If you’re looking for delicious Mediterranean food in DC, keep reading because you’re in for a treat. Located on 1527 17th St NW, Agora specializes in the cuisine’s of Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. The word itself translates to “a gathering place,” which makes perfect sense because after you try their food, you’re gonna want to gather all your loved ones here for meals. They opened their restaurant back in 2010, and they’ve been going strong ever since with Chef Ghassan Jarrouj at the helm.
DMV (DC/MD/VA area) weather has been pretty weird – think warm one day and freezing the next. It happened to be beautiful the day we checked out Agora so we (along with DCFoodporn) decided to grab a table outside on their lovely patio. We enjoyed the weather while browsing their impressive menu – everything sounded delicious and they (very surprisingly) had an abundance of dairy and gluten free options available.
We started our lunch off with a trio of spreads. Why get one when you can get three for a few more bucks? They had 6 options available so it was hard to choose, but we ultimately decided to go with their hummus, htipiti and baba ghanouj. For those of you unfamiliar with the aforementioned plates, no worries, we’ve got you covered.
- Hummus is a purée of chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice topped with olive oil.
- Htipiti is a mix of roasted red peppers, feta, thyme and olive oil.
- Baba ghanouj contains smoked eggplant, garlic, tahini, and fresh lemon juice, and is also topped with olive oil.
All three were so freaking creamy and flavorful, and they were served with freshly baked pita bread (!!!!) So much yum in our tum. If you’re gluten free, they’ll bring you sliced veggies instead so don’t fret! This sampler’s highly recommended – it’s great for sharing so definitely get one for your table.
Next came the Peynirli Pide (aka to-die-for flatbread) and the Hurmades (aka dates stuffed with heaven). Note: we got a mix of lunch + dinner plates to photograph and taste so not everything is available at [insert service of choice]! We’ll make sure to let you know what’s available when though. Everything so far’s available on both menus EXCEPT the Hurmades – that’s lunch only.
The flatbread ($8.50) we got was made with goat cheese, mozzarella and dates – a simple but delicious combination. If you love cheese as much as we do, you won’t be able to get enough! If you guys prefer something a bit more “substantial,” we recommend the Pastirmali Pide or the Lahmacun. The former’s made with Turkish cured loin of beef and the latter’s topped with both lamb AND beef. The Hurmades ($8) were stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in Pastirma (air-dried cured beef) – talk about perfect balance between savory and sweet. If you like dates, this dish is an absolute must-try.
Then came a slew of dishes from their dinner menu…because we’re fatties! Here’s what we got:
- Grilled Octopus ($12.50): served over bean puree with capers, shallots, diced tomatoes, olive oil and Sherry wine vinegar.
- Sautéed Kale ($8): made with red onions, garlic, red vinegar, crushed Maras pepper, and pine nuts.
- Garides Tava ($11.50): shrimp sautéed with garlic, olives, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Lamb Riblets ($14.50): grilled suckling lamb ribs in a Meyer lemon emulsion with fresh herbs, cacik, and rose petal Harrisa.
- Lamb Chops ($16): grilled chops served with fingerling potatoes and grilled tomato.
- Ottoman Rice ($8): made with almonds, saffron, black currants, pine nuts, dried apricots, and fried shallots.
Honestly, everything we got was delicious so you really can’t go wrong. Even the “simplest” of dishes were exquisite. We weren’t expecting much from the rice or kale, but both plates legit blew us away. It was all perfectly executed and super flavorful. Hands down, the best experience we’ve had with Mediterranean food in DC. Who here loves the cuisine as much as we do? Definitely let us know by leaving a comment below.
above: flat lay goals || below: the best kale salad we’ve ever tasted
above: shrimpy yum-ness || below: their drool-worthy lamb chop dish
More close-up shots for you guys…sorry (not sorry) for making your stomach grumble, ha.
And that was the end of our meal, Nomsters. HA! Who are we kidding? We could never pass up dessert. This was our least favorite part of the meal, BUT in all fairness, we’re not big on greek yogurt. It WAS rich and creamy though so we have a feeling many would go gaga over it – it just wasn’t for us. We wanted to share a shot of it anyways because the presentation was SO beautiful (like everything else we had).
Conclusion: Agora has THE most amazing Mediterranean Food in DC. Serious props to their team, for real. We were truly impressed with everything – from food to service, it was all impeccable. If you live in the DMV and haven’t gone yet, you need to try their noms stat. No excuses! In fact, close your computer or put down your phone, and get going. Don’t forget to report back with details! ‘Til next time, friends.
For more DC food porn, check out this tab!