I was so excited to visit Kapnos Taverna in Ballston on a lovely Sunday afternoon. I brought along my boyfriend, Rich, who was up for the challenge of the “all-you-can-eat” brunch menu. For $35 a person, you can order unlimited Greek small plates and .25 cent orange or grapefruit mimosas. Obviously, we started with mimosas. These drinks were ice cold and not too sweet. They were strong and refreshing.
I have to give a big shout out to our waiter, Dave. He was awesome. He took all the pressure and stress (read: guilt and embarrassment) out of ordering and picked for us. He split up our “courses” by appetizers, spreads, meats, and desserts. Rich was concerned he wouldn’t get enough food, of course. But Dave pulled through.
The stuffed grape leaves were interesting. I haven’t had many other grape leaf dishes, so I don’t have much to compare them to, but we both thought they were tasty. We loved the honey and mint.
The spreads were out of this world. I thought I knew good hummus until I tried Kapnos’. It was served warm, which I found so interesting. I don’t think I’ll be microwaving my Sabra anytime soon–so I’ll be back! This hummus was nutty and addictive. We scarfed it down quickly. The bread was also delicious. It was piping hot and perfect for dipping and smearing.
If you can believe it, the Tzatziki was even better. I don’t usually love this stuff; it seems like a lot of calories for just some cucumber flavored sauce. However, I’m now hooked on this particular dip. It was packed with flavors and not too cucumbery. The apricots and honey were mouthwateringly good. We ordered a second helping and took the leftovers home–which I ate for dinner. Needless to say, I did not share.
The zucchini fritters were delightful. They were super crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I love zucchini, but I would bet that even a non-veggie lover would enjoy these babies. They were served with a zesty, flavorful yogurt sauce for dipping.
We loved the meatballs, served in an eggplant sauce. We enjoyed the eggplant portion, but found it unnecessary, as the meatballs were packed with enough flavor on their own. They were moist and tender, and the tomato sauce permeated each bite.
We couldn’t keep away from the potatoes and “secret sauce.” The potatoes were crispy and greasy, in the best way. The creamy sauce had a bit of a kick, which was unexpected. And don’t bother asking your waiter what’s in the sauce, it’s a secret recipe.
We thought that the orzo pasta, English muffin and sausage, and omelet were good. However, they weren’t our favorite dishes of the day. The omelet was chock full of peppers–so you must love, love peppers if you order this dish. The pasta didn’t really stand out to me, but Rich said he really enjoyed this dish. The sausage on the English muffin was tasty, but I found myself reaching for other dishes over this one.
On the other hand, we loved the spit-roasted lamb. It was tender, moist, and satisfied a very hungry boy. The bacon was on point. It was greasy and crispy. We ordered a second helping of this brunch staple and still fought over the last piece. All is fair in love and war… but apparently not bacon.
It’s safe to say that Kapnos knows its meats. Did you know that Kapnos means “smoked” in Greek? We didn’t either. Another shout out to Dave for the vocabulary lesson!
Now on to the desserts. It’s hard to believe we weren’t full yet. We got the Greek coffee waffle, baklava, and French toast. We didn’t love the waffle–ours wasn’t too hot and was a little too crispy for our tastes. However, we appreciated the interesting chocolate and espresso twist on a traditional brunch staple. Leave the waffles to the Belgians, we say.
The French toast was very interesting. I couldn’t tell what kind of bread it was made with–it was very spongy, more like a cake. Since we ordered this as a dessert, I didn’t mind the more cake-like consistency. The baklava was light, packed with nuts, and flakey. The ice cream was loaded with vanilla beans and was such a treat.
The Bitches say: A. Go here for the fancy yet comfortable atmosphere, amazing spreads and meats, and wonderful staff. This is definitely a great option for specials dates and family occasions. We can’t wait to go back!
Kapnos Taverna serves all-you-can-eat brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.