Brett and I were able to check out Tel’Veh, the relatively new wine bar and cafe located near the Verizon Center, a few weeks back. The restaurant recently announced a new executive chef and wine manager, and they invited us down to try out several items on the menu along with wine pairings. (Full disclosure — this meal was provided by the restaurant).
The new chef at Tel’Veh is Dimosthenis “Dimo” Kolouas, who spent time previously at Kellari Taverna. Not surprisingly, the menu has a clear Greek and Mediterranean focus, with the extensive wine program emphasizing pairings with the small plate offerings.
The nice thing about Tel’Veh is that they offer 48 different wines by the glass through taps so you can try wines in 2, 4, or 7-ounce pours. We decided to go that route and had the waiter bring out wines to complement the dishes we ordered.
First up was a set of oysters. The ones we tried were Caribou, Fire Lake, and Malpeque, the latter of which were easily the largest oysters we have ever come across. They were accompanied with a nice house-made cocktail sauce with some roe garnished on top.
Next were goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in pastourma, which is a Greek type of cured beef. I’m definitely a sucker when it comes to dates stuffed with cheese and wrapped in any type of meat, and these were impressive.
We then had the grilled octopus. This was excellent and you could definitely tell the dish came from a chef trained in Greek cooking, as it tasted very similar to the style of octopus that we ate when we were in Greece a few years ago.
Up next was a bowl of mussels with goat cheese and a tomato broth. The chef recommended extra bread to sop up the sauce, and he wasn’t kidding. The best part was definitely the sauce that came with it.
We then had to try the ahi tuna, since after being pregnant I’ll definitely have ahi any chance I can. I was a little skeptical after reading the description of ahi tuna over hummus, but the flavor combination actually worked and they really balanced each other.
Our heaviest dish was the herb-crusted rack of lamb. The crust really added to the flavor and they were moist and delicious. One for each of us was the perfect amount.
For dessert, we shared a dish of warm baked goat cheese with honey, dates and pistachios, as well as a crepe with hazelnut and berries. We were pretty full by this point, but were tempted to try each of them. The goat cheese dish was very different and more of a savory dessert. The crepe was a traditional crepe, but then again, who doesn’t love crepes?
While this does seem like a lot of food, keep in mind that they were all small plates. It would be great to come back here with a group to try more things. It seems like they have great happy hour deals, especially on oysters and wine. Unfortunately, we’re out of commission for happy hour these days with a baby to be put to bed and all, but we’d definitely recommend this place for dinner, drinks, or a stop before or after a game at the Phone Booth.