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Found 7 results

  1. Zahav (reservations are imperative - it's also a two-minute walk from Amada if you want to sample both) and John's Roast Pork (open M-F 6:45 AM - 3:00 PM only).
  2. I had lunch at Nostos today, and it shattered two notions that I thought were inviolable. The first one is that Tysons is where good restaurants go to die amidst the indifference of wall-to-wall chains. The second is that Greek food in the suburbs is unrefined and unsubtle -- Zaytinya, Komi and Kellari Taverna belong downtown, while the suburbs get the mom-n-pop family restaurants that dole out gut-bombs in family-friendly settings. I held these two beliefs firmly....until today....when I ate at Nostos....wow! Nostos opened in May, in the former deli across from Morton's on 8100 Boone Blvd. in Tysons. It is nicely decorated in mostly grays and whites, with a beautiful stone wall along on one end of the dining room that has about 20 tables. There is another small section with about 7-8 tables for a more private setting, and a long bar area to the right of the entrance. The food here is really very good. We began with fried disks of zucchini with a tzaziki sauce and roasted beets with a dab of goat cheese on each piece. They were each really good. Then came a seafood sampler of sardines, calamari, octopus and shrimp, and while it was all good, the octopus was outstanding. It was marinated and cold, but it was worth eating over and over again. The waiter told me the grilled version is even better, so that's on the list for the next visit. On to the meats, and first there was the grilled filet, then there was the Greek burgers with tzaziki sauce, and then there was the roast lamb....each morsel was perfection. I remember taking a bite of the filet and looking out the window across the street at Morton's, and thinking that nothing on the menu there compared to the flavor and texture of this little masterpiece. Desserts and coffee followed, and I believe the kataifi was one of the best sweet items I have tasted in a while. Many hours later, I'm still full and will probably skip dinner tonight. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best Greek restaurant in the state of Virginia. But unless patronage increases, it is not likely to survive for long in Tysons. They will need about 80-100 covers a day, and lunch today looked to be about 20 or so. But this is the kind of restaurant Tysons needs, and I encourage everyone reading this to head over there and give it a try. Website
  3. The relatively recently-opened Sala Thai at the corner of Clarendon Boulevard and N. Adams St. in Courthouse is closed. There's a large sign in the window advertising a new restaurant: "Me Jana." The sign states that the restaurant will feature "Fine Mediterranean Dining." Some quick Googling didn't turn up anything relevant for "Me Jana," though there seem to be one or more Mediterranean restaurants in other cities called "Mejana."
  4. I tried Kyma yesterday evening for a light dinner and came away feeling - meh - another corporate concept restaurant. Think a very small Zaytynia without the zing (same architectural designers, the executive chef came by way of of Jaleo in Crystal City) - exposed brick walls, minimalist furniture and decor, open kitchen with wood burning oven. The place bills itself as a Greek mezze and Spanish tapas place. All menu items are color coded: yellow for Spanish, blue for Greek. We tried a couple of their "pizzas" - the pide "Athena" with Greek meatballs in a tomato and eggplant sauce with feta, and the cocas "Catalana" - roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and goat cheese. Both come on a long narrow piece of flatbread - tucked up in the corners for the Greek pizza. At $6.00 each, these were tasty and well executed. We also tried a couple of meat tapas: montado de lomo- marinated pork loin smothered in roasted piquillo peppers on a large toasted roll, and the pothi arnou - lamb shank morsels with eggplant puree and rosemary glaze in a baking ramekin. Neither one wowed us as the meat had very little flavor, the pork was tough, but the eggplant puree was nice. As with so many of these concept places, I'd wager that there was nobody in the kitchen last night who was either Greek or Spanish. I won't go out of my way to go back, but I'll probably try it again to try some of the other tapas. A couple of heads up notes: if you want some bread to sop up any sauces, it costs $5, and a soda will set you back $3.50.
