January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
Johnny Monis's place feels like a neighborhood restaurant but has the soul and ambition of something greater.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published January 12, 2007
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Address: 1509 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-332-9200
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Greek/Mediterranean, American
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 to close.
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.

Komi ★★★½


Watching Komi these last few years has been like watching a precocious if gawky teenager turn into a poised adult. Most remarkable is that the transformation has occurred under a chef/owner, Johnny Monis, who’s only 27.

That maturity is reflected in the renovated dining room, a quiet, softly lit space. Monis’s cooking abounds in confidence, dispensing with the Modern American influences of a couple years ago to more fully embrace the flavors of his parents’ native Greece.

One of the best introductions to Monis’s style is the Mezzethakia tasting, a show of generosity (seven to nine courses) and virtuosity (dates stuffed with mascarpone and anointed with salt). The young staff seems to delight in bringing these little plates to the table. There’s a newfound depth and lustiness, too, from the foie-gras-stuffed agnolotti to the turbot with braised carrots to the capretto , a luscious dish of 48-hour-braised baby goat and soft polenta. For dessert, don’t miss the Greek-style doughnuts with mascarpone chocolate cream.

Komi has gone from promising to good to very good in a few years. What’s next?

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Posted at 03:02 PM/ET, 01/12/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews