100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 24 Kapnos


Kapnos’s roasted cauliflower with pistachios. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Kapnos



Mike Isabella channels the spirit of a Greek Easter feast at his small-plates taverna, where whole animals bronze on spits in the open kitchen and diners knock back lemonades spiked with vodka and mastiha, a licorice-flavored liqueur.

Those roasted meats—baby goat, lemon-marinated lamb, suckling pig—are superlative, slowly crisped and infused with smokiness, and they deserve to be the centerpiece of a meal here. So too the stone-baked flatbread and array of dips, which lean toward the traditional but often get a smart update. (Isabella’s secret to making the taramasalataso incredibly smooth? Puréed cauliflower.)

At night, the purple-draped room booms with a constant crowd. Brunch is quieter, and the menu is just as enticing—spit-roasted chicken, served with lemony potatoes at dinner, also makes a terrific mate to fluffy, honey-drizzled waffles.

Don’t miss:

  • Tzatziki
  • Revithosalata, a hummus-like spread
  • Greek fries
  • Roasted-duck pie
  • Mushroom pie with honey yogurt
  • Roasted cauliflower with golden raisins.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.