Editors' pick

Mourayo

Greek
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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This restaurant ventures from typical Greek dishes to give a taste of more authentic regional fare.
Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30 am-3 pm; Mon-Thu 5:30-10:30 pm; Fri-Sun 5:30-11 pm
(Dupont Circle)
Dupont Circle (Red Line)
202-667-2100
70 decibels (Conversation is easy)
'

Editorial Review

By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Then: Not your papa's Greek joint (2007)
Again: Always sunny

While I'm always buoyed by the prospect of a meal here, I head to Mourayo more for weekend lunch than dinner these days. The lure of half-priced bottles of wine on Saturday will do that to a diner.

No matter the hour, however, I've come to rely on this nautically themed restaurant (Mourayo translates into English as "moor") for plates infused with the spirit of Greece. The simple treasures include branzino baked in salt, then cracked open at the table to reveal soft, steamy pleasure, and lamb in multiple guises. I thought the chops with wrinkly roasted potatoes were my favorite way to splurge here, until I tried the lamb (and beef) meatballs cooled with yogurt-cucumber sauce.

Mourayo's daily specials, such as a scorpionfish soup crammed with celery and carrots, reel me in because they're not just the same old Greek (the cheese-filled turnovers striped green with spinach sauce, for example).

Wood-framed portholes and a host-stand that resembles the hull of a boat let me fantasize I'm eating on the water. And could the staff be any sweeter? Alone or with a squeeze, they treat you as pals of Poseidon.

It might be gray outside. At Mourayo, it's almost always sunny.