Food & Drink

Mike Isabella's spit-roasting whole animals on 14th St

Published On 07/10/2013 Published On 07/10/2013
Kapnos Main

Kapnos, which translates to "smoke", is Mike Isabella's ode to Northern Greece's smoking habits -- but before you go all TRUTH campaign on us, just know you'll be inhaling the sweet smell of charred & wood-fired meats while surrounded by drapes, cushions, and millwork panels, all creating an atmosphere reminiscent of mountain homes & gypsy caravans. Wait. Didn't you have your wallet a minute ago?

Fill your lungs with glorious smoke from the hickory-fired rotisserie grills while at the 10-seat chef’s table, where you'll also be able to watch Mike's team slice and serve whole animals, ranging from suckling pig, to baby goat, to lamb.

The mezze menu -- Greek- and Mediterranean-influenced shareable plates -- is divided into spreads, raw, cold, garden, and ocean. This here is the cold watermelon (urfa chili/ rind/ fennel granite).

You'll enjoy eating the spread of melitzanosalata (smoky eggplant/ roasted peppers/ walnuts/ feta) a lot more than trying to order it out loud.

Succumb to the peer pressure of ordering this ocean mezzo -- charred octopus w/ grapefruit, fennel, and cucumber -- but just be warned: that adorable child tugging on your shirtsleeve is actually removing your watch.

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1. Kapnos 2201 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Chef Mike Isabella's 14th Street Corridor restaurant is a go-to for upscale but reasonably priced Greek food. Open for dinner nightly and brunch on the weekends, Kapnos serves a small-plates menu of spreads, mezze, phyllo pies, and whole roasted meats like lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig. There's plenty of seafood as well, given that wood-fire grilled octopus is the house signature. The wine list is stacked with red and whites from Greece and kegged lemonades.



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