100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Kapnos, Kapnos Taverna, Kapnos Kouzina

Cost:

Crab pide at Kapnos Kouzina. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Mike Isabella’s affinity for Greek cooking is beautifully expressed at this trio of restaurants. At the original Kapnos in DC, huge hunks of meat such as goat and lamb sizzle along a wall of rotisserie spits, wafting meaty perfume. Kapnos Taverna in Ballston explores the briny deep; splurge on a gorgeous seafood tower with its array of raw-bar items. At the newest outpost, Kapnos Kouzina, Isabella explores rustic plates including stellar Greek-fried chicken with burnt-honey harissa. The best shared qualities among the siblings are puffy house-made flatbreads, dips and spreads (never miss the taramasalata), grilled whole fish, and barman Taha Ismail’s crafty cocktails—we’re particularly fond of Kapnos’s boozy lemonades. Moderate to expensive.

Also great: Spanakopita with spinach and leeks; swordfish kebabs; charred octopus; lamb shoulder with harissa; fried Greek potatoes; spiked Greek coffee.

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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 Logan Circle.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.