An Epicurean Experience
Just outside the entrance to Nostos, you will encounter a spacious and elegant tent with faux Palladian windows punctuated with strands of white lights, a continuation of the sleek and stylish interior. White tablecloths and black napkins adorn comfortably distanced tables illuminated by dimmable, rechargeable lamps—the latest find from Greece by charming owner Peter Pagonis. Scan the QR Code on the welcoming little card before you to access the menu and it will direct you straight to the website. So slick.
The décor inside brings you back to an era of class and refinement – black and white photos of Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy Onassis walking in the Akropolis while visiting Greece in their heyday artfully grace the walls. In essence, reminiscing about times past and treasured memories is a recurring theme throughout.
The very word ‘nostos’ morphologically shares the same Greek root as nostalgia, and signifies a return to one’s origins—that wistful longing for long ago. Peter experienced this as well for his Greek homeland, just as Odysseus did on his epic voyage so long ago.
Simultaneously respecting the classics and redefining the cuisine, “At Nostos, we wish to share this past with you and stimulate your senses with a variety of traditional and new Greek dishes. Nostos presents a fresh, modern take on Greek culinary culture.”
Nostos also boasts an extensive wine list—many by the glass – of over fifty distinct wines from several different regions of Greece, “a country where Dionysus, the mythical god of wine, has been worshipped for thousands of years.”
Tease your palate with a dip combo, selecting from tzatziki, Greek yogurt with cucumber, garlic, and herbs, melitzanosalata, roast eggplant whipped with olive oil, garlic, parsley, and lemon; tyrokafteri, feta cheese and hot pepper; taramosalata, lemony mousse of fish roe; or fava santorinis, fava beans puréed and topped with olive oil and onions. A Greek salad is always a fresh start to a meal. And traditional avgolemono is a comforting yet savory chicken soup with an egg-lemon finish.
“Small plates, or mezedes, are an integral part of Greek dining and reflect the idea that eating is about sharing and socializing.”
Melitzana Fournou consists of layers of eggplant cooked with onions, tomatoes and feta cheese. Perennial favorite spanakopita is crisp layers of phyllo filled with spinach, feta cheese and scallions. Garides Saganaki presents a well-orchestrated combination of sautéed shrimp with feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, pine nuts, and raisins. This dish shares a name with the cheese dish Saganaki—which is a real show-stopper. Flavorful kefalograviera cheese is set aflame before you and then spritzed with lemon. The theatrical aspect is a riveting escape from the everyday.
Don’t forget to consult the map before you read the menu. Greece is an island archipelago. Translation? Order fish. “In Greece we say when fish is fresh, all you need is a little olive oil and lemon.”
The succulent Chilean sea bass served over spanakorizo. Seasonally, Nostos offers a halibut fillet served over sautéed spinach and topped with grape tomatoes, capers, olives, and spring onions. Lavraki, also known as branzino, is served whole and deboned tableside, which you don’t see every day. This Mediterranean bass has a delicate, mild flavor and is undeniably, delectably tender.
Authentic moussaka to-order consists of layers of thinly sliced baby eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and seasoned ground beef topped with a rich béchamel. Several succulent lamb dishes round out the menu of essential Greek fare.
On to dessert. Save a little space. Galaktoboureko makes a memorable appearance. This irresistible creation, a heavenly, crispy semolina custard wrapped in phyllo, sprinkled with honey and cinnamon, pairs beautifully with the dessert wine Vradiano, punctuated by hints of roses, honey, orange blossom, and herbs with a nuance of butter candy.
Conveniently, Nostos also offers curbside pick-up or delivery within five miles. Currently, when you order to-go online, you can enjoy a Greek wine for 50% off. Also, use promo code 1234 for a 10% to-go discount. For a delightful and unexpected treat, they always include one of their signature desserts – portokalopita, or orange cake to enjoy.
With responsible safety measures in place, Nostos can be enjoyed al fresco or at distanced tables inside through the autumn and winter.
Allow yourself to be transportedif only for the eveningto the legendary Greek Islands. Let the wind fill your sails, as did Odysseus so long ago. Indulge in the epicurean desires of fine food and drink, following the wisdom of ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, from whence that word springs forth.
And after an enchanting experience at nearby Nostosso much closer to homeyou will certainly set your compass in this directionto return yet again and again.
8100 Boone Blvd.
Vienna, VA 22182
(Direction Tip: Aline Avenue & Leesburg Pike behind the Shell)