|Checking out Tel’veh‘s new menu last night was a ton of fun, thanks to our awesome server, Kaine, who picked out every dish and paired each plate with the perfect wine pairing. Dinner at this 60-seat wine bar was full of unexpected surprises, which inspired me to add a little bit of that fun to my gallery of photos below. Enjoy a few tips, notes and my horrible drawing skills as you move your mouse over each snapshot. Happy hovering! 😉|
|1) New Chef Brings Medi Focus
After scoring the Head Chef position at Tel’veh a few weeks ago, the new, bright-eyed–and adorable–Chef Dimo Kolouas stirred up the new menu with his Mediterranean background. His new menu has a focus on seafood, offering steamed mussels, fish, octopus, and a fresh, selection of oysters from around the country. Kolouas, the former Executive Chef at K Street’s Kellari Taverna was also the Exec Chef at The Rose & Crown Hotel in England, and a handful of Greece’s elite hotels before settling in DC. As you walk through Tel’veh’s doors–you might catch him at the front pick-up station where you can watch him preparing and pushing out dishes from the kitchen next to two iced baskets of fresh, un-shucked oysters on a bright display to his left.”Chef Dimo is very passionate about the new menu and knew exactly what he wanted to do with it,” says Tel’veh’s bar manager, Kaine, “which makes us really passionate about it too.”
|2) Nifty Wine Dispenser
Not sure what to drink tonight? No need to gamble on a full glass. The new Vinotemp Wine Dispenser at the bar lets wine enthusiasts taste from two, five and seven ounce glasses. If it’s Monday, order a full bottle of your new-found favorite for half the price.
|3) Move Over, Bacon- Meet Proscuitto’s Turkish Cousin
The thin slices of salt-cured pork, called proscuitto have a Turkish cousin that Chef Kolouas sneaks into goat-cheese stuffed dates. Instead of wrapping it up in a hunk of fried bacon – Chef Kolouas opts for pastourma, giving this sweet appetizer a subtle edge of savoriness that isn’t too oily, chewy or salty.
|4) Fried Cheese
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the rocket salad at Tel’veh. The lightly marinated arugula and sundried tomatoes are topped with sunflower seeds, honey balsamic vinaigrette and a buttery slice of fried cheese that almost tastes like a grilled chunk of polly-o. Remember those? The wine pairing for this salad also pairs well with the rack of lamb (see #8). Spain’s Divus Monastrell is a light, easy-sipping red with a smooth finish that’s a perfect medium-bodied red for wine newbs he don’t like the dry taste of cab sauv, or shiraz.
|5) Mussels + Creamy Tomato
I love soaking chunks of fresh bread in mussel broth.. I’m convinced our server had a telepathic sixth sense, because shortly after delivering the plate of mussels to our table–he brought over a tray of fresh bread. “Just thought I’d bring these over, cus I know my favorite thing to do is to soak up all the broth whenever I eat mussels” he said. Thanks. I LOVE YOU, I refrained from blurting out.
|6) Edible Tentacles Okay, so fried octopus doesn’t look like the most fun thing to eat – but if you like calamari (fried squid) – you’ll like charred octopus. It’s like calamari if, instead of rings, they were in thicker, softer mini round meatball bites. Give it a try! You’re in good hands. Chef Kolouas knows how to tackle an octopus, and won’t leave you with an overcooked ball of rubber.|
|7) 50+ Wine Options
Tel’veh is packed with a hand-picked wine selection anywhere from Spain, Austria, and even right here in Virginia (check out the Zephaniah Cabernet Franc from Leesburg). They also have a belgian brew, a Hawaiian beer (that claims to be great for wine lovers), and cocktails like their chocolate-covered cherry and mint mojito.
|8) Crispy Lamb Chunks
Lamb is a huge staple in Greek cuisine, and at Tel’veh–Chef Kolouas serves an herb-crusted rack of lamb with marinated arugula, roasted red peppers and shaved onions. Wine pairing suggestion: The red Monastrell from Spain.
|9)Love On A Half Shell
“We’re like our own little oyster bar,” Kaine says as he sets down a big bowl of fresh Hama Hama’s (WA), Totens (WA), and Forbidden (VA) oysters. Half of them were topped with (optional) red and black caviar, and the other half were left untouched with the option of splashing mignonette or cocktail sauce on top instead. Half a dozen is $16, and a full dozen is $24, but during Happy Hour – enjoy $1 oysters from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. P.S. For the perfect wine pairing: Robola
|10) Fluffy + Sweet Endings
You won’t find an overly sweet brownie sundae or 8-layer cake here. The dessert selection opts for light and refreshing, with options like yogurt parfait, fruit salad, fresh crepes and an off-the-menu item that our server claims is his girlfriend’s favorite. “She loves it so much, she once said she could eat it for breakfast every day,”– a warm goat cheese, honey and pistachio spread that comes with a few slices of toasted wheat bread. A light, fluffy dessert for diners who don’t have much of a sweet tooth (like me). Need more sweets? Order a glass of their dessert wine.
401 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC; 202-758-2929; www.telveh.com.