Saturday, August 22, 2009

Komi

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary this week and the wonderful B made reservations at Komi. He had noticed me staringly longingly up at the tiny rowhouse that is its home each time we went to neighboring Mr. Yogato.

Komi, which is consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in DC, is the brainchild of chef Johnny Monis who was just 24 years old when he opened the place! He's now 29 and still cooking up a storm and dishing out creative, innovative, and most importantly, delicious food.

The restaurant only has about a dozen tables and is beautifully candlelit, which leads to a warm and cozy atmosphere. We were delighted to see Chef Monis himself, complete with bandana instead of chef's hat, cooking our food in the open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant. Komi's menu is unique: diners choose from either the Dinner menu or the Degustazione. For the Dinner menu, everyone chooses a pasta course and then one entree for two people to share. The Degustazione is a multi-course, "chef's choice" feast where you eat what they serve you. No matter which option you choose, you get the pleasure of Chef Monis' famous "mezzethakia": small, mostly one-bite appetizers that are out-of-this-world.

We decided to go all out and order the Degustazione. Shortly after placing the order, the parade of gastronomic bliss began. B discreetly pulled out the camera to take a picture of dish #1 but was told by the waiter that the chef doesn't allow photos of his food. Uh ok....if you want to see photos from people who didn't listen to this rule, just google the place.

Without photos it was difficult to remember all that we enjoyed but here's our best effort at a recap:

Starters
Amberjack crudo in smoked turbot broth with olive oil
Sockeye Salmon
Brioche, creme fraiche, trout roe and chive
Kumamoto oysters
Scallops two ways: soft one with wasabi and one with shaved truffle
Pork belly BLT with fruit and veggie gazpacho
Grilled octopus with peppers
Salmon tartare with sorbet and pine nuts
Summer salad - heirloom tomatoes, fried cheese, and melon
Caesar salad (served in a one-bite cube that looked like a crouton)
Mascarpone-stuffed date topped with sea salt

Pasta
Corn Agnolotti with pastrouma and tomatoes
Boulettas with blueberries and guanciale

Main
Roasted katsikaki (goat with fresh pitas and various dipping sauces)

Cheese
Burratta cheese with pesto, roasted peach and cracker stick

Desserts
Frozen watermelon with cilantro
Snow cone - white sangria with blackberry sauce
Peppermint patty: Mint ice cream coated with chocolate and minty foam
Peanut Butter and chocolate layered with wafer and ice cream

Wow. That's all I can say really. Everything was amazing but a few highlights: the pork belly slider, mascarpone-stuffed date, goat, and peanut butter dessert were life-changing. I never, ever would have ordered goat off of a menu but if goat tastes like that, I'll eat it every day. It was the most tender meat dish I've ever had, and using the fresh pita and homemade habanero hot sauce to scoop up the meat was blissful.

Komi is much too expensive to be a regular destination, but if you're looking for a special place to have an unforgettable meal, GO! I've been fortunate enough to dine at CityZen and MiniBar and both were fabulous in their own ways. I now add Komi to my list of top area restaurants. The restaurant presents house-made lollipops with the check so that the sweet taste of the cooking will linger long after you've left. Komi - the lollipop wasn't necessary since the memory of our meal was sweet enough (not that I'm complaining, it was a good lollipop!).

Second Thoughts from B

Some meals, with or without pictures, are impossible to describe, and this one simply has to be experienced firsthand. However, Komi isn't for everyone. The fact of the matter is that you'll eat things and taste flavors that are completely foreign to you. I constantly found myself saying, "Wow, I've never tasted something like that before!" For me, that's a huge selling point but for others, that could be scary or even a turnoff. However, my guess is that if you're reading this, you like food enough to love Komi... either that or you share our DNA and are obligated to read our blog.

I was later asked by a food-loving co-worker how I planned to top Komi for our third anniversary. She suggested that my only option may be Paris. Perhaps, but Paris sure has some big shoes to fill.
Komi on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

iEatDC said...

Very excited - going tonight for anniversary #3. I think it's an anniversary sort of place!