For starters, the restaurant is unassuming from the street but is incredibly attractive as it has a large covered patio which allows for many tables to dine outside on a nice evening. Given the lively area, it creates a wonderful opportunity for people watching and for enjoying the pleasant weather on a nice night. The interior is simple and quiet but has beautiful brick walls and archways and a nice bar area with wine adorning the walls. I found the atmosphere to be delightful and the service was great.
The waiter recommended that we order around three dishes per person so we went ahead and sampled around twelve of the fifty options on the menu which gave us a great taste for the food. We started with two spreads: the labneh which is yogurt with apples and walnuts as well as the htipiti which is a roasted red pepper dip with olive oil and spices. Both were enjoyable and went nicely with the hot pita bread that Agora provides throughout the meal. Then we moved onto the cheeses and I have to say that the two cheese dishes we got were at the top of my list at the end of the meal. Both were sweet and savory and were such a nice addition to the meatier proteins we ate throughout the evening. I highly recommend the Tulum which is a crumbly sheep’s milk cheese which is served with a delicious portion of honey- what a wonderful combination. Also, we devoured the Chef’s Borek which was a nicely rolled piece of crispy phyllo dough stuffed with goat cheese and accompanied with a crushed pepper tomatoey marmalade that was to die for. The meal was off to a great start, and they bring the dishes out as they are ready which creates a fun eating experience as you are able to pace yourself and try things as they arrive.
The other favorites of the meal included the scallops which were perfectly seared and came atop a light saffron sauce, the crab falafel which was so carefully created with juicy pieces of lump crab in the center of the fried dumpling, the shish tavuk which was beautifully grilled chicken with incredible spices and flavor, and the baby sized beef raviolis in a creamy yogurt and red pepper sauce which was called the manti. All of these were wonderful delicacies that made the meal rich and filling, but also did not leave you stuffed to the point of no return.
Most of the dishes at Agora fall in the $7-$12 range and allow for a nice night out that does not break the bank. At the end of the evening after a very delicious and satisfying meal we each owed around $25 total which I think is hard to find in DC these days. Agora is a surprisingly delicious addition to the Dupont/Logan area and even though they have only been open for a few short months they really seem to have it together. Next weekend when you are sitting at home and trying to decide where to go for dinner, you should walk on over to Agora as you will likely be pleasantly surprised as I was. I look forward to going back there in the coming weeks and snagging a seat outside to enjoy a lovely meal on a lovely evening.
1527 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036