Q&A: Nostos’ Romina Duka

From 50 Best Restaurants 2017: Interviews with the front of the house

Nostos Romina Duke
Photo by Rey Lopez

Age: Turning 30 this month.
“I always work on my birthday. I think I’m gonna work this year, too.”

Title: Host. She also hosts at the D.C. nightclub Flash.
“I started when I was 13. Back in Greece you can do that. I like interacting with people, but I don’t think I’ll do that forever. I have a degree in interior design. So I might try to do that.”

Coming to America
She moved here “for my best friend’s wedding.” She met her husband, a friend of the groom, a couple days later, married him within six months and stayed in the United States for the next two years before her first trip back home. She has since divorced and has grown her belongings to more than the one suitcase she brought for the wedding.

Favorite dishes: The feta-watermelon salad, whole dorado and, with growing up in Greece, “of course I love octopus.”

On standing for hours and still smiling:
“Sometimes customers are not very nice to you. Everyone has their personality. And then someone else comes in and is so nice and compliments you and the restaurant, and that changes your mood again. I appreciate the people who work here. They are like my family. I cannot be mean.”

[Related: Nostos Review]

(50 Best Restaurants 2017November 2017)