Café Ole: Delightful Mediterranean

What’s not to love about a Mediterranean mezze (tapas) bar that lets you take a taste tour of the culinary delights of the region? Lebanese shawarma, Moroccan tagine, Greek hummus, and Italian risotto are just a sampling of the menu’s itinerary, in which you’re encouraged to order two or three mezzes per person. Cruise by for brunch on Saturday and Sunday, where eggs make an appearance alongside the regular menu. Daily lunch specials feature a scrumptious array of salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Add on cocktails like the Wu Wu (vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice), plus wine and beer, and you’ve got yourself a great dining experience. Café Ole is open seven days for lunch and dinner.

Café Ole
4000 Wisconsin Avenue NW
(at N. Upton Street)
Tenleytown Metro Station
Washington, DC 20016
Neighborhood: Tenleytown
(202) 244-1330

Komi: Reputed Top Restaurant

The sparseness of Komi’s website is as revealing about the award-hoarding restaurant as the overflow of what one reviewer calls the “Komi-worship” by its many fans. The press reports about the Obamas’ date there in 2010 is also suggestive of this small restaurant’s high-altitude reputation.

Dinner reservations are taken by telephone one month in advance of the date desired.   No menu is available—only the note that “Komi serves a progressive, multi-course dinner for $135 per person, with an optional $70 wine pairing.” Renowned young chef-owner, Johnny Monis, specializes in Greek and Mediterranean food adventure artistry. A typical evening includes a slow series of delicately presented morsels. Many of these bite-sized courses include raw fish and seafood that diners are sometimes urged to pop into the mouth for a single flavor and texture swoon. Diners generally have a choice of entrée, often between roasted pig or goat; and dessert comes in plural, with the hope that Monis’ Greek doughnut is among the mix.

1509 Seventeenth Street
(Dupont Circle area, between P and Q Streets)
Dupont Circle Metro Station
Washington, DC  20036
(202) 332-9200

Cava: Mediterranean Fare

Cava is the latest addition to the burgeoning mezze craze. Mezze is the Mediterranean version of tapas — small, savory dishes ordered en masse and shared with friends – or not.  Diners swear that some dishes are just too good to part with! Fans rave about the lamb sliders, the sautéed calamari, and the Cava fries. Also a fave is the yummy complimentary appetizer of pita and hummus spread. Seafood, meat, and veggie dishes make up the menu, plus soups and salads.  The laid-back, friendly vibe, cocktails, plus beer and wine, make this a great spot for an evening out with friends. Open seven days for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

527 8th Street SE
(between S. E Street & S. G Street)
Washington, DC 20003
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill/Southeast
(202) 543-9090

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