So - we finally made it out to Komi (the raved about #1 restaurant in DC) for our 6 month wedding anniversary. It is a tiny little place right next door to Sushi Taro. The decor is very simple and clean. The service is enthusiastic and friendly and not at all stuffy. This is not a white glove type of establishment, but definitely a special occasion spot.
The dinner is a set price of $125 per diner and is degustazione style, meaning - the chef sends out what he wants, there is no menu. You can of course request a dish you have had before and loved, or ask to avoid foods you are allergic to/ don't like. The meal progresses from a series of mezze (small dishes), to a pasta course, to a shared entree, then a series of desserts. The chef is Greek, and the name Komi comes from a location in Greece, so it is no surprise that the food has a Mediterranean influence.
The mezze portion was definitely my favorite of the evening. I love small perfect bites, and this was exactly that - brought out one by one in a parade of tasty excellence. The first bite set the tone - a wonderful warm ball of bread topped with Greek yogurt and trout roe - yum! Included in our mezze for the evening were also several raw fish selections topped with various herbs and sea salts - super fresh, and the accompaniments were just right. The scallop with truffle was particularly special. One of my favorite bites was a take on spanakopita (phyllo dough with spinach and feta) that had a liquid spinach center, a crunchy outside, and sat in a greek yogurt sauce. And let's not forget the medjool date stuffed with mascarpone and topped with sea salt... heaven. I had specified in the beginning that I did not like spicy dishes, so when they brought a spicy sandwich out for Jasper, they also brought a dish made for me. That kind of service really makes me smile. My dish was dragon tongue beans (which I had never heard of) with a gorgeous soft farm egg on top. The pasta course was a house-made tagliatelle with duck ragout and truffles. The pasta was the perfect texture, and the duck ragout was creamy and gamey (in a good way), and the truffles... how could you go wrong? But the main entree stole the show. It was a huge portion of roasted goat that was crispy and salty on top and falling off the bone. It was served with the thickest, freshest pita and all kinds of house-made accompaniments including tzatziki, hot sauce, oregano salt, pickled cabbage, and eggplant puree. I was very impressed, and very pleased. The desserts were a bit downhill from there, but good nonetheless. A standout was the "frozen baklava", which I liked better than I have ever liked actual baklava. Others included loukoumades (Greek doughnuts), and a cannoli type dessert that neither of us particularly favored.
Please, please go to Komi at least once in your life. It is magnificent. Just make sure to call at noon exactly one month in advance of the date that you want a reservation.
We have eaten at Bazin's on several occasions, and are never disappointed. It is in a cute, oldtimey looking stretch of Church street in downtown Vienna. The decor is traditional American - with exposed brick walls, exposed wood ceilings, large stretches of windows, and a pub style bar. DO NOT try to do a walk-in on a weekend night, as we did the first time we went, it fills up completely and quickly. Luckily we were able to snag some space at the bar (after waiting about 45 min). After that, we have been careful to always make a reservation.
They have a few signature drinks, my favorite being the fleur-de-lis - vodka, elderberry liquor, and grapefruit. It is incredibly crisp and refreshing. The peanut butter dessert martini is also pretty special.
The pre-meal bread is lightly toasted and warm, which I love (toast being my favorite food). I usually like to order a selection of appetizers instead of an entree, because I like to sample lots of different tastes. One appetizer that I make sure to always get is the lamb lollipops - a generous portion of char-grilled rack of lamb that tastes like the outdoors and summer - I'm not even kidding. They are served with dollops of goat cheese crema and red grape relish. I order this as an entree all the time, it is definitely filling enough.
The asparagus salad is a mix of crisp asparagus (obviously), warm roasted fingerling potatoes, a warm goat cheese fritter, spicy arugula, edamame, and fresh tomatoes in a citrusy vinaigrette. The combination of cold and warm, crisp and creamy, spicy and acidic make for a very satisfying dish. The chopped salad is a bit of a Mediterranean departure from the usual - involving feta, pistachio, chickpeas, and olives in a lemon dressing.
The potato and onion ravioli is so intriguing that you will find yourself taking bite after bite wondering "what is that?", and suddenly it will be all gone and you will be craving more. The filling is so creamy, and the ravioli is perfectly cooked. It is served with a creamy lobster sauce with generous chunks of tender lobster, drizzled with herb oil, and sprinkled with chives. It is a perfect combination of savory and sweet with plenty of tangy acid. One of my favorite pasta dishes was a special that is not regularly on the menu but should be - a gemelli pasta with pesto and speck. It was so perfectly creamy and salty and fresh and herby - yum!
I rave about the appetizers but don't get me wrong, the entrees are very good as well. Jasper usually orders a steak, and he has also tried the scallop dish. He is always very pleased. If you do order an entree - make sure you get the truffled macaroni and cheese as a side. It is the god of all macaroni and cheese - decadently creamy and rich with plenty of truffle flavor - served piping hot and oozing over the side of it's individual size dish.
The deserts are good, but not stunning. We enjoy the berry crisp and the creme brule. My favorite dessert, however, is a nice glass of moscato After writing this, I am really craving some Bazin's... maybe we will go tomorrow...
... is sliding a bit I was really disappointed by our last visit.
I decided to deviate from my usual favorites - which was my first mistake, I suppose. I ordered the hoisin duck crepes, which ended up being too spicy for me to eat. Jasper ordered the clam chowder - which he enjoyed, but I thought was waaaaay too salty, to the point of being inedible. I had been wanting to try the goat cheese agnolotti for awhile. It was alright, but I found myself wanting more of a citrus flavor in the butter sauce. I was also confused by the zucchini in the dish - it was in awkward little rounds that should have either been cooked much longer or much less - the in-between texture was disconcerting, and the flavor did not mesh with the agnolotti at all! It was the only bad meal I have ever had at CG's, and it was very frustrating