In July a new restaurant opened in my neighborhood. I didn’t really give much head since, as I have mentioned previously, I already had a neighborhood place I love. The Royal Mile Pub, my favorite neighborhood establishment, sits less then a block from my now favorite neighborhood restaurant, Taverna Kefi .
The place took over the old Sir Walter Raleigh building. Restaurants don’t seem to last long in this location. I hope this time Taverna Kefi will prove resilient.
The owner’s formerly owned Barnaby’s pub/sports bar on University Boulevard. I always meant to check the place out, but since it was in the strip I somehow never got there. Again, my obsession with the Pub superseded the need to explore more bars.
On Saturday evening late the girl, the boy and I headed to the Pub, saw it was full and trekked down the street to this new place. A coworker who is also from my neighborhood had recommended it. She encouraged me to try several of the appetizers, describing them as “tapas-like”. She seemed pleasantly surprised to have such a gustatory feast on our doorsteps and really encouraged me to visit. Well I was even more surprised when our decidedly un-“tapas-like” appetizers appeared!
In DC a lot of tapas ranges in prices from around $3-$10 a plate depending on the type of dish. Obviously a great scallop might bump it over the 10 mark, but most items fit neatly in this range and you can eat and share many of them. The Appetizers at Taverna Kefi, range from $5-$10 with one items, a dish for two at $16. But these appetizers are NOT tapas. They are generous portions and absolutely delicious.
For my supper I unwittingly chose 4 items off the list, thinking small plates would arrive.
My first dish was Horta. Horta is a cold dish of steamed dandelion greens with fried onions, lemon and olive oil. The dish is a lovely combination of the bitterness of the greens, bright tang of lemon and the crisp texture of the onions. I was in heaven.
Following that came two other dishes, Kolokythokeftetes, a hot dish of shredded zucchini patties mixed with mint, scallions and served with cool rich tzatziki, and Saganaki which is Kefalograviera cheese sprinkled with oregano and freshly squeezed lemon and served with tomato confit. Both dishes were excellent. There were four shredded zucchini patties as big as my palm. Kefalograviera cheese is a hard cheese. It comes out in a dish with a fine coating of breading just to get the nice browned layer on the top.
The tomato confit that comes with the cheese is to die for. I think it’s a mixture of cherry tomatoes and honey. They could can it and I eat it for breakfast everyday.
My last dish was the Pites which are stuffed pastry dough full of Spanakopita (spinach & feta), Tyropita (cheese), Prasopita (leek & feta). While all three were delicious the real stand out is the Prasopita.
Please check out their amazing menu!
The waitstaff was patient as the girl and I waited for the boy’s arrival, and attentive. They calmly repeated the specials once he arrived and smiled the whole time. One of the owners helped walk us through the menu when she came to check on our table.
We took half of the food we ordered home with us because we simply ordered too much and it was real treat to eat on Sunday. This place is humongous and will be a great place to bring large groups. They even have a special dessert, which can be requested before you come because it’s a trifle for ay least 6 people!
So call me if you want to go to Taverna Kefi! I’m in! http://www.tavernakefi.com/