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Komi, 17th & P Streets NW, 2013 James Beard Award Winning Chef Johnny Monis Rocks East Dupont - Tipping Eliminated on Sep 7, 2017 for 20% Pre-Tax Service Charge


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As I mentioned in a separate thread, I managed a short notice reservation at Komi to celebrate my birthday with my wife and two friends. I was particularly excited, since this would be the first visit

I'm not going to add much to the accolades that the food at Komi richly deserves, but wanted to make my first post about how out of this world the service at this place is.  On the Friday of Snowpocal

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Would anybody care to make a suggestion or two on a place to grab a cocktail before dinner at Komi? Hoping to find something that is walkable to/from.

Thanks in advance.

ag

Depends on what you are interested in. The bar at Hotel Rouge isn't very far, and on 17th street you have Trio, Hanks (although the bar will likely be crowded), etc...
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Would anybody care to make a suggestion or two on a place to grab a cocktail before dinner at Komi? Hoping to find something that is walkable to/from.

Thanks in advance.

ag

It's a hike since it's about 3-5 blocks but a favorite of mine is Bar Pilar. I wish there were more bars on 17th worth going to, but frankly I can't think of one that I've actually ever had a nice time at in an evening. OK, well minus taking my girlfriend to see drag queen bingo at Chaos.
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Would anybody care to make a suggestion or two on a place to grab a cocktail before dinner at Komi? Hoping to find something that is walkable to/from.

Firefly is actually very close by. Especiallly if you are arriving at Komi via Dupont Circle metro. I'd go there or pony up for the wine pairing at Komi and rest assured I'd be getting plenty to drink that night...

ETA: Firefly is a half mile away from Komi

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I second the Bar Rouge and Topaz Lounge suggestions... Helix Lounge (RI btn 14th and 15th is about 3 blocks away) in the same family is also nearby. Beacon Bar and Grill is also in the neighborhood (RI and 17th) about 2 blocks from Komi. 15 ria is also a possibility.

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"hushed temple of gastronomy" is a pretty good description. Clearly you need to go with three really raucous friends.

Last night, being Valentine's Day, Komi had a full house. Taking porcupine's sage advice, I went with three "enthusiastic" friends – a double date. All the other tables were occupied by couples, making for a serene and calm house, giving the staff plenty of room and time to execute their flawless service, and allowing Chef Monis to flex his creative genius. Of course, the couples were all sitting intimately close; conversing in very low voices, faces lit softly by candles, red roses glowing on each table. Us? To say we weren't taking ourselves, or the weight of the occasion as seriously as were others in the room, would be accurate. To say this was one of the best meals I've ever had, also would be accurate.

We were presented with a lovely tasting menu, befitting the occasion. We started with mezzethakia of: fresh olives – large, bright green juicy and pleasantly mild; scallop tartare with a panna cotta of sunchoke, a hidden quail egg oozing through when cut down the middle, topped with caviar; taramosalata - deep fried orbs, perfectly prepared; salt cod with black truffle on toast; a stunning grilled octopus dish with house-made mortadella and persimmons; lobster panzanella with pig's trotters; crispy oxtail gyros; the signature warm dates filled with marscarpone, drizzled with olive oil and topped with a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel; and finally foie gras baklava. We shared all the plates around the table, so that nobody got to hoard a dish just because it was put down in front of them. To start we enjoyed generous flutes of champagne, and then chose a Macedonian wine recommended by Anna Koeckeritz, Komi's maitresse d' –an Alpha 'Estate' Unique Cepage, 2004.

That was the first course. :o

Our waitress and the other capable staff followed with the next four courses in the same manner as the first – quietly, gracefully and skillfully (Derek, you will be so pleased!) I won't go into detail about each course, as most of the dishes (five pastas, three mains and four or five desserts) are featured in some variation on the chef's tasting menus. I would highlight the testa and foie gras agnolotti in broth, macaronia stin kithara with tripe and charred greens, the venison mousakka, and spit roasted kid, as spectacular favorites (accompanied by more Macedonian wine and a Porter Creek Pinot Noir, 2003.) Also the crêpe with crème fraiche dessert and the blood orange gratiné with olive oil gelato.

