Mike Isabella opened Kapnos Kouzina earlier this month in Bethesda Row, bringing the total number of Kapnos restaurants in the area up to four. The menu by chef George Pagonis offers small plates and platters like flatbreads, fried half chicken with preserved lemon brine and burnt honey mustard, and moussaka with roasted eggplant. The wine list focuses on bottles from Greece, Israel, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Maryland residents are flocking to Isabella's first restaurant in the state. There are already 12 Yelp reviews with an overall rating of four and a half stars. There's an even more robust conversation going on at OpenTable with 32 reviews so far.
So how does the Bethesda restaurant measure up to Mike Isabella's other Greek concepts in the area? Read on for the early word on Kapnos Kouzina:
The Inconsistent Service News: There's a debate raging among OpenTable posters concerning the quality of the service. JaxDCZaj says it's "terrible," but TomK calls it "excellent." A third OpenTable poster writes, "service is acceptable at best and not engaging." [OT]
The Great Cocktails News: Blogger Been There Eaten That says the lengthy cocktail menu is an exercise in decision making. Instagrammer @hoganevents calls the pineapple mimosa "crazy good," and Yelper Kilian T. writes, "Great cocktails, interesting - best we had was the Prince of Persia." [Been There Eaten That, Instragram, Yelp]
The Non-Insulting Wine List News: Yelper Adolfo M. writes, "The wine list has enough offerings at a non insulting tag." OpenTable poster Lolo adds, "...we found a nicely priced bottle of wine." But OpenTable poster RWoodB writes, "While there are very good Greek wines, it makes no sense to offer a Greek sauvignon blanc at $12 a pour when there are many better New Zealand sauvignon blancs on the lists of other Bethesda restaurants at $9 to $11." [Yelp, OT]
The Sampling the Spreads News: Yelper Joy B. says her favorite spread was the taramasalata, and Instagrammer @dchandiramani calls the eggplant spread "delicious." Yelper Sabrina M. says the hummus was just "okay." OpenTable poster afoodiesdelight writes, "I would have loved to have tried their sampling of 3 spreads but couldn't justify paying $23 for it." [Yelp, Instagram, OT]
The Flatbread Can't Be Beat News: One OpenTable poster writes, "shrimp and lamb flatbread can’t be beat!" OpenTable poster Dinette writes of the tomato version, "The crust on the flatbread was thin & crisp, even with toppings that included juicy cherry tomatoes." Washingtonian food editor Ann Limpert calls the flatbread with avocado and lump crab an "early must-get" on Twitter. [OT, Twitter]
The Sweet and Saucy Brussels Sprouts News: Instagrammer @thepan says, "Our 6-year-old selves would have blanched at the thought of these #brusselsprouts... but after a few decades, we just wanted more." Blogger Been There Eaten That writes, "Crispy brussels sprouts are sweet and saucy with a preparation that includes sweet potato skordalia (garlic sauce), burnt coriander honey, and almonds." [Instagram, Been There Eaten That]
The Mixed Potatoes Feelings News: OpenTable poster Goldbug calls the potatoes "very good," and Instagram user @jenniferperillo says, "Do not miss those potatoes, people. Trust me." But Yelper M.J. H. writes "We probably wouldn't get the fried greek potatoes again. The potatoes tasted good but it wasn't anything too special..." [OT, Instagram, Yelp]
The Oh So Crunchy Fried Chicken News: OpenTable poster Nomie writes "Everything was good especially the fried chicken ( so crunchy on the outside and moist inside)." Yelper Jessica P. writes, "I am usually not a fan of this dish because I think it has been so overdone, but this chicken was amazing. The dipping sauce- a burnt honey Harissa was also out of this world." [OT, Yelp]
The Standout Duck Souvlaki News: One OpenTable poster writes "But man, the ground duck souvlaki was really delicious." Yelper Samantha L. calls it a "standout," but another Yelper also named Samantha L. writes "I didn't like how salty and spicy the duck patty was but I enjoyed the fennel in brown butter yogurt and orange honey." [OT, Yelp]
The Extremely Loud News: Several OpenTable posters are also freaking out about the noise level at the restaurant. For example, jillian writes, "Good food, but extremely loud" Blogger Been There Eaten That adds, "A warning… this isn’t the place for a quiet meal. The restaurant measures high on the noise scale." [OT, Been There Eaten That]