My three nights of fancy DC Michelin dining concluded at Komi. I’d had this one in the diary for a quite a while having read very strong reports when I was initially working out what I might do during my time in the nation’s capital.
Komi’s style is a refined Greek-Mediterranean tasting menu. Like the Gramercy Tavern it’s a service included place.
The place has an informal farmhouse/taverna feel to it with the welcome warm and service a strength throughout. The lighting was very low which made photographs too tricky for my phone but more importantly made some elements of dishes difficult to discern and any presentational flair rendered moot.
I’d accessorized well with my St John tote bag leading to a steady stream of folks visiting my table to tell me how much Fergus Henderson influenced their hospitality career and dining habits which is always nice to hear.
After a little light reading of the wine list, I resolved to turn things over to the sommelier team by opting for the paired drinks. This opened with a fresh and crisp pet nat and continued throughout with a carefully curated selection, all of which complemented the food to good advantage.
The pet nat was matched with three bright snacks. First we had smoked trout roe atop a tiny steamed brioche bun, then preserved persimmon with finger lime and sumac, then finally charcoal kissed stone bass with olive oil. These were a very promising opener with great attention paid to balancing some bold flavours.
We followed with Catalina sea urchin served with grilled endive, chickpea and sea salt. Again, this was accomplished stuff with punchy flavours deployed harmoniously.
We moved on to a bruschetta style course with semolina sourdough topped with braised alliums and bottarga. It was another strong dish.
We then had our first pasta dish with well-crafted cauliflower ravioli topped with black truffle. This was followed by a crisp sweetbread with black garlic and potato pavé. This was the dish that most suffered from the low lighting as I really struggled to see the elements.
Things were much simpler with a delicious stuffed Medjool date topped with fleur de sel.
We then had a favourite dish of mine, amberjack collar. I’d sampled it most recently at The Hearth & Hound in LA. This version, with berbere spices to the fore, was every bit as good.
We had a second pasta course this time with deeply flavourful pork ragu, pecorino, and bitter greens. It was excellent.
The main course was a lamb neck, served on the bone complete with beautifully crisp skin. It was accompanied by fennel salad and fresh pitta, as well as a little selection of housemade sauces. This was a portion to suit two sharing but I tucked in with gusto and despatched a high proportion of the tender and flavour-packed meat.
Things concluded with three well-judged desserts. First was a pineapple sorbet with candied oats and chervil powder. We then had a coffee semifreddo with lemon curd, and finally a yuzu and blueberry lolly.
Oh, and there were excellent petit fours of passionfruit brittle and a salted caramel bite with the good quality French press coffee.
With farewells exchanged, I left sucking on my yuzu lolly in the style of Kojak. It had been a lovely evening in a special restaurant. Komi is definitely one to add to your list for a visit. I’m confident you’ll be as charmed and impressed as I was.
Blythe scores Komi
4.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: tasting menu
I drank: pet nat, Greek white, white Burgundy, French cidre, Corsican sangiovese, Piedmont gamay blend, Californian cabernet, Jurancon, French press coffee, sparkly water
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: $280
Address: 1509 17th Street NW, DC 20036