1527 17th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Inside this low-lit brick building near downtown Washington DC, you will find a complex and very upscale kind of Mediterranean restaurant. Agora is a specialist in finding complex flavors from Turkish cuisine and bringing them in a bit of a modern up-scaling. Expect many plates to have small servings of delicious and different foods. Ismail and Betul Uslu opened locations in both Dupont Circle in downtown Washington and at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, allowing for more people across the expansive city to try this food. The tapas-style dishes here are wonderful.
A few things worth sampling:
- Sampler platter: This plate has small servings of a smooth and silky hummus and htipiti, which is a roasted red pepper and feta cheese dip that’s smooth and smokey, served with a cacik, or tzaziki-style sauce.
- Bruksel Lahana: Fried brussels sprouts with a truffle yogurt and urfa pepper. Sharp!
- Börek: Similar to spinakopita, this fried phylo dough is filled with spinach, dill and feta and served with a marmalade that pulls it in a sweeter direction.
- Adana: A grilled minced lamb and beef sausage-like creation topping pita bread and grilled onions. The spices here are bright, giving the meat and pita a satisfying buildup that continues for a time.
- Shish Taouk: Grilled chicken and shallots are the centerpiece of this dish. Grilled tomato and onions again complement a sturdy meat.
- Aegean Delight: Stuffed apricots atop a mascarpone cheese. Caramel sauce and walnuts complete the sweet desert.
- Baklava: Dusted with pistacio nuts to give the sweet and flaky dough an added heft. A piece of it is relatively small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sheer flavor. Honey is unmistakable.
The restaurant has a comfort and a romance to it, and that feels unmistakable. It just works! The ambiance makes it a perfect date spot or a place for a small group of friends to mingle. The wine list is excellent and full of more than a few interesting and unique vintages. The beers are mostly all imported and so hard to find in other ways. Everything about Agora has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, and that seeps into the excellent food and service, too.
There’s so much to like here and even in a city as cosmopolitan as this one, you’ll have few issues finding something new. Make a reservation here. It’s going to be a memorable meal.
- Reservations are a must, and tables tend to be in high demand so they won’t hold your table if you’re wanting to linger longer than two hours. Keep that in mind.
- Like most DC restaurants, this one will only do one check per table.
- There are some limited specials during the happy hour times, but to be sure this is still a nicer and more upscale restaurant so it’s going to set you back a few for sure.