Restaurant: Kapnos Taverna
Location: 4000 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203. (703) 243-4400
Date: November 21, 2017
Rating: Some dishes good, some dishes less so
Kapnos is a small chain (2?) with one located on the Virginia and one the Maryland side of Washington D.C.
From my cellar: 1999 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. VM 94. Raveneau’s 1999 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre is in a marvelous spot right now. Petrol, smoke, slate, apricot pit and wild flowers are some of the many notes that grace the palate in an utterly vivid, vibrant Chablis endowed with magnificent purity and pedigree. At fifteen years of age, the 1999 Montée de Tonnerre still has a lot to say. What a beautiful wine!
On yelp people raved about the Shellfish Tower (shown here in large).
The spiced shrimp were good and the oysters nice.
I was less enamored with these weird complicated clam bits.
And actually found the king crab here fishy, frozen tasting, and a bit gross.
The tower overall was a bit disappointing and when downhill as you climbed the tiers.
Trio of dips: Hummus, tzatziki, and melitzanosalata (smoky eggplant, roasted peppers, walnuts, feta). Pretty solid.
Spanakopita (pastry with cheese and spinach). A little amusing by itself on a plate — at a normal Greek place you’d get 3-5 of them per order.
heirloom beets. whipped goat cheese, ruby streaks, pumpkin seed crumble.
Hamachi crudo. tarragon labne, grilled grapes, pine nuts. Only Greek inflected, but tasty.
From my cellar: 1997 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche Collection Bellenum. 92 points. Dark in color and loaded with dark fruit. Holding up well. Brambly/herbacious midpalate after a decant.
Out comes this giant lamb shoulder.
Check it out in comparison to my Dad!
Whole lamb shoulder. tabbouleh, cucumber, sumac. A touch over cooked, but very tender and full of flavor. There was tzatziki on the side which is totally necessary.
Overall, Kapnos was okay, but they had issues. The Shellfish Tower was “flawed” and service was friendly but very uneven and slow. They took FOREVER to bring wine glasses and take our order, assuming that we wanted to just hang and chat — but it’s best to check as we had a child. Plus when he did take the order he took a few items from half the table and then just left for 15 minutes. He was nice, but you need to deal with the table. They did try to make (reasonably) good on it later.
During peak time it was quite buzzy.