By Kate Oczypok - 11/17/10 10:10 PM EST
Its smart and classy décor is ideal for an intimate date, a marriage proposal or catching up with a close friend or two. Only catering to parties of four or less, Komi is perfect for great conversation over a 16-course tasting menu. One can easily see why President Obama and the first lady chose to dine here for one of their date nights in May.
Once you’re seated, you are greeted with a wine list for options to accompany your meal. If you’re uncertain about what is best, Komi’s helpful staff is happy to give you advice based on your tastes.
The scallops are delicious and end the raw portion of dinner. Komi is not afraid to use sea salt, garlic or other spices, and it shows — everything you put into your mouth is bursting with flavor.
A cool, refreshing sorbet cleanses your palate and then prepares you for dishes rich in Komi’s Mediterranean roots. A warm and flakey spanakopita arrives on your plate first, followed by myzithra, a traditional unpasteurized cheese made with milk and whey from sheep or goats. It’s mainly produced on the island of Crete.
The next dish was one of the highlights of the meal — the Komi half smoke was a bite-sized version of the Ben’s Chili Bowl classic. This one was smothered in pickled relish and mustard that made for a perfect coupling with the half smoke. The sandwich is also paired with Lagunitas IPA, an India pale ale from California. As someone who is not typically a beer fan, the light and clean-tasting beverage went down easily with the meat dish.
After the half smoke, you begin to feel near capacity. However, Komi sends out stuffed dates followed by the more robust agnolotti. Finally, what your taste buds have been anxiously anticipating arrives at your table: suckling pig and roasted goat. Both meats literally fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. Served with warm pita and your choices of tzatziki, oregano and hot sauce, it’s not hard to wish for more goat and pig in order to sample all the sauces.
Finally, after a small break, your food journey is nearly over. Komi brings out a salty caramel for dessert, followed by frozen baklava served with vanilla ice cream, a fun take on the Mediterranean dessert staple.
But the baklava is not the official end to your meal. Loukoumades, or Greek doughnuts, are deep-fried dough soaked in sugar syrup or honey and cinnamon. Komi’s are sprinkled with sesame and served with chocolate for dipping.
Finally, a rizogalo is placed in front of you. The Greek rice pudding is the ending to the tasting menu. As you receive the check for the $125-per-plate meal, you’re given a party favor of sorts: homemade strawberry sumac lollipops.
Komi accomplishes that all it sets out to do. Providing simple American and Mediterranean food with its own special touches, the restaurant gives you something not many can do these days: a gustatory journey well worth every penny.