Kapnos was opened along the Fourteenth Street Corridor in July 2013. Chef Michael Isabella’s travels in Greece inspired to create its menu of spreads, breads, vegetables and other small plates, including his signature wood-grilled octopus.
Two wood-fire grills with rotating spits and a large oven for stone-baked flat breads service the 160-seat restaurant. Guests enjoy carvings from whole animals that have been spit-roasted all day, including lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig.
Kapnos is open for dinner seven nights a week in addition to brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
the owner & chef
Michael Isabella //
Chef Michael Isabella is an award-winning Washington, D.C.-based chef and restaurateur.
Chef Isabella’s formal training began at The Restaurant School in New York, taking classes and cooking his way through some of New York City’s finest establishments. Later, he travelled down the coast to Philadelphia, first as a sous chef for James Beard award winner Douglas Rodriguez at Alma de Cuba, then a host of other Stephen Starr restaurants. At El Vez, Chef Isabella learned the true craft of Latin cuisine under the direction of Jose Garces, and as executive sous chef of Marcus Samuelsson’s Washington Square, Chef Isabella educated himself on the art of opening a fine dining establishment.
Before settling in D.C., Chef Isabella moved to Atlanta and found his culinary niche when he joined Buckhead Life Group’s top-notch Greek restaurant, Kyma. As chef de cuisine of the seafood-inspired menu, Chef Isabella learned the slight flavors and techniques of Greek cooking, as well as immersing himself in the traditions of one of the oldest cuisines in the world.
Kapnos Taverna, a sister restaurant to Mike Isabella’s Kapnos, features more of a coastal look at Greek cuisine alongside some of the biggest hits from his modern ode to mainland and northern Greece. A second location is open in Ronald Reagan National Airport, and a third outpost will open in College Park, Maryland in 2017.
Chef Isabella’s third Greek concept features home-style Greek cuisine with a focus on rustic dishes and sharable platters. Kouzina, Greek for kitchen, has a casual ambiance fitting to its name. The Bethesda location is Isabella’s first Maryland restaurant.
This marketplace will offer house-made Greek staples and spit-roasted meat for take-home dining only. Greek spreads and specialty items like taramasalata, melitzanosalata, dolmades, salads and phyllo pies, will be wrapped and available to-go, along with lamb, pork, and chicken sold by the pound.
Our first ever menu started as just a mere experiment of Chef Isabella’s ideas to develop a menu inspired by his travels in Greece. Since then, it became our goal to always be innovative in creating and serving new dishes.