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.

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Review: The Standard

I went to Garden District (back when it was known as The Standard) on Sunday to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday, and I know that my experience was largely shaped by the beautiful weather and beautiful people that I was celebrating with. But, Garden District makes it super easy for you to have a good time. Case in point(s), not necessarily in order of importance:

  1. Garden District is mainly an outdoor venue. Which means, when it is 70 degrees and sunny, like it was yesterday, a gal can get a glorious, glorious first tan of the year :).
  2. You can purchase an entire pig’s head, to eat. Read til the end for my enlightening conversation with the pig’s head.
  3. Donuts.
  4. The food is fried. Vegetarian things are fried. Isn’t being vegetarian the best? I mean, if I can still eat a grilled cheese, a soft pretzel, and hush puppies, I’m a happy gal. (Shhh…vegetables will survive a day without me lovin’ on ’em. I’m eating fried things now, go away.).
  5. There are umbrellas and heat lamps (if the weather turns unpredictable, as it is wont to do).
  6. Donuts. Freshly made donuts.
  7. A huge pear cider that went down so, so easy on a warm spring afternoon.

Garden District, I’ll be back. It’s gonna be a long, hot, glorious summer.

patio at night

 

Me: Hey, pig. I’m not gonna eat you. I’m gonna stand up, actually, so I can be sort of far away from you and in the sun, yet close to my friends.
Pig: …
Me: That’s better. This cider is delicious!
Pig: ………
Me: Want a donut? No? Welp, more for me then. Peace.

Review: Panas Gourmet Empanadas

A few weeks ago, I was coming back from a Saturday work event (yea, I know – miserable) and was getting pretty hungry. I also needed to run some errands in Dupont. But luckily I was with a cool coworker, and she not only offered to come along on my errand, but pointed out a cool empanada place in Dupont that I’d never noticed before. So we decided to check it out.

Panas Gourmet Empanadas | Arlington DarlingPanas Gourmet Empanadas is in a basement space on P street, west of the circle. It’s cute and bright! You get the sense that these empanadas will be a quick, light, scrumptious meal.

Well…quick and scrumptious they were…but light they were not. We ordered an 8-empanada combination called the “Paranda” and chose mostly vegetarian options. I distinctly remember the Smoked Eggplant tasting very Italian, the Tamal being super spicy, and the BrieArt being my favorite. But they were all so rich! We scoffed at the idea that 8 empanadas would fill us up, and by the end we were stuffed. I think it was the cheese – they’re very generous with it, which made the empanadas delicious but rich.

Panas Gourmet Empanadas | Arlington DarlingVerdict: Panas is yummy and reasonably priced, especially if you go with a group and split a combo. And I do appreciate the variety of vegetarian options. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is health food – you’ll come away feeling a little regretful in that department.

Review: Granville Moore’s

I cannot get enough of Granville Moore’s. This gastro pub (am I the only one who hates that term, BTW?) on the H Street corridor serves up delicious beer, fries, and mussels – and a few other dishes which I have never seen anyone order, ever. I’m sure they’re delicious. Everyone just gets mussels. Moving on.

Now before you start muttering, “I don’t want to trek all the way to H Street…” – just stop. Shhhh. Granville Moore’s is worth it. Plus you have a long bus ride home to digest all of your mussels. It really works out quite well. (In all seriousness, I used to bitch about going all the way to H Street too but it really isn’t that bad. I’ve even done it on a weeknight. And I live in Arlington! A whole different state!).

Arlington Darling | Review of Granville Moore'sI went Saturday night with N, her boyfriend, his roommate, and an out-of-town friend. We had to wait for a table but spent the time drinking away our sorrows in the bar next door. Before you could say “another vodka soda, please,” we were whisked away to Granville’s upstairs seating. Then, we ate. And ate. And ate.

We enjoyed the “Jour Ferie” mussels (orange-cranberry cream, grand marnier, duck sausage, cherries), the “Autumn” mussels (butternut & acorn squash cream, pasilla pepper, fried mushrooms), and two orders of the “Marinere” mussels (white wine, garlic, herbs, butter). The Autumn was my personal favorite – flavorful broth, perfectly cooked mussels, and pescetarian to boot. After the meal was over I think we went through 7-8 loaves of bread sopping up all of the sauce. We also had fries with truffle mayo, chipotle mayo, and horseradish cream.

Arlington Darling | Granville Moore's Broth "Shot"

The funniest part of our meal was at the end, when we were reminiscing to our waiter about how good the broth/sauce is, and joked to him, “Does anyone just ever order the broth? It is so good. Like, could you get a shot of it? We would totally do that.” He laughed but then 5 minutes later he came back and reported, “Broth shots are $1.” We promptly ordered two of them. It was weird. But great. And obviously delicious (needless to say).

A few editorial notes about dining at Granville Moore’s:

  1. The mussels dishes are very large. If you want to thoroughly enjoy all of the sauce, you should share with a friend – otherwise some of the sauce will go to waste and I will judge you. Especially if you get fries (and why wouldn’t you?), they will fill you up even more so definitely consider sharing.
  2. The beer is delicious! I don’t like beer that much and I have thoroughly enjoyed every brew I’ve had at Granville’s. However, I suggest having only one – otherwise you’ll be way too full.
  3. The mussels dishes change every so often (I’ve been 3 times this year and they’ve been different each time). Trust me, this is a good thing.

Mmmmm. Eating at Granville Moore’s takes me back to my childhood when my entire family would go out to dinner with my Grandpa. We would order a big plate of mussels, Italian-style with marinara sauce. He loved them. Since I thought mussels were icky back then (hey come on, I was like 5 years old), I didn’t eat any but my Grandpa would let me sit next to him, in the prime spot right by the platter of mussels, and I would sop up the sauce with my bread. Thanks, Grandpa, for starting me off on a great tradition – and thank you, Granville Moore’s, for keeping it alive and delicious.

Eep! And Shoes

I’ve been a delinquent blogger these past few weeks! I was going strong there for a while, posting like mad, but things have been hectic lately and I haven’t been posting as much. Ah, well – no excuses!

I will share that I recently visited Corrective Shoe Repair in Dupont Circle, and man, did they do a nice job. I had some shoes that were totally disgusting – linings all torn up, heels destroyed, holes in the soles, smelly, etc. They repaired the shoes exactly as requested, they were up-front about the price, and they had my order ready when they said they would. It ended up costing me a hefty fee (~$30 per shoe), but definitely cheaper than buying all new shoes – especially because these pairs are some of my favorites. If you go, be warned they have limited store hours but it’s definitely worth it.

Now to go write my official review on Yelp…

Happy Friday!