Northern VA magazine 50 Best Restaurants 2012

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Nostos
Greek | $$$
8100 Boone Blvd., Vienna; 703-760-0690;nostosrestaurant.com

My dad and I often discuss why restaurants charge more for a whole fish the kitchen barely touches verse a filet a chef must manipulate.

Shouldn’t more kitchen work reflect in the price?

At $31 for a whole Bronzino, baked and served with a side of unfussy broccoli and cauliflower, Nostos continues to prove the seeming contradiction.

When the whole fish arrives, crisp with blackened skin contrasting against the pliable whiteness of meaty flesh, dollar signs disappear. This is the kind of simple dish only a sea-dwelling nation can deliver.

Smaller plates create similar pleasures. Meatballs find more in common with a burger, and are better for it. Fried zucchini stays moist under a kiss of batter. Store-bought phyllo dough tastes like tissue paper after sampling a true version of spanakopita.

The space is white walls and black and white photos of the famous touring Greece. Today’s famous come to Nostos: Hi Newt!

MUST TRY: Bronzino

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