~ Komi ~
Joseph: There’s not much to say about Komi except that this place is definitely something you have to experience to appreciate. It’s a Greek place located above a laundromat and next to Subway. [Ethan: The entrance to Komi looked plain as vanilla…but looks can be very deceiving!]
It was a freaking three hour meal for 84 bucks? Totally worth it. [Ethan: I agree — it is a once in a life time experience your mouth will forever thank you for. Unfortunately I already hear my mom screaming “AYE YAH, so expensive!!!”…all I can say in defense is read this entire post…] I don’t think pictures can describe just how unique this place was. The menu describes it all. Each day’s menu was hand written by the chef. All you had to choose was the pasta dish and the entree. The appetizer portion (called the Mezzethakia), consisted of 12 different unique delicacies from Greece. Each dish tasted unique and came in small portions so it didn’t stuff us but instead really had us enjoy each dishes flavors and tastes. After the pasta and entree dishes came out, there also came out some desserts about 3-4 kinds. Those were also superb. Definitely worth going to when you have the time (and the money). [Dave: The highlights of this meal were the dates stuffed with mascarpone cheese, the mini ‘ice cream’ cones made out of fried filo sheets and stuffed with aged cheese, steak tartare marinated in wagu sauce, a quail egg, and topped off with some foam, and my trout ravioi was pretty good as well. Ethan and I (mostly Ethan) tried to get as many photos as we could, but we were foiled when our waiter told us we couldn’t use flash in the poorly lit dining room (good for ambiance, bad for photos).. the couple sitting next to us were quite amused by our photography obsession)]
Ethan: The regular menu:
We made a special requested for the actual listing of the Mezzethakia (not listed in the menu). To our surprise, the chef personally wrote it out for us!
And here begins our Mezzethakia:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Mezzethakia ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(1) Madai (Red Sea Bream?) + Andalusian olive oil
Joseph: I think when Ben and I saw this first dish. We were both thinking like “I hope this isn’t it”. We were pleasantly surprised throughout the meal to find out that there was more to the Mezzethakia than the Madai. I believe this had a little salt on top? Quite light and tasty.
(2) Fluke (aka flounder) + uni (sea urchins) citronette
Joseph: Also very light and tasty. Each of these little dishes was suppose to be sampled in one taste. Ethan however made sure to savor it in little tiny bites. [Ethan: It’s as if each Mezzethakia was designed to target a specific taste bud! With appreciation, I took my time to fully experience each taste.]
(3) Bay Scallop + hazelnut + anchovy
Joseph: I liked the shape of the spoon. Again, very good. Well presented for a first appetizer dish. One of many to come…
Ethan: Fresh breakfast radishes with Greek tarragon yogurt. Nothing too fancy here, but refreshing, soothing, naturally crisp and sweet.
Joseph: Agreed on the smoothness. It tastes like most radishes I’d say, but it went well with the yogurt.
(5) ‘Caesar salad’
Ethan: Looks like a fried crouton topped with Parmesan cheese, but cleverly hidden inside is hot pureed lettuce. If mothers would only make these at dinner, there would be no hesitation for 2nd helpings of veggies!
Joseph: I couldn’t believe this was a caesar salad. But yea, this small cube was like a Caesar Salad packed into a crispy cube. Very tasty. You had to pretty much pop it into your mouth to get the full taste.
(6) Warm date + Mascarpone cheese + Sea salt
Ethan: The best of the Mezzethakia. An unusual mix of flavors and textures: warm, soft, sweet, salty, savory, rich…oh so heavenly!!!! Hard to describe, but all I remember were my taste buds jumping for joy!
fyi — Mascarpone is a triple cream cheese made from crÃ¨me fraÃ®che – a personal favorite of mine.
Joseph: I normally don’t like dates, but this was especially good with the cheese. I think it should be noted that most of these dishes seemed to like having a bit of sea salt added to them. There was always this salty aftertaste that really gives it a kick.
Ethan: Looks like an ice cream cone, but were we in for a surprise! It’s not egg white froth on top, but Parmesan froth!!!! Can you believe that??? Below the froth lies a quail egg yolk over tartare, which tastes almost like sashimi. And just when you thought that was the end, you’ll find some more cheese flakes at the bottom!
fyi — Snake River Farms is the largest producer of American raised Kobe beef and Tartare is finely chopped raw meat with seasoning.
