Editors' pick

Kapnos

Greek
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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Editorial Review

2013 Fall Dining Guide

2013 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
October 10, 2013

Roasted eggplant dip, baby goat, herby chicken with lemony potatoes: It's all Greek to patrons of the latest and perhaps greatest idea (yet) from Mike Isabella. He's the "Top Chef" veteran who also owns the Italian-themed Graffiato and who tapped former Zaytinya sous-chef George Pagonis to helm the new kitchen.

Just to be clear, Kapnos is not your father's, or even your mother's, Greek restaurant; the familiar flavors are all accounted for, but the presentations are up to the minute. Thus roasted beets are garnished with shards of green peppercorn meringue, octopus crackles with a dusting of quick-fried amaranth, and the pretty phyllo pies show off roast duck, cherries and pistachio yogurt. Kapnos translates as "smoke" in Greek, and sure enough, the suckling pig and baby goat are imbued with the savor of the hickory fire over which they've been slowly cooked.

Not everything excites; chicken souvlaki, for instance, manages to taste both burned and raw, and good luck trying to hold a conversation in the noisy bar. But that still leaves much to admire, including the design and the drinks.

Next visit, I hope to catch the drama from the kitchen counter, with its view of the spits, and launch dinner with one of the many cocktails I have yet to explore, liver willing.

September 2013 review

An updated vision of an ancient cuisine

Smoke flavors Mike Isabella's Greek rendition.

Barbecue at Kapnos

Kapnos, where beasts meet smoke

The new 14th Street restaurant puts a Greek spin on barbecue

Reader Reviews

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Avg reader rating
Terrible

Truly one of the worst meals I have had in a long time. Bland food or overly seasoned to the point where the identify of the food was lost.

What's Greek for "smoke and mirrors"?

I disagree w/ Sietsma. Did the flavors he said to expect include a soaking wet spanakopita? I don't know whether it was water or oil (because the onions were in the way); but phyllo made limp by liquid is not in any Greek cookbook I've ever seen. Nor was pink sauce on the dolmades (beets? yogurt? come on). Come on, actually is an appropriate term for a restaurant where the wine list is longer than the menu. Does anyone else pine for Bessie Zaras' Astor?