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Here's The Early Buzz on Mike Isabella's New Kapnos Taverna

How are diners liking the melitzanosalata and seafood towers?

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R. Lopez

Mike Isabella's newest restaurant Kapnos Taverna opened a little more than two weeks ago, bringing seafood towers and dishes inspired by coastal Greece to Virginia. And the people of Ballston seem very enthused that Isabella is now here. Check out what recent diners are saying about Kapnos Taverna online:

The Seafood Tower Review: With 18 Yelp reviews to date, Kapnos Taverna has 4.5 stars so far. Yelper Ivan Z writes, "We had the seafood tower it was amazing crab, lobster, oysters, shrimp cocktail, salmon tartare, marinated mussels, mariated octopus. Will definitely be back!!!" [Yelp]

The Rave: In a lengthy blog post with photos of many courses including the melitzanosalata, the Worldy Bite writes, "I honestly can't say enough good things about this restaurant. It really left an indelible impression on me and I am already looking forward to returning." [TWB]

The "Decadent and Heavy News:" Natasha G called the food "middle of the road" and writes on Yelp, "A MEAL HERE IS BY NO MEANS HEALTHY OR LIGHT. My advice is to order less at the beginning of the meal." [Yelp]

The Short Rib Rave: Blogger M. M. C. E. looks forward to trying the seafood tower, Peloponnesian style meatballs, fried brussels sprouts and cheese saganaki, but for now, can speak to the short ribs, "Next was the Aleppo Marinated Short Rib Mezza. Cooked on a skewer with red onions, served over a cabbage slaw, the short ribs were cooked medium-rare with a nice little char on the outside. Juicy, flavorful and a tad spicy, these really hit the spot." [MCE]

The "We'll Be Back" News: Chel Mazz tweeted, "@MikeIsabellaDC dined at @KapnosTaverna last night. Food was insane! Even better to see you behind the line. We'll be back! #chefofthepeople" [Twitter]

The Salty Dessert News: Ventworm on Don Rockwell is going to return, too, and won't let a weird dessert experience stop him. He writes, "We ordered the greek sundae which is described on the menu as like a brownie sundae with baklava instead of a brownie. I don't know if there was some mistake, but this should have been called a salt sundae. It literally tasted like someone dumped a shaker of salt on each scoop of ice cream/whipped cream/cherry. It did have some nice like brandied cherries, but there was no baklava to be found. Embarrasingly, we finished it since we thought the next bite wouldn't be salty so didn't complain. The waitress said that one of the items was salted caramel ice cream, so maybe someone screwed up? In any case, it was probably the worst dessert that I've ever had in a restaurant, but not enough to prevent me from coming back." [DR]

The "My Next Visit Is Already Booked" News: Blogger State of The Vine writes, "Kapnos Taverna is a must visit. Not every famous-chef owned restaurant lives up to it's name but this one is definitely a winner (which is actually not a huge surprise considering Isabella once worked for one of my favorites, José Andrés). The staff is accommodating and knowledgeable about the foods and wines, which were a step above what I was expecting. In fact, my next visit is already booked." [SOTV]