On Sunday night we headed to Chef Mike Isabella's Maryland outpost KAPNOS KOUZINA and were rewarded with a superb meal and excellent service from our always smiling and upbeat server, Tony.
Sam remarked about the succulents in the windows as we walked in and said that made him very happy as he loves cacti!
Samuel fell in love with the Sasparilla Ginger Beer and I think had more than two? Afterwards he also tried to Mint Lemonade with Grapefruit & Rosemary and declared it also excellent.
I started with a Chloe & Llamas (odd name and I never did get an explanation) which was Macchu Pisco (awful pun), Campari, Cocoa Nib, Banana Orgeat, Lime & Egg White. It was a gorgeous drink and not sweet at all with that banana. Indeed it tasted like a glorified Pisco Sour with a slight hint of chocolate at the end of each sip; totally refreshing! Will went for a Cosmo as most of the other drinks were indeed sweet and then we moved on to a bottle of superb 2013 Planeta Nero d'Avola/Cab Franc blend called "La Segreta Rosso" which got us very excited about or July Sicily trip as we will be staying at this winery!!
Pikila or a choice of three spreads are a standard at almost all Chef Mike Isabella's spots and here they seemed to be even tastier. We chose an amazingly smoky Melitzanosalata of smoked eggplant, roasted peppers, walnuts and feta; one of the best ever Taramosalatas of carp roe and cauliflower topped with caviar that was loaded with tiny speckles of the red carp roe for superb flavor and Favosalata of lentils, scallions, black garlic & pine nuts. They come with huge warm loaves of pita for dipping that are so steamy as you tear them apart you want to just inhale the smell.
Sam chose the Tomato Flatbread with roasted tomatoes, garlic and kefalograviera cheese which was the one item he didn't care for as it's a bit salty like feta (we loved it) and then went on to the Felafel which came with a small side salad and tahini.
Will and I shared Swordfish Kebabs with Fava, Roasted tomato, caper & Dill that was perfectly cooked and flavorful, ye the Ground Duck Kebab with Red Endive, Fig & Charred Shallot compote was slightly dry, but saved by the awesome compote that deserves a medal. A side of Roasted Cauliflower with roasted green olive relish, whipped feta and za'atar was another winner as Chef Mike always treats this veggie with such grace and love.
We each chose a dessert and while Will opted for the novel Baklava Ice Cream & Salted Caramel Ice Cream, I went for the real thing with Almond/Walnut Baklava and Vanilla Creme Anglaise. Samuel devoured his Portokalopita or Orange Phyllo Cake with Cinnamon, Walnuts and Vanilla Ice Cream.
We were very happy with our wonderful dishes and even happier with the quiet corner table as Sunday night can be quite busy and noisy here. Kapnos is superb fun and the variety of dishes makes it a place that is so easy to return to many times for trying everything!