Review: Kapnos

Happy Halloween! I have my candy corn earrings on today to celebrate :). I hope your Halloween is full of yummy candy and is safe and happy, whatever your plans are. Alas, I do not have a Halloween-themed post for you (I draw the line of holiday enthusiasm at the themed earrings apparently).

Those of you who are star-struck among will find my recent trip to Kapnos amusing. Everyone who isn’t star-struck, you should keep reading anyway for mouth-watering treatises on greek food.

My girl bros and I, in our quest to go to new and exciting restaurants around DC, wanted to try out Mike Isabella’s newest restaurant. C and I arrived early, so we approached the host and were told that we couldn’t be seated until blondie #3 and blondie #4 (naturally, that is not what the host actually called N and G but since we are all blonde that is how I have decided to refer to us throughout this post, roll with it) arrived even though we had made a reservation.

So I was miffed, because let’s be honest, sometimes I just enjoy being miffed. The restaurant was completely empty with servers standing around, so there wasn’t a strong rationale for not seating us. Also the bar was more crowded and the host didn’t suggest that we grab a drink there while we wait – he just kind of stood there. So, I was miffed and stomped off to the bar to glare angrily at the bartender, complaining to C all the while. As I stomped, a man in a chef’s uniform stood up from the bar and graciously said, “well I’ve been saving this seat just for you!” and grabs his beer and walks away. It was Mike Isabella!!

I was excited to see him mostly because 1) it is legit when celebrity chefs actually frequent and work in their restaurants, 2) maybe he heard what I was saying and will take my feedback to heart, and 3) because it was just kind of cool.

Anyway. The rest of the evening passed uneventfully and deliciously! The other 2 blondies arrived and we settled down to logistics. What to order off of this huge menu? How to handle the tapas-style with 2 pescetarians, 1 fish-averse, and 1 omnivore? How to taste as many things as possible without emptying our wallets?

Arlington Darling | Review: Kapnos

We eventually decided on ordering the following dishes (check out the menu for descriptions):

  • Tyrokafteri, Revithosalata, and Melitzanosalata spreads with flatbreads
  • Fava
  • Greek fries
  • Charred brussels
  • Seared diver scallops
  • Potato garlic phyllo pie
  • Spanakopita phyllo pie

The spreads were our favorite. Naturally. The greek fries were also a hit, although I was not as enthused as everyone else (see previous allusion to enjoying being miffed, perhaps). The phyllo pies were rated unanimously as awesome – with the potato and garlic edging out as a slight favorite. The rest of the dishes were good and fresh, but did not rock our world. In fact, for the price point and selection of dishes our final verdict was that we might prefer other tapas-style restaurants (e.g., Zaytinya).

Oh also! I forgot to mention that the happy hour specials were decent (and they offer prosecco, rose, and white wine on tap) and you can get the selection of three spreads for only $12, so it’s worth going back just for that.


Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb-Lemon-Yogurt Muffins

This post is in honor of my dearest E, who is having fabulous adventures on the other side of the world right now! When she lived in DC, she was always conducting baking experiments and I miss eating the delicious results of those experiments. In the case of these muffins, I remember eating them in N’s old car (were we on our way to Old Rag? Or perhaps looking forward to a day of lounging at the pool chez moi?). Regardless, I distinctly remember just being so darn happy to be eating them! They were fluffy and gooey and tart. Mmmm.

E, thank you for introducing me to these delicious strawberry-rhubarb-lemon-yogurt muffins and for your idea to add the lemon and vanilla extract. I can always count on you to add lemon to things, but in this case, it was pure genius!

Arlington Darling | Strawberry Rhubarb Lemon Yogurt Muffins

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. sugar (or sub sugar in the raw)
1 egg
1 c. plain greek yogurt (note: I used 1 container which was 7 oz., and it turned out fine)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. chopped rhubarb (1 piece)
1 c. chopped strawberries
1 lemon
1/4 c. brown sugar

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. This will be your wet ingredients bowl. You can use a hand mixer or kitchen aid if you have one.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. This is your dry ingredients bowl.
4. Add the egg, yogurt, and vanilla extract into your wet ingredients. Stir well.
5. Zest the lemon into the wet ingredients bowl. Stir.
5. Add the contents of the dry ingredients bowl into your wet ingredients bowl, adding a little at a time.
6. Once the ingredients are combined, add the chopped strawberries and rhubarb and gently stir (pro tip: toss your fruit with a little flour before adding so that they don’t sink to the bottom of your muffins – I don’t know why this works and never notice a difference if I don’t do it, but supposedly it works).
7. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, grease with a little butter, or use liners. I personally like the crunchy outer layer that you get without liners but it’s your call.
8. Add the muffin mixture to the muffin tins, filling each tin about 3/4 of the way. Add a little brown sugar to the top of each muffin.
9. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective.

Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. E, can’t wait to make these with you again when you’re back stateside! Miss you <3.

Loving: The VS Incredible Sports Bra

Confession: I love Victoria’s Secret bras. I know they’re not the most moral company (see controversies), and all of their marketing has just a hint (just a little hint) of portraying women as sex objects. Plus they are just so cheesy! Somehow sexy and cheesy can be combined, yes.

But for someone who is an average-sized American woman (literally the average size – I’m not trying to say that I’m “normal”) with a larger chest, VS has a good range of sizes and style options. You do get what you pay for with them – the more expensive a bra, the better the support is. They have decent cheap bras, but for the real coverage and support that’s gonna put up with you, you gotta go big or go home.

That’s why when I was browsing in the downtown store the other day, I picked up their “Incredible” sports bra. They promised maximum coverage, and boy did I get it. It has an underwire, which it has taken me far too long to discover is absolutely key (even in swimwear!). I wore it on my long training run yesterday and loved it! I felt totally secure and had no pain afterwards. It’s my new running bra – I don’t know if I can go back to my old ones. And, though the $50 price tag might seem like a lot, consider Lululemon’s comparable options – between $68-$88! Ridiculous.

Arlington Darling | VS Incredible Sports Bra

Plus, it’s hot pink. What’s not to love? I am actually looking forward to my next run so I can wear it again – silly me, but hey, it’s what gets ya goin’, right? 🙂

October Recap – Pottery, Happy Hours, and Music

Hey there! It’s a Sunday night here in Arlington, which is the perfect time to reflect on this weekend and the past few weeks. It’s been a whirlwind. Here we goooo!

  • Last week, M and I painted pottery at All Fired Up in Cleveland Park. My handiwork is shown below. If you haven’t been to All Fired Up, check it out! For some reason I’m always inspired to go in the fall. The studio is cozy, never too crowded, and they let you BYOB any night of the week and just hang out.

Arlington Darling | my pottery teardrop bowl

  • When we went to pick up the pottery the following week, oh but what a coincidence…Pulpo was having its half-price wine night a few doors down! Not only is this an amazing deal that lasts all night, but their regular happy hour isn’t a bad deal either. The small plates are, well, small, but delicious – and the bartender on shift on Wednesdays is a total sweetheart (case in point: he poured M an extra half a glass of beer because he noticed that I still had wine left and thought M should have something to drink while he waited for “the lil’ lady” to finish. Cuteness).
  • The next night, I tried Duke’s Grocery with N. They have a small and adorable converted rowhouse in Dupont with craft beers and craft sandwiches described on chalkboard menus. N got the bahn mi and reported that it was delicious, and I got the snapper tacos which were perfectly proportioned and perfectly cooked. Mostly, I enjoyed the casual vibe (they didn’t bat an eye that we were loaded down with bags and I had obviously just come from running). They have lunch, too – but no takeout apparently.
  • Thennn (tired, yet?) the next night I enjoyed happy hour with an old friend from college at an old standby, Ping Pong Dim Sum. Ya’ll know all about this place since I’ve written about it before, but the new twist which I had to share is that they’ve updated their specialty cocktail menu to include a chocolate & tobacco old fashioned (picture below) and a honeysuckle margarita. Yum.Arlington Darling | chocolate and tobacco old-fashioned

Okay, I know I’m throwing a lot at you, so hang in there, it’ll be worth it I promise – and I’m almost done!

  • The next adventure was breakfast at Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market. Although this place promises amazing drinks, I’ve only ever had the bagels. I’m extremely passionate about good bagels (coughbornandraisedinNewJerseyobvicough) and these are just OK, but they really hit the spot when you’ve just biked a few miles and are hungry in the morning and need fuel to tackle the rest of the market. I like their everything bagel with cream cheese – classic. And next time I vow to sample B&B’s knishes and report back.
  • And last but not least, M and I caught a show at Hill Country BBQ on Saturday night. The 19th Street Band was playing, and we had a blast watching them! They did mostly country music covers, but the singing and instrument-playing was top notch. The place was packed! Plus, it was free. Definitely going to visit Hill Country for music again soon.

Whew :). Hope you enjoyed the recap and will forgive me for my prolonged absence. More to come soon on bunny rabbits, lavender farms, cooking, and brewing beer in the country – in other words, fall adventures continue!