I came away feeling that Chef Monis and his staff deserve every accolade they have received recently. [and a huge thank you to all of them for being so tolerant of our raising the noise level above the other hushed temple voices.] We finished with house-made lollipops, heading out into the night feeling like a bunch of big kids, albeit protected from the biting cold wind in fur coats and inoculated by the warmth of the wine.

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What are orbs?
Orbs are objects with a spherical shape. Chef Monis made his taramosalata, (a Greek dip traditionally consisting of tarama, salted and cured cod roe, blended with other delicious ingredients and a binder), by forming the mixture into orbs and deep frying them until they were delicately crispy on the outside and hot and moist on the inside. Each orb was approximately the size of a large hen egg, (which is not orbed, but rather an oblate spheroid).
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I went last night with some friends and had an unbelievable meal, as expected. The "fried orbs" were fried fish roe (cod, I believe), and were delicious. Other winning mezze: butter poached lobster, foie gras napoleon, charred octopus, and, of course, the mascarpone stuffed dates. I hadn't tried the wild boar pasta before, and I'm so glad I ordered it this time. Heavenly. I had the turbot roasted on the bone with cockles, and it melted in my mouth. Mmmm. Desserts were great.

My only criticism would be that the service was much slower this time than in the past. I typically love the leisurely pace at Komi; it gives you time to talk to your dining partners, digest, enjoy the food. But they got really behind last night -- to the point where the servers came over and apologized to the table. However, in Komi's typical classy style, they offered us complimentary glasses of wine and other small goodies, so I'm not one to hold it against them :o .

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We had a wonderful 5 hour dinner at Komi on Saturday night. I can't think of any other restaurant that would allow any table to stick around from 6-11pm. This place is totally unpretentious, and after our 5th visit I would say this my favorite restaurant in the Washington, DC metro area. It has been a long time since I had a meal where every single course was a hit IMHO. We took the easy route and made no decisons about what to eat on Friday and were treated to a lovely evening. All the above items mentioned by dag556 were outstanding. The pork is gone; but the spit roasted goat is a more than acceptable replacement. The pasta dishes that are coming out of the kitchen at Komi are the best in DC! We were able to sample five different pastas from the menu, and all were excellent (boar, goat, foie gras, potato ravioli, and gorgonzola). There is no better place in this city to enjoy a fine dinning meal....none!

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I found it odd that while trying to access Komi's website the other day, my PCs virus protection detected a Trojan. Also appears the site is down since this incident. Is anybody else having a problem accessing it?

I did drop them a email letting them know.

It is working fine for me and I have a horde of virus protection on my PC.

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Hope this is not a dumb question but is Katisaki listed on the menu goat? A google search returned nothing.
Not a dumb question at all, I also came up with nothing on a google search performed before for we went last Friday. But, yes, it is goat. And it was fantastic. :P

The other favored main at our table of four was the venison. Of the pastas, the gorgonzola raviolini was a clear favorite (if, like us, you like gorgonzola) with the agnolotti, goat ragu pappardelle & the kabocha koumbya all very good, just lacking the consensus of "favorite" that was bestowed upon the raviolini.

By the time dessert came around, we were getting a bit fuzzy and without an online menu to jog my memory the following descriptions are vague at best... I liked the crepes (?) filled with mascarpone (?) the most. However, if I recall corrrectly, everyone else at the table preferred the turnip cake (at least, I think it was turnip! :o ). Oh, and, of course, the donuts were heavenly.

Perhaps my fellow diners can chime in and help me out since my recollection of that dinner is now just a big, satisfying, blur of delciousness. :lol:

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is the consensus at Komi right now to get a bottle and forgo the pairings? Also, how's the wine list? Should we be bringing one of the bottles I've been aging that is just about ready to drink?

