Check Out the Menu for Kapnos Taverna, Opening Tuesday

Mike Isabella brings Greek shellfish towers and whole branzino to Ballston next week.
Check Out the Menu for Kapnos Taverna, Opening Tuesday
Photograph courtesy of Kapnos Taverna.

An opening date for Kapnos Taverna has been set. Chef Mike Isabella will debut his second Greek restaurant on January 27, bringing Grecian shellfish plateaus and whole roast fish to Ballston.

The eatery, designed to resemble a Mediterranean garden, is a spinoff of the original Kapnos on 14th Street. While you’ll find a few crossover menu items—particularly dips and spreads with fresh flatbreads—the dishes here draw from Greek islands with an emphasis on seafood. Executive chef George Pagonis, who’s also currently battling his way to the Top Chef season 12 finals, plans for a full raw bar with Grecian touches—think marinated mussels with eggplant and olives, chilled shrimp with tomato-ouzo cocktail sauce, and bay scallops with apple and grapefruit. The shellfish can be also ordered in tower form, the first Greek spin on the popular plateau trend. Look for a 60-seat patio to debut in the spring, perfect for slurping fresh oysters alongside crisp Greek white wine or digging into whole branzino with braised kale, capers, and lemon.

While the Kapnos name is shared by all Isabella’s Greek concepts, each explores a different region or element of the country’s cuisine. The upcoming Kapnos Kouzina, opening in Bethesda this summer, will focus on homestyle dishes and shareable platters of fried chicken, stewed lamb, and more.

Stay tuned for a look inside Kapnos Taverna next week.

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Anna Spiegel
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.