Private Events – El Silencio Mezcal, Plymouth Sloe Gin, Tepache, Lime, Coconut
Pikkilia Platter – Flatbread / Tyrokafteri – Feta, Smoked Manouri Cheese, Grains of Paradise / Hummus – Chickpea, Tahini, Sultan Chutney / Melitzanosalata – Eggplant, Peppers, Walnuts, Feta
Falafel Gyro – Roasted Eggplant, Tahini, Romaine
Greek Fries – Chickpea, Peppercorn, Mizithra
Grilled Haloumi – Black Pepper, Honey, Fresh Greens
Keftedes – Zucchini Fritters, Mint
Saganaki – Kefalograviera, Honey, Figs, Mastiha
Spiced Baby Goat – Couscous, Moroccan Carrots, Lebneh, Baharat Spice
Baklava – Honey, Almond, Walnut, Vanilla Anglaise
Honey Panna Cotta – Grapefruit, Kaitifii, Orange Sorbet
Loukoumades – Honey, Mint Ice Cream
Largely underwhelmed by Graffiato in 2013, the then two-year old hotspot from Mike Isabella pairing subpar service to generally dull food, it was on the recommendation of two trusted Las Vegas Chefs and a D.C. local friend that dinner was booked at Kapnos, Chef Isabella’s Greek concept on 14th Street not only a big step up from Graffiato in terms of the Food but also as relates to the design and service.
Tapping George Pagonis as Executive Chef of the space, both he and Isabella having formerly manned the stoves at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya, Kapnos approaches Greek Cuisine in a similar ‘small plates’ fashion and through the use of two large grills plus spits for roasting the open-kitchen proves every bit as eye-catching as it is versatile while the bar area out front is well stocked and a great place to relax at Happy Hour.
Dining as a trio with reservations at six o’clock, both the Restaurant and Bar area open at 5pm and an early arrival wisely spent watching the end of Penn State versus The Buckeyes while enjoying bargain bites and Mixed Drinks, it was with two draft Cocktails at $7 a piece that others primed their palates prior to the arrival of a large piece of Flatbread accompanied by three spreads for just $14, the Hummus and Tyrokafteri both nicely prepared with good balance while the cold Eggplant unfortunately got a little lost in the Red Peppers and salty Feta.
Offering the rest of the Happy Hour Menu at $6 per plate, each of four additional items proving enough to share and the same portion size as those offered in the main dining room for $4-$6 more, it was with a duo of Chickpea Fritters atop a square of Pita that the evening marched onward, the crispy orbs nicely flavored and paired well to burnt Eggplant plus tangy Yogurt while four lightly fried Panisse were light and pleasant atop a Mousse of Goat and Sheep’s Cheese.
Somewhat unimpressed by the Keftedes, their Batter a bit too thick and Mint Paste a bit too potent in comparison to the otherwise mild Fritters, it was with a plate of fork-and-knife Haloumi that grilled up not unlike a Pork Chop that transition was made to the proper dining room, another plate of Cheese proving even better as the $15 Kefalograviera was flamed in Liquor before being delivered hot and bubbly with Honey and Figs.
Certainly not a light meal thanks to so much dairy, the likelihood of ordering any of the large-format Meats diminished incrementally by each prior plate, it was acknowledging a second dinner just two-hours later that savories concluded with a generous portion of tender shredded Goat atop toasted Couscous and Roasted Carrot alongside a quenelle of spicy Baharat paste, the decision to invest additional stomach space to Dessert proving worthwhile as the Honey Panna Cotta was light and refreshing amongst Citrus flavors while the Greek Donuts and Baklava were each Best-of-their-kind contenders with the thick Pyllo Dough layers of the latter particularly impressive around layers of mixed nuts with plenty of Honey and a fried Fig plus mellowing Vanilla Cream on the side.