While I have yet to visit since Derek has been there I am sure his pairings will be top notch. I have found the pairings in the past to be very good, but I think it really depends on how much you want to drink and what your table orders to eat.

Bringing a bottle from home might be difficult unless you know it will go well with what you order. BTW, what are you aging?

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While I have yet to visit since Derek has been there I am sure his pairings will be top notch. I have found the pairings in the past to be very good, but I think it really depends on how much you want to drink and what your table orders to eat.
They are tasting menu only now - are there many choices within that?

I'm not very knowledgable abotu Greek food, so I'd would probably just trust Derek to choose something appropriate for the courses.

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They are tasting menu only now - are there many choices within that?

Yes. After the opening round of small plates you get to pick your pasta, entree, and dessert. There are usually 5, IIRC, options within each category. It is not a normal tasting menu and I really enjoy how they present it.

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They also have the new "Degustiazone" option which, to my understanding, includes wine-paring and the sampling of pretty much everything the chef is turning out that night.

I did not get the wine-pairing the night we were there, but two of my dining companions did and were quite pleased with the wines Derek picked for them.

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While I have yet to visit since Derek has been there I am sure his pairings will be top notch. I have found the pairings in the past to be very good, but I think it really depends on how much you want to drink and what your table orders to eat.

Bringing a bottle from home might be difficult unless you know it will go well with what you order. BTW, what are you aging?

Of what I'm aging that's ready to go- I aged a vertical selection from Corison in Napa, plus I've just come into some of her stuff from the Kronos vinyard that's ready to drink right now and was aged in a friend's cellar.

If you jump on chowhound, and I don't buy most of the junk I read on there, a lot of people were saying the pairings weren't so hot.

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I don't feel that Komi's cuisine is suited to big Napa cab. I don't know what Derek's pouring right now, but I have it on good authority that the list will be trending Italian and Greek over time. And that can only be good.

[besides, while there's still some older Bandol on the list, that's what you want to drink :o ]

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They also have the new "Degustiazone" option which, to my understanding, includes wine-paring and the sampling of pretty much everything the chef is turning out that night.

I did not get the wine-pairing the night we were there, but two of my dining companions did and were quite pleased with the wines Derek picked for them.

Thank you for the info. Was about 95% sure it was goat but not positive. I am looking forward to trying Komi next month after having to postpone last year and the Degustiazone sounds impressive. It only makes sense to try as much as possible if I'm traveling 500 miles for dinner. :o

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Last night confirmed that Komi is my very very favorite restaurant in DC.

Derek, thanks for your help! You helped make the evening even more outstanding!

Everything was excellent and I wish that I had taken notes! The mezzethakia was nearly identical to crackers description above, so I'll forgo repeating it. The oxtail in pita bread was one of the most incredible things I have ever tasted. It might have even surpassed the dates with mascarpone as my new favorite.

For my pasta course, I had the gorgonzola raviolini. So so fantastic.

For my entree- venison. I have never had venison that was so tender and delicious.

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Last night confirmed that Komi is my very very favorite restaurant in DC.

Derek, thanks for your help! You helped make the evening even more outstanding!

Everything was excellent and I wish that I had taken notes! The mezzethakia was nearly identical to crackers description above, so I'll forgo repeating it. The oxtail in pita bread was one of the most incredible things I have ever tasted. It might have even surpassed the dates with mascarpone as my new favorite.

For my pasta course, I had the gorgonzola raviolini. So so fantastic.

For my entree- venison. I have never had venison that was so tender and delicious.

With my upcoming reservation on the 13th you sparked my enthusiasm even more. Can't wait!

