Greece remains on my bucket list. Meantime, I trek to Tysons for the sunshine and seafood I expect I’ll encounter when I actually make it to the cradle of Western civilization. If there’s a lighter taramasalata out there, I have yet to taste it. The restaurant’s choice whip of fish roe, lemon juice and olive oil, scooped up with warm pita, could pass for a cloud. Nostos is where I also come for whole fish, typically sweet-fleshed branzino, filleted by a server with the precision of a surgeon and presented with horta — pleasantly bitter boiled greens — and roast potatoes kissed with lemon and oregano.
You’ll be greeted at the door by someone who acts as if they’ve been expecting your company and led to a linen-dressed table where the walls are dressed with black-and-white photographs of fishermen or famous faces (Anthony Quinn mid-dance) from earlier times. Strategically placed olive branches and a palette of white and gray whisper “Greece,” as do lamb ribs propped up on their plate with smoky eggplant salad, and a wedge of tender orange cake. General manager Angela Pagonis says her family has a vision for the business: “We want to bring Greece here.” Sure enough, these meals edge diners closer to the islands.
8100 Boone Blvd., Vienna. 703-760-0690. nostosrestaurant.com . Dinner entrees, $24 to $40.