100 Best Restaurants 2012: Komi
Suckling pig with pita bread and condiments at Komi. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 12, 2012
100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Komi
Address: 1509 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-332-9200
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Greek/Mediterranean, American
Opening Hours: Opens Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30 PM, no closing time.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Required
Best Dishes Mascarpone-stuffed dates; scallop with truffle emulsion and black truffles; spaghetti with sea urchin; roast suckling pig; baby goat.
Price Details: Dinner menu, $135 per person.

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Inside this unassuming rowhouse next to a CVS, 32-year-old Johnny Monis is putting out the top culinary experience in Washington. Monis is not only a master of one-bite works of art--say, a spoonful of chopped diver scallop with caramelized coconut and micro-cilantro--but he also makes ordinary dishes such as spanakopita and gyro into revelations. We never thought we'd daydream about a few slices of goat wrapped in pita.

The age of gilded haute cuisine is very much in the rearview mirror here. Instead of Liszt, you'll hear Bright Eyes and Wilco on the speakers. There's zero snootiness--servers straddle the line between personable ("The goat? That's my mom's favorite dish.") and polished, and sommelier Kat Bangs is endearing, funny, and passionate. The wine pairing ($70 per person) is generous--and shareable--and full of offbeat picks, including a pair of India pale ales to go with Monis's rendition of a half-smoke.

What to get: There's no menu--15 or so small plates lead to a pasta or two and then the grand finale, when you tear into a communal platter of roasted suckling pig, suckling goat, Wagyu beef, or salt-baked branzino served with freshly baked pita and an array of accompaniments. Recent highlights have included a bite of king salmon with "everything-bagel salt"; 100-layer beef-tongue gyro; charred octopus with grilled peaches, tomatoes, and house-cured anchovies; and gnocchi with salt-cod ragu.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/12/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews