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Komi, 17th & P Streets


therese
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My, my.  It's just a little over a year later and the dinner is $75 and degustation is $155.  Now, I've never been (but am contemplating a visit on my next trip to D.C.), so I don't know if the price reflects a change in the number of courses, etc...

I just looked up Komi's menu.  Can anyone enlighten me as to what Orata mi alati might be?  It's listed as a main course (for 2, served with local beets).  Alas, I don't speak Greek, and neither does my Google. 

u.e.

I feel rather silly since I was there last night and asked what that was, and I don't recall. My best guess is sea bream, because I think that was one of the answers, and that looks like the most likely option.

We had the regular tasting menu ($78), and the menu they have up on the web site right now looks like the one we had. My husband had the pappardelle with goat ragu and the bavette (which I loved the bits of I got). I had the corn ravioli with summer truffle and langoustine and then the pig confit, which came three ways. The langoustine meat was wonderfully sweet.

The mezzes are an incredible start to the meal, including the hot dates stuffed with mascarpone and Greek yogurt, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. (I still haven't managed to recreate this successfully at home. I used too much salt the last time.)

The small dishes go from tiny to larger bites as the course goes on. (I think we got 8 of them.) One thing that struck me was the logic behind their sequencing. We got buttered breakfast radish topped with fish roe (don't recall the type of fish), and the next mezze was hammerjack with chives and sea salt. The radish had the crunch up front (in contrast with the texture of roe) but a lasting peppery finish. When the hammerjack came out it had the complementary flavor of salt to the lingering taste of pepper, and the continuity of the seafood.

The dessert I got (coconut panna cotta with apricot) was the one course where I wasn't sure how all of the pieces were supposed to fit together. Later it occurred to me that I was supposed to alternate bites of the panna cotta with the apricot (which seemed to be apricot turned into sorbet or gelato and served in the form of an apricot), which would have given a different effect. The rest of the flavors and textures in the dessert didn't really seem to fit together as smoothly as everything else had throughout the meal (my best recollection is basil and something crunchy--it was late :raz: ) My husband loved his flourless chocolate cake with olive oil gelato.

ETA: Other people posted while I was writing, so it seems that item is whole roasted sea bream.

Edited by PatDC (log)
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Thanks everyone for the response. I'm pretty sure I got my question sufficiently answered: "'X' mi alati" means whole roasted fish.

Sounds great. Are reservations difficult to get?

And, for the member who posted about $100 a plate at minibar - I thought it was a set meal (at around $150). I wasn't aware of any per plate scheme at that restaurant.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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And, for the member who posted about $100 a plate at minibar - I thought it was a set meal (at around $150).  I wasn't aware of any per plate scheme at that restaurant.

Sorry, instead of per plate I should have said per person. Just checked and $120 is the figure. When it was $85 I felt I could recommend it more highly, now I'd rather send people to Komi.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

We visited last Friday night for the degustazione dinner. Mine with the wine pairings, my wife without. I was surprised that the $155 actually included wines ($60 less without the pairing).

The food was all wonderful, as described by those above. Favorites were the seafood, with the amberjack being a high point.

The service, however, was disappointing. It seemed they couldn't get the timing down, with long lulls between some course and others coming out one after another in quick succession. It was fairly busy, but not too large a place for a table to get lost.

Edited by hll (log)
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We visited last Friday night for the degustazione dinner.  Mine with the wine pairings, my wife without.  I was surprised that the $155 actually included wines ($60 less without the pairing).

The food was all wonderful, as described by those above.  Favorites were the seafood, with the amberjack being a high point.

The service, however, was disappointing.  It seemed they couldn't get the timing down, with long lulls between some course and others coming out one after another in quick succession.  It was fairly busy, but not too large a place for a table to get lost.

I believe I may have been there the same night. Had no service problems though.

Was there over five hours and had a wonderful time.

Robert R

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We visited last Friday night for the degustazione dinner.  Mine with the wine pairings, my wife without.  I was surprised that the $155 actually included wines ($60 less without the pairing).

The food was all wonderful, as described by those above.  Favorites were the seafood, with the amberjack being a high point.

The service, however, was disappointing.  It seemed they couldn't get the timing down, with long lulls between some course and others coming out one after another in quick succession.  It was fairly busy, but not too large a place for a table to get lost.

The service (I would be more inclined to place responsibility with the kitchen, actually) was a distraction on my last visit, as well. Irregular to the point at which it occasionally became distracting.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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We visited last Friday night for the degustazione dinner.  Mine with the wine pairings, my wife without.  I was surprised that the $155 actually included wines ($60 less without the pairing).

The food was all wonderful, as described by those above.  Favorites were the seafood, with the amberjack being a high point.

The service, however, was disappointing.  It seemed they couldn't get the timing down, with long lulls between some course and others coming out one after another in quick succession.  It was fairly busy, but not too large a place for a table to get lost.

The service (I would be more inclined to place responsibility with the kitchen, actually) was a distraction on my last visit, as well. Irregular to the point at which it occasionally became distracting.

I agree it was a problem with the kitchen rather than the waitstaff.

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  • 1 month later...

My GF and I had a great freakin' meal at Komi last night.

We had the "dinner" ($84), not the "degustation" ($104). I went in very hungry and couldn't finish everything so be warned...the degustation must be a lot to eat.

We had the pappardelle with bluberries, chanterelles, and guangiale and the sweet potato ravioli with proscuitto for the pasta course and the whole sea bream with (I think) sauteed romaine and guinea hen stuffed with foie for the entree.

As described here, you are brought a number of starters, increasing in size, heat, and complexity prior to your pasta. Let me see if I can remember most of them (I don't take notes at restaurants).

Radish with butter and trout roe - great combo

House cured olive - good tasting but nothing that special

Amberjack with salt and scallion - nice, nice dish...great balance...delish

Roasted date stuffed with moscarpone and honey - a fav of my GF

Fire roasted chile with pumpkin soup - the peppers weren't that special...I expected them to be a little spicy but they weren't unlike a regular green bell pepper. The soup was somewhat spicy and the pistachios added a nice textural contrast.

Braised octopus on shaved avocado with a poached quail egg - great freakin' dish. Supertender, small octopus with the creamy avocado and perfectly cooked quail egg. Holy Shit.

This great goat "gyro" - a small meatball with a sweetish sauce, tzadziki, on an interesting flatbrad. Delicious.

The pappardelle was delicous. Crispy bits of guangiale, perfectly sauteed chanterelles in a light sauce on springy, perfectly cooked pasta. The blueberries provided a nice contrast.

The ravioli was also delicious but not as innovative. Small pockets of tender pasta filled with a pleasing filling. Crispy sage leaves, great procuitto, and a brown butter sauce finished the dish.

The whole roasted fish was perfectly cooked with nice crispy skin. It was served with lemon wedges, high quality EVOO, and salt.

The guinea hen was similarly great. It had been boned and stuffed with a somewhat sweet stuffing. A small piece of perfectly seared foie topped it. It was served with brussels sprouts. It appeared to me that the sprouts had been sliced at the base to release the leaves and the leaves had been fried to crunchy deliciousness. Does anyone know how they did this?

The desserts were fantastic. We had a "brown butter cake" with this fantastic butterscotch ice cream and poached pears and yuzu cream with huckelberries. Holy Mother of God. That ice cream was stupendous. The caramel that flavored it was brought just to the point of being burnt...just a little bitter. Went perfectly with the cake that seemed to have been baked in a minicupcake tin.

The yuzu cream was out of this world. It was kind of like a thick (solid) panna cotta, intensely flavored with yuzu. It was quite tart. The cream had been cut into triangles set on edge with a little buttery filo tuile stuck into it. There were some small spoonfuls of a great huckelberry compote. Again, quite tart..not too sweet.

I will be back to Komi and I will try to make a couple of the dishes at home.

The service was fantastic too. Great pace to the dinner. The sommelier, Derek, was also terrific, helping new wine students (my GF and me) appreciate the 5 wines he chose.

My only complaint--why no valet parking?!!!

Edited by mojoman (log)
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  • 1 month later...

