Komi requires its audience to trust it. There’s no menu to choose from and your waiter doesn’t offer much more of a forecast than this: The meal will segue from light to heavy, from fish to meat. “Ready?” he asks.
I’m always open to eating whatever Johnny Monis wants me to eat, be it a single scallop capped with a coin of persimmon, great raw fish from Tokyo, rabbit pate on sourdough toast or a single (and perfect) raviolo stuffed with earthy blood sausage. What links the many courses at this modern Greek restaurant is a reverence for great ingredients and superb taste.
Monis was honored for as much with the Mid-Atlantic Best Chef award from the James Beard Foundation this year. His extraordinary food is staged in a Spartan yellow room by servers who weave warmth with wit. A bottle of Arneis comes with a quip. “Little rascal,” a server translates the Italian into English. When the accompaniments to a main course of crisp baby goat — pickled peppers, puffy pita, thick yogurt — run low, the waiter asks if we want “reinforcements.”
Komi isn’t inexpensive. But neither is a first-class ticket to Greece.