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Found 6 results

  1. As I was in a bit of a "treat yo'self" mood last night, I decided to check out Mike Isabella's new place Kapnos and apply some strict ethnic scrutiny to what he is offering to the DC-area bourgeoisie as Greek food. The focus Kapnos (meaning 'smoke') is grilled foods from Northern Greece, although many of the items of the menu are classic Greek dishes regardless of their local origin within the country. Not wanting to BS around with the shi-shi items on the menu, e.g., kohlrabi crudite (I'm fairly sure the average Greek does not know what kohlrabi is, and certainly not in this economy...) or duck pita (duck phyllo pie on the menu), I lined up some of my favorite foods and those that I thought would most representative of Kapnos' focus. Tyrokafteri "“ Too much tyri (cheese) and not enough kafteri (spiciness). Tyrokafteri should really bring some heat, and I thought the sparse and thin slices of hot pepper could not provide enough heat to balance what essentially was a large plate of whipped feta with olive oil. The fresh-baked pita was really nice though; I always liked that at Zaytinya. Patates tou Fourno (aka Fourno Patates on the menu) "“ My username on this site also happens to list two of the basic ingredients for patates tou fourno (oven-roasted potatoes): ladi (oil) and lemoni (not surprisingly, lemon), oven-roasted potatoes have always been one of my absolute favorite dishes since I was a kid. So, you can imagine they hold a special place in my food life. Isabella's version is good, and more importantly, the dish does not try to do anything clever; they are simple and rustic. The potatoes themselves had that nice golden appearance with some charring, and were neither too mealy nor undercooked. However, in Greek cuisine, you can rarely have oil without lemon, and unfortunately, that's what was lacking from these potatoes. A bit more lemon and this dish will be a standard plate for every table at Kapnos. Charred Octopus "“ This was the big winner, and I could tell from the moment I sunk my knife into the first tentacle. Octopus is tricky to cook (as I learned first-hand recently), so I commend any chef who nails this. This was tender, not chewy in the slightest, and had that great roast flavor. Plus, the green harissa was a really nice addition to the dish. Overall favorite and this should be a standard plate for anyone dining here. Roasted Goat "“ So close, but not there yet. The goat is quite tender and has all the characteristics of delicious spit-roasted meats. However, like the potatoes, it was lacking something to balance out all that meatiness. I would have liked another herb or perhaps a tad more salt on the goat itself, because the harissa + yogurt combo on the plate was not enough to balance. But, I can see this dish improving over time as the restaurant evolves. Overall, I'd say that Kapnos earns a solid B+ right now. Since the restaurant is so new, I imagine the recipes will be worked and re-worked until they hit their peak. However, it's a worthwhile entry and I'll be keeping an eye on its progress over time.
  2. Looks like the movement has turned its focus to one of the DC area's most prolific, visible restaurateurs. Per the Washington Post, he and his company are being sued by a female former top member of the company who alleges she was repeatedly harassed.
  3. Details from the Washington Post here. Personally, I'm a little disappointed to hear that it's going to be, in part, ANOTHER pizza place; I realize that's not the entire focus of the place, but I don't think we're exactly lacking for good pizza places in DC.
  4. I stopped into G Sandwich today to pick up lunch. This is the new sandwich shop by day/tasting menu by night/gravy menu on Sunday nights place that Mike Isabella has just opened next door to his Greek restaurant Kapnos. I arrived shortly after they opened at 11:00 and was among the first to order. I waited maybe 10 minutes for my order to be ready. In that time I determined that I was quite glad that I was ordering take-out and not planning to eat in the restaurant. The music was deafening -- I can't imagine trying to carry on a conversation. It took me 15 minutes to walk home and the food did not seem to have suffered at all in the interim. We both loved our sandwiches. He had the Cubano Panino (pork collar, swiss, pickles, prosciutto cotto, yellow mustard); I had the Spring Lamb (tzatziki, romaine, pickled onion, dill). The lamb sandwich was served gyro-style, but the amount of the filling was such that it would have been extremely messy to eat that way, so I used a knife and fork. All of the roasted meats used at G are cooked at Kapnos, and it showed. That lamb was so succulent! It may have been a bit fattier than I would prefer, but wow, that fat was tasty! The other ingredients provided nice complimentary flavors and the dill really stood out, but in a good way. My husband loved his Cubano and that's saying something since he is a bit of a Cuban sandwich snob, having spent a lot of time in Miami. I'm not saying that this is an authentic Cuban sandwich, just that someone who's pretty picky about that genre endorsed it. In addition to the 12 different kinds of sandwiches they make, G also offers 8 marinated vegetable sides, 4 salads, 2 soups, sweets, house-made sodas and iced teas and a small list of alcoholic beverages, including 4 beers, 2 wines and 2 cocktails. We've been eating a lot of carry-out foods in the past 10 days, as we moved and are still living in chaos. During this time we have also had sandwiches from SundeVich and Taylor Gourmet. I have to say that after this one experience, I'd rank G above both of these: way above Taylor and somewhat above SundeVich. It may not be fair to compare after just one visit, but when I'm looking for my next sandwich, I'm going to G.
  5. Is there a thread on Pepita? Google didn't find it. I had lunch there the other day. I had the tongue and goat tacos, the tongue was very soft and had good flavor, but the goat was really a star, the flavor combination was great with a little more texture than the tongue. We had chips and the salsa verde. The salsa verde was one of the best I have ever had- it was thicker in texture than most and had a nice kick to it. I also liked the music selection. $24 total for 2 people- 4 fairly good size tacos, chips, salsa and non-alcoholic drinks. Which isn't too bad. I would like to try the veggie taco because I think overall Mike Isabella restaurants have some great veggie dishes.
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