It's fine dining with a barbecue-like pay-off. You try not to use your fingers. You cannot resist. The goat shoulder. So good. Eat it. Now.

Not trusting these Komi kids is failing them. They are damned good at food.

A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A Four Letter Word --- Komi --- Washington, DC

A fine line separates a culinary signature from a tic. Earlier this month I was in Washington for a week, and at the suggestion of friends I tried Komi, Johnny Monis’s Greek-inflected, slightly rustic, comfortable hot spot. And there is much to like – the service, the collection of well-composed Greek wines (and not a stereotypical Retsina) and the finely-prepared cuisine.

This night my companion and I selected the dinner: a selection of nine mezzathakia, a pasta, an entree, and dessert. We were well-treated. My only complaint was granular. This chef’s four letter word: salt. Sometimes dishes are oversalted out of incompetence: that is not the case at Komi. Chef Monis uses salt to add zest, a taste dimension that often characterizes his dishes. Once or twice during the meal would have been memorable, but the number of dishes that included salt as an ingredient or distinctive flavoring was startling. From the roasted dates with fleur de sel to the oversalted (although perfectly moist) spit roasted katiskaki (goat) to a rather unpleasant Meyer Lemon granita with red sea salt to salty pecan gelato (this I did not order, but there it was on the menu), one could not escape the condiment. Perhaps we should not have been surprised when the farewell gift was a salted caramel lollipop. A chef whose inventions are as distinguished as Chef Monis can find other ways to enliven his plates.

Of the mezzethakia I particularly admired the exquisite, lush cauliflower panna cotta with American caviar, langoustines, and sea urchins. The braised octopus with poached quail egg, capers, pig knuckles (?), and lentil salad was memorable as well. Also successful was a poached lobster salad with bottarga. Both of our pastas were sublime. I particularly admired the tagliatelle with rabbit, snails and eggplant. Here is a chef who knows how to cook al dente. My companion’s rock shrimp risotto with Meyer lemon and sumac-braised pistachio was filled with delicious surprises. Even in my year of dining in New York, I never was treated to such a pair of pastas.

As our main course, we selected the spit-roasted katsikaki – as moist a goat as can be imagined with a delightful crunchy skin. Had the salt been halved this would have been an astonishing dish. The side dishes, pickled plum, Greek oregano, eggplant puree, truffled beet tsatziki, and Habanero hot sauce added complexity to the goat and homemade pita. At first bite the salt added to the pungency of the dish, but soon I wished for pure goat. The sides could have provided the pungency.

Dessert – toasted almond cake with bananas and rum zabaglione was pleasurable – and not at all salty – flavorful but slightly dry for my taste.

I hope to return to Komi on my next visit to Washington with a doctor’s note a demand to lighten our sodium footprint on this fragile planet.

Komi

1509 Seventeenth Street (Dupont Circle)

Washington, DC

202-332-9200

My Webpage: Vealcheeks

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  • 1 month later...

I'll admit that I'm not the type to normally go for frilly, one bite teaser, overwrought food, but I'm just wondering if the lovely pasta I had last night at Komi (homemade taglitelle with veal sweet breads, snails, lobster and hedgehog mushrooms) and the one or two outstanding paired glasses of hard-to-find Greek wine was worth $360 for two? The other mezzo were fine, but I think this place is over hyped, or that all of the recent awards have gone to the Chef and Sommelier's heads (and perhaps the servers). I've worked fine dining, and know the labor involved, but the price point here has tipped over the edge IMHO.

I kind of felt nickle and dimed the entire night: We wanted the three glass wine pairing, but weren't interested in one of them being a desert wine and didn't want to go wanting during the mezzo - no problem, for $12 (per person) more ($48 now instead of $36) they willingly substituted an additional white (they must be making a killing on their wine). Roast suckling pig for your main course? That will be a $10 surcharge - for three tiny (yes, albeit tasty) pieces (sausage, belly, and I think it was a rack, but I used it as a toothpick).

If you do want to go, I recommend a weeknight. Half the tables were empty last night (Thursday), and both the Chef and Sommelier skipped out halfway through our dinner - again not something I personally like to see, especially when its via the front door and through the dining room.

