roasted cauliflower (baharat spice, pistachio, golden raisin), we discussed an article that Judd had read about the island of Ikaria and how the Greeks there live much longer than the average human. Perhaps it’s the fresh ingredients, the absence of modern contaminants in food, the lazier pace of life, or the unique sense of close community. Either way, I wish we could recreate it – though it’s likely quite impossible in the DC area, one of the fastest-moving, most stressful areas of the world! I will do my part by consuming as much olive oil, wine, and Mediterranean food as possible.
It can be hard finding places that serve Greek wine, but Kapnos has a good list of selections. We tried Kir-Yianni’s 2010 Ramnista Xinomavro from Naoussa, which was deep and fruity. Next time, I want to order a cocktail with mastiha!
Our other dishes included the charred octopus (skordalia, kalamata, caper, preserved lemon), roasted duck (cress, cherries, pistachio yogurt), and a few others. We enjoyed everything and were very full. I loved feeling like I was back in Greece for a few hours.
Mike Isabella actually just opened up a second Kapnos restaurant this year in the Ballston area of Arlington – slightly different in that it is more focused on seafood. I can’t wait to check it out and compare it to the DC location sometime soon!