Thursday, May 11, 2006


The birthday dinner was at Komi (follow link for a minimally informative website). A post at Chowhounds forum from "2 Foodies visiting from NYC for One Night!" suggested that the one must-eat restaurant in DC was Komi. And our roommate recommended it. 2 Amys would have been good, too: all casual, olive oily and good. But the Monkey Mama was dressed to the nines, so to Komi we went.

Anyhoo, it's on 17th Street just south of the Fox & Hounds. We had a drink of Turkish wine at an outdoor bistro to celebrate the weather -- most places seem to put their best foot forward in the month of May, do they not? And then we went into Komi. It being Wednesday, a reservation was unnecessary.

The service was great, with three or four servers making an appearance at some point or another. The detailed descriptions went by a little fast, especially since half the words were foreign, but the emphasis was on communication of all the yummy stuff and enjoying our experience. ("Would you like that with the entree, or as sort of a midcourse?" "As a midcourse, please.")

  • Amuse Buche: Salted dates stuffed with mascarpone (salt + sweet = great, but the cheese kind of vanished)
  • Appetizers: Mixed plate. Great, great. Weird bruschettas with fish roe. Fried unidentifiable good things. Roasted olives to cleanse the palate. Other good news. Great.
  • Midcourse: Ravioli with soft cheese and something else. What I really remember is the texture of the ravioli: weepingly perfect. Any joker with a toque can put interesting flavors together. But to compose the ravioli and cook it perfectly, supple and oily and al dente at the same time? You can't fake that. Perhaps the best pasta (qua pasta) I've ever had.
  • Main: Salt-crusted roast fish (Sea bass? It was in Italian, so I don't remember) for two. Presented to the table in its crust with the head on, and then filleted (elsewhere) and served with spicy spring greens and fingerling potatoes on the side. The fish was great...I'll have to leave it at that.
  • Dessert: Doughnuts with a chocolate mousse dipping sauce. Seriously, the doughnut was good like the ravioli. It had a range of doneness at various parts of the doughnut, from darker to lighter to a hint of doughiness. It's ridiculous to rhapsodize about a doughnut, but there you have it.
  • Sparkling white wine from Campania. It tasted kind of sun-roasted, almost like a Cotes Roti Cotes du Rhone, but sparkling white wine instead of plain red wine. Far out. Campania contains the Naples/Amalfi region, where the Monkey Mama and I spent part of our honeymoon.
  • Sardinian white wine. Excellent. Kind of like red apple -- not the tart green kind, but caramel and sweet instead.
  • The Monkey Mama had a Greek santo vinsanto, which was surpisingly red. It reminded me of the the vinsanto we had in the Tuscan portion of our honeymoon.
In short, the meal at Komi cracks my Best Lifetime Meals list somewhere in the Top 5. It might have wrecked our household finances for a paycheck or two, but it reminded us of our honeymoon, and --hey, it was my birthday.


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