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Komi is starting to reach that price point where opinions vary on value for your buck. We seen it across the board in many restaurants at one time or another, French Laundry, L'Arpege in Paris, Gilt when it was open. etc. etc.

For me it has not reached that grey zone yet where I begin to have doubts.

I found Komi to be every bit as enjoyable as meals at Per Se and Jean George and others. Different yes... But just as enjoyable.

Also must add. 'Skipped out' may suggest the chef left to hang out with the boys and have a few cold ones. But naturally that is just speculation because as far as we know his house could have been burning. :blink:

Robert R

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I'll admit that I'm not the type to normally go for frilly, one bite teaser, overwrought food, but I'm just wondering if the lovely pasta I had last night at Komi (homemade taglitelle with veal sweet breads, snails, lobster and hedgehog mushrooms) and the one or two outstanding paired glasses of hard-to-find Greek wine was worth $360 for two?  The other mezzo were fine, but I think this place is over hyped, or that all of the recent awards have gone to the Chef and Sommelier's heads (and perhaps the servers).  I've worked fine dining, and know the labor involved, but the price point here has tipped over the edge IMHO.....   

Which menu did you get...how many courses?

The sommelier/manager is something of a bud -- we shop at the same Whole Foods! -- so my praise should be take with the appropriate bit of fleur du sel, but I've always found him knowledgeable and fair. More than fair, on occasion, and with a great palate.

Dinner can be a little uneven in my experience -- there's a fine line between understated and underwhelming (Monis seems to effortlessly avoid both "clever" and "stupid"), and I've had friends give dramatically different reports on consecutive nights. A lot of that depends on on mood and expectations going in, I think, and it is surely not to everyone's taste.

As for the chef leaving, I think any good kitchen -- which Komi's surely is -- should run fine if the chef makes it half-way through service. I've had four spectacular meals at one top restaurant here, and never once seen the chef in the kitchen. I don't trust those guys with nine restaurants, but I'm pretty sure Komi runs at top performance for the last hour of service whether Monis is there or not.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Komi is starting to reach that price point where opinions vary on value for your buck. We seen it across the board in many restaurants at one time or another, French Laundry, L'Arpege in Paris, Gilt when it was open. etc. etc.

For me it has not reached that grey zone yet where I begin to have doubts.

What is/are the current price(s) of Komi's dinner menu(s)? Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Komi is starting to reach that price point where opinions vary on value for your buck. We seen it across the board in many restaurants at one time or another, French Laundry, L'Arpege in Paris, Gilt when it was open. etc. etc.

For me it has not reached that grey zone yet where I begin to have doubts.

What is/are the current price(s) of Komi's dinner menu(s)?

Here you go my friend. I noticed they update the menu about once a month on the site, so it may be different at this time.

http://www.komirestaurant.com/

Robert R

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We are truly sorry that MiFi did not enjoy their meal at Komi and a separate letter has been sent addressing those concerns to MiFi. We value this forum for the opportunity to receive critical feedback. However, it is untrue and is demeaning to our hard won image as restaurateurs that actually spend time at our restaurant to say that we “skipped out half way” through the meal.

The chef expedited every savory course (as he’s done every service for the last four and a half years), spoke with our pastry chef as the last desserts were about to be plated, and left. The pastry chef stayed, as he does every night, and plated the final desserts. I left out the back door (it is false that I left through the front) after all of the wine pairings were completed, save one dessert wine.

We cannot determine for anyone else what constitutes value. We will say that whether our service is well-received or not, it is the best we have to offer and the result of a lot of people (not just the sommelier and chef) working very, very hard.

We hope this response is received in the spirit it is intended and not as a criticism of this forum or one person’s subjective experience. Ultimately, we are grateful for a thread on egullet and for your input.

Sincerely,

Derek M. Brown

Sommelier

Komi Restaurant

“Let us candidly admit that there are shameful blemishes on the American past, of which the worst by far is rum. Nevertheless, we have improved man's lot and enriched his civilization with rye, bourbon and the Martini cocktail. In all history has any other nation done so much?”

Bernard De Voto (1897-1955) American writer and critic.

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