  5. Opened about six months ago, Ayse (pron: eye-shae, 6 North East St, 240 651 5155) specializes in small plates of Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese origin, but the primary emphasis is on the Turkish offerings, which are hard enough to find even in the DC area. We stopped in for dinner last night, and left with a very positive impression of the food. The menu itself is rather long, and will take several visits to sample fully. Most dishes were in the $6-8 range, with some items as low as $4, but hardly anything that could even be considered moderately expensive. Value was generally spot on, although some items like the mantı were a bit precious at $8 for three not-too-large dumplings. The whole fish, on the daily specials sheet, are noteworthy. FedExed from Turkey, they were a steal at $18-19 for authentic branzino or dorade. Limited availability, by their very nature, and no indication of how frequently he has these flown in. There was a definite pecking order to the "cigars" (aka sigar boregı), although all of them suffered slightly from a rather thick pastry which fried up more like a wonton wrapper than like a delicate boregı pastry. I was a bit underwhelmed by the cheese version, where it was difficult to detect any of the non-cheese components of the filling. The lamb version was nice, and boosted by an excellent yogurt sauce which also accompanied a number of lamb-based items. The duck version was excellent...do make sure you try this item. Vegetable-based items were delicious all around, the squash fritters having a nice bit of salt to their crispy exterior. I found the use of dill to be more restrained here than in Turkey. The housemade suí§uk and also the Adana kebab were decidedly spicy, and well-moderated by the yogurt sauce. Both had a somewhat dense chew that is authentic. The kebab here is served curiously unadorned though, over a thin layer of rice and without the customary heaps of chopped onions, tomatoes, or other green. It turns out that somebody *does* import salep dondurma (orchid root mastic ice cream) to the USA by way of New York, if our server was correct. You can choose that, or two other housemade flavors. I had the salep, which might not have been the most refined version I've had, but definitely had the characteristic elasticity and stretchiness. I don't know if real salep or credible substitutes were used in the ice cream, but again, it's a Turkish specialty worth trying. We didn't really explore the beverage list much, but there are five types of rakı available, plus a short list of beers including a number of Oliver Ales on draft. The wine list is also appropriately Mediterranean, and organized into sections labeled Greek, Turkish, Israeli, Lebanese, and "other". Our tab for two, including beverages but before tip, was under $90 for a face-stuffing variety of dishes. Two could easily assemble a nice meal here in the $75 range all in, but you'll probably want to explore instead of holding back. I'm probably damning the place with faint praise, but this is an excellent addition to the area (not quite Family Meal good, but better than any of the Market St options close to Carroll Creek) and I can't wait to get back and dine on the outdoor patio as the weather warms up.
  6. Ezmè opened about a month ago in the old Pesce location. It's strange for me to walk in here and see a Turkish restaurant, but time moves forward. It's owned by the Bolukbasi brothers, who also co-own Bistro Cacao on Capitol Hill. I sat at the bar this evening and tried a couple of basics. I started with an Efes Pilsener ($5.50) which I enjoyed with the Babaganush ($5.95) - a small portion of grilled eggplant, chickpeas, tahini paste, heavy garlic, and olive oil, the whole package coming across as delicate, and served with a round of good, homemade bread. I graduated to the Efes Dark ($5.50) which is a better beer all around, with the same delicacy as the Pilsener, but the added complexity of rye-like aromas - this is the beer you should be ordering here. And it is indeed beer that you should order, because the wine list is pathetic (think Benziger, Moet et Chandon, etc.). With the Efes Dark, I got an appetizer portion of Manti ($7.95), homemade Turkish mini-pasta stuffed with ground beef, and served in a thin yogurt sauce. The highlight was a freshly made buttered red pepper sauce, brought out in the pan, and drizzled atop the manti - a dish which I haven't had since the last time I had it at Simit and Kabob, whose version was less homemade, with thicker yogurt, and more overt flavor. Both of these courses were on the light-handed side, and could have used a touch of salt. But they were both good enough to bring me back, and I'll happily return to Ezmè for a deeper sampling. (By the way, has anyone been to Mezè lately? I haven't been in years.) Cheers, Rocks
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