Joseph: This was a fun dish. I was just staring at it wondering what it was. Ethan ate it in sections. I also ate it in sections. Each layer was a surprise…it went from light to salty wrapped in crunchiness.
(8) Crispy Goat Neck Gyro
Ethan: I wasn’t particularly interested in the gyros…
Ethan: However, we were shocked when 3 ‘desserts’ were brought out…isn’t that a bit too early for desserts? [Joseph: Dave noted here that these dishes was like a play on desserts. They are made to “look” like desserts but in fact tastes quite the opposite of sweet. Very clever.] What looks like red Jello turns out to be Espelette pepper geletinized. (Espelette pepper has a grade of 4,000 on the Scoville scale and is not considered hot.) Your eyes tell you it will taste sweet, but the peppery flavor sure makes your mouth tingle! Continuing on…where in the world can you find foie gras creme puffs — Iron Chef? Ha! Lastly, the chef completes his dessert plate with smore wannabes — made with cheese and cracker! Pretty neat!
(12) Our crackers
Ethan: While waiting for the main entrees to be prepared, we were served a few different types of cracker/bread sticks. Nice simple touch.
After 12 Mezzethakia dishes, we finally get to the 4 individual pastas:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Pasta ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(1) Smoked trout Agnolotti
Ethan: Agnolotti (also known as ‘priest hats’ in Italian) is a kind of ravioli with a meat and/or vegetable stuffing inside. Traditionally agnolotti are of a semicircle shape. However, they can also be rectangular.
(2) Spaghetti + sea urchin + crab
Ethan: Uni & crab spaghetti? I’ve never seen this Japanese/Italian fusion before! Talking about sea urchins, did you know the only edible part are the reproductive organs? =O
This dish paints the picture of a farmhouse –simple and fresh.
Ravioli of Mike’s farm eggs
Ethan: Another farm fresh dish. Fresh vegetables make this dish go much further! I think the froth over the ravioli was something weird like cheese…who knows! =P
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ EntrÃ©es ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ethan: By the time the entrees came out, it was already getting dark. And as Dave mentioned earlier, we could not use flash, so the photos now on will look kind of crummy =(
(entrÃ©e #1) : Monkfish w/ lobster + Fenugreek (herb/spice)
Joseph: This was my dish. I think Ben thought that Monkfish would taste unpleasant. But it actually turned out to be quite meaty and delicious. It came together with the lobster for a nice pleasant taste.
(entrÃ©e #2) Spit roasted Katsikaki for two + condiments
Ethan: Katsikaki (baby goat) — braised goat leg served with house made pita bread and condiments (Habnero, Red Onion Mustard, Pickled Cabbage, Eggplant and Cumin, Oregano Salt Sauces).
(entrÃ©e #3) Lamb loin w/ lamb chorizo (sausage)
To be honest, I thought all the entreÃ©s were just ‘ok’…nothing crazy awesome like the Mezzethakias we had earlier.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Dessert ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(dessert #1) Ariani
Ariani (yogurt beverage) originated from Turkey/Greece. Komi serves this in a tall shot glass filled with mango and a surprising hint of cayenne pepper, which is barely noticeable.
(dessert #2) Chocolate Tortino
Tortino means cake in Italian. This is paired with hazelnut(?)/pistachio(?) ice cream.
(dessert #3) Pinenut gelato
As an bonus for the sweet tooth, Komi serves another ice cream, this time with pine nuts!
(the rest of the desserts)
Joseph: Ethan was quite indifferent to this homemade Lychee popsicle. It was a nice touch for the end of the meal.
Ethan: …and so after 3 hours @ Komi, it was time to go home =(
…here we are going down into the metro.
Joseph: Don’t forget the nice layouts of all the stations. The vastness of each chasm. Really well built…
Ethan: Here’s the Washington metro map. It is unfortunate the metro doesn’t go everywhere, but they get a solid A for cleanliness! I like!
And so ends our first day in Washington DC! So far so good…
…until Day 2…