January 2006 100 VERY BEST RETAURANTS
THE SCENE. This straw-color sliver of a dining room, presided over by a team of smart, shaggy-haired twentysomethings, has the feel of a neighborhood restaurant and the soul and ambition of something much greater. Each night--later rather than earlier--foodies settle in for some of the city's most exciting cooking.
WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. Komi doesn't offer the latest cut of Wagyu beef, and it hasn't hired a publicist. Chef/owner Johnny Monis wins fans by finding beautiful ingredients and using them in simple--but not simple-minded--ways. Each dish on the Greek-inflected menu turns up a carefully orchestrated surprise. Mascarpone-stuffed dates hide a precise few grains of sea salt; tzatziki is lifted above the ordinary by the addition of white-truffle paste and beets.
WHAT YOU WON'T. The dining room can get noisy. Prices are creeping up.