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Say you wanted to dine at Komi, and one of your party was about to turn 85 (the occasion of the dinner) and not able to walk more than a block or two without major strain, and coming from way out in Fairfax with three other people, meeting a fifth at the restaurant, how would you arrange the logistics? There's absolutely no reason to suppose you might find street parking within two blocks. Are there any commercial garages nearby likely to have space? There are a couple of hotels over by Scott Circle, but I think their parking facilities are extremely limited. Any ideas? Stuffing four people into a taxi doesn't sound like a very good way to start a birthday celebration.

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Say you wanted to dine at Komi, and one of your party was about to turn 85 (the occasion of the dinner) and not able to walk more than a block or two without major strain, and coming from way out in Fairfax with three other people, meeting a fifth at the restaurant, how would you arrange the logistics? There's absolutely no reason to suppose you might find street parking within two blocks. Are there any commercial garages nearby likely to have space? There are a couple of hotels over by Scott Circle, but I think their parking facilities are extremely limited. Any ideas? Stuffing four people into a taxi doesn't sound like a very good way to start a birthday celebration.

I am not sure if there is a good answer as parking in that area is a PITA. I would drive up and if not lucky enough to find parking close by, drop off the guests and resume my parking space search.

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Say you wanted to dine at Komi, and one of your party was about to turn 85 (the occasion of the dinner) and not able to walk more than a block or two without major strain, and coming from way out in Fairfax with three other people, meeting a fifth at the restaurant, how would you arrange the logistics? There's absolutely no reason to suppose you might find street parking within two blocks. Are there any commercial garages nearby likely to have space? There are a couple of hotels over by Scott Circle, but I think their parking facilities are extremely limited. Any ideas? Stuffing four people into a taxi doesn't sound like a very good way to start a birthday celebration.
I would drop the birthday celebrant and at least some of the other participants off in front of/near the restaurant and then park the car. They can meet up with the 5th person there and then wait for the driver. (I don't know if Komi seats incomplete parties.) When we went to Komi, we found street parking, but I don't remember how far away it was. Then reverse the process at the end of the meal. That's what we do when we have my in-laws out for dinner with us, and they're both fairly mobile. (My FIL is 88.)
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(I don't know if Komi seats incomplete parties.)
I would bet that under the circumstances they would seat an incomplete party. They seated our incomplete party without any hesitation when I was there a few weeks ago. It's a very small place, and you have a reservation, and an elderly person with you! Parking can be difficult. I have good parking karma, so if you want, I am willing to join your party. :blink: Also, fyi, you will have to negotiate an outside metal staircase to get up to the entrance.
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Say you wanted to dine at Komi, and one of your party was about to turn 85 (the occasion of the dinner) and not able to walk more than a block or two without major strain, and coming from way out in Fairfax with three other people, meeting a fifth at the restaurant, how would you arrange the logistics? There's absolutely no reason to suppose you might find street parking within two blocks. Are there any commercial garages nearby likely to have space? There are a couple of hotels over by Scott Circle, but I think their parking facilities are extremely limited. Any ideas? Stuffing four people into a taxi doesn't sound like a very good way to start a birthday celebration.
There's a parking garage around the corner (on P bet. 16th & 17th), but you may want to check that they have a table for five available.
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I would, and have, parked illegally and just factored the cost of the ticket into dinner.

Also, to my knowledge, Komi does not take parties over four. Things may have changed since I've been there, but do call and ask.

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I am informed by several that Komi takes parties of no more than four, although I think I'll call and ask anyway. As to dropping people off and then cruising for street parking: You could cruise a LONG time in that neighborhood. I can easily imagine with cruising and then walking from a probably not-very-nearby spot, parking could take a half hour.

I would, and have, parked illegally and just factored the cost of the ticket into dinner.
I've done that once or twice, but I always think What if they tow? That can spoil one's evening.
There's a parking garage around the corner (on P bet. 16th & 17th), but you may want to check that they have a table for five available.

There's a parking garage on P between 16th and 17th? Since when?

Anyway, thank you everyone for your input.

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