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Vasili's Kitchen (Formerly Vasili's Mediterranean Grill), Owner Theo Hristopoulos's Greek Moved and Reopened on Dec 6, 2016 in Kentlands


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Before I started writing this, I did a quick search on the site to see if a thread already existed for Vasili's. There was mention of this place in a thread which turned into a discussion about the woeful lack of "mom and pop" joints. If ever a place was the antithesis of "mom and pop" it's The Kentlands, a faux village where you have to look around the corner of each building to make sure it isn't just a 2-dimensional facade like you'd find on a movie set.

In the middle this Truman Show-like neighborhood you'll find Vasili's Mediterranean Grill. I'm happy to have found it based on my meal there last night. The place is casual and friendly, and mom and pop know what they're doing in the kitchen. For starters we had some stuffed grape leaves in avgolemono sauce ($8). They tasted freshly made, not like something that had been sitting in a storage container for days like I've tasted elsewhere. I also had some tender grilled baby octopus ($11) which was as good as I'd expect at a place like Black Salt or Hook. The lamb souvlaki ($13) was enjoyable with its tender flavorful meat, fresh veggies, and what seemed to be homemade pita.

My only complaint would be the somewhat dull Greek salad that came with my entree. The dressing was too heavy and they were skimpy on the feta which lacked the briny flavor I expected. Give me a few more olives too!

Vasili's isn't going to blow you away, but its good honest solid cooking. They deserve to do well, and I look forward to going back. I want to try that grilled branzino.

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Before I started writing this, I did a quick search on the site to see if a thread already existed for Vasili's. There was mention of this place in a thread which turned into a discussion about the woeful lack of "mom and pop" joints. If ever a place was the antithesis of "mom and pop" it's The Kentlands, a faux village where you have to look around the corner of each building to make sure it isn't just a 2-dimensional facade like you'd find on a movie set.

In the middle this Truman Show-like neighborhood you'll find Vasili's Mediterranean Grill. I'm happy to have found it based on my meal there last night. The place is casual and friendly, and mom and pop know what they're doing in the kitchen.

Concur, I've eaten there a few times and enjoyed it very much. It has been a few months, so I can't go into detail - but did meet the owner/chef and remember the hummus (an appetizer?) dish as being simple but excellent in a kind of 7-layer way.

But to the point from 2 years ago: What is so faux about Kentlands, and so antithesis of mom-and-pop?

In considering the relative wasteland of Maryland dining, Kentlands seems second only to Bethesda and gaining fast in terms of interesting, quality dining choices. Two places (Batik and Carribean Breeze) are a few hundered feet from each other in Kentlands and both made the "100 best cheap eats" list. There aren't many other such 'tight' regions that can make that claim. Of the places that didn't make the list, there is decent morroccan, pho, dim sum, a diner, etc. And most importantly, these places are NOT chains for the most part. This is contrasted with Rockville town center, where only Spice Xing and Bobby's Crabcakes are locally-owned non-chains.

Yes, Kentlands is designed to mimic much older places like oldtowns Alexandria and Annapolis. However, it isn't really fake, and thankfully it really does seem to live up to the promise with such dining choices. While not perfect, upon reading the "100 cheap eats" list, it dawned on me just how good we really have it out here.

As a side note, the "Truman Show" was filmed in a real town called Seaside, FL. That neighborhood was the first one designed by Andres Duany and Kentlands was the second. So the similarity isn't accidental.

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On 6/4/2010 at 1:37 PM, jayandstacey said:
As a side note, the "Truman Show" was filmed in a real town called Seaside, FL. That neighborhood was the first one designed by Andres Duany and Kentlands was the second. So the similarity isn't accidental.

 Whoa. Al Dente's associative powers ftw. A creepy, spooky win.

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Finally was able to visit on Friday.  This spot probably deserves a whole new thread, because this is a totally different more modern and upscale restaurant, which is no comparison to the old location.  When we arrived, we were promptly welcomed and seated.  When looking at the decor, it is amazing that the space used to be a diner.  It was completely gutted.  There is a partial open kitchen, the space has a modern feel, which is full of natural materials, lighting is mostly retro bulbs.  There is also a central bar.  The deck is really nice with a ton of plants, and heaters (the outside space was full!).  

The menu focuses on small plates, with some entrees.  We stuck to the small plate theme.  Our choices we started with a plate of olives, which was probably the only disappointment of the night, not because of the contents/quality of the olives, but because of the volume--there were probably 8 olives in a $4 dish, which seemed a bit on the skimpy side.  Next we got a beet and yogurt dip.  This was not what I was expecting, but never-the-less, it was tasty.  I was expecting a smooth dip, but the beets were diced, and had some apple mixed in along with some pistachios--it was good, just not what was expected as a "dip".  This was followed by roasted cauliflower with a harissa sauce as the bed of the dish.  The heat in this dish was understated, probably because it was balanced with a sweetness.  The flavors all played well.  The grilled octopus which has been discussed previously here has become ubiquitous lately, was a really good rendition.  It was s single long tentacle, which was incredibly straight and tender.  Our 7 year old ate almost the entire thing, but did miss the chewy texture from octopus sushi.  We also got sauteed baby spinach and kale, which was flecked with feta and preserved lemon--this was a nice diversion.  Finally, we got the grilled haloumi, which was also well prepared.

Our daughter also got an order of mac and cheese, which was very refined, with a shape I have never seen, it was certainly an upscale version, and the 7 year old, who has become a mac and cheese connoisseur, approved and ate every last bit.

For desert, we had the home made doughnuts.  They were glazed in cinnamon infused honey, and served with a scoop of home made vanilla ice cream.  

All in all a great dinner and we can walk there in about 4 minutes from our house.

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