sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 13, 2007

restaurant week retrospective
posted by soe 11:54 pm

Twice a year, many D.C. restaurants open their doors for a week to more frugal gourmands and invite the public to partake of a portion (or the whole) of their menu for a prix-fixe three-course meal. The lunch usually corresponds to the year ($20.07 this year) and dinner is a tenner more.

Over the years, I’ve gotten the chance to dine at a number of fine area restaurants: Zola, Café Atlantico, the Tabard Inn, D.C. Coast, and Rasika. Generally, I’d say that I’ve had very good luck with my restaurants. Reviews abound of surly service, a lack of choice, and unexciting meals. But for the most part, I’d say that I have found the wait staff to be fine, the choices sufficient, and the meals well executed.

Last week marked the biannual celebration and I found myself at not one meal, but three: lunch at Ceiba and dinner at Agua Ardiente and at Kaz Sushi Bistro.

Ceiba is a Latin American fusion restaurant, with very modern surroundings and a business clientele. My coworkers and I were a somewhat large party so we had to wait a few minutes, but that just gave us a chance to work up an appetite for our food. Flatbread and a pumpkin seed dip were whisked to our table, and everyone quickly chose from the options available. Several of us opted for salads, others for soup, and one for shrimp cocktail. Everyone agreed the appetizers were tasty, although the shrimp cocktail might have been better served if the shrimp had not come in the sauce but next to it. My mixed greens salad came with jicama and orange slices in it and I found it was light and refreshing — a perfect antidote to the day’s oppressive heat and humidity.

The main courses that followed were equally delightful. Whether people had ordered chicken, steak, or crab cakes, they were pleased with the outcome. My vegetarian entree was a tamale made of plantains, mushrooms, and fava beans with a side of deep-fried, cheese-filled squash blossoms that were to die for. I scraped my corn husk clean and would have pounced on a bowl of squash blossoms if they’d appeared in front of me.

The final course was dessert and most of the table ordered the flan. I don’t know about you, but flan and custards are sort of the desserts I consider to be a last resort. The other option was chocolate, so clearly I knew what I was picking. My dessert arrived last — a moist, rich brownie cake topped with chocolate ice cream and ancho chili-infused cherries. Oh. My. God. The cherries were fantastic — utterly sweet, but with a mild kick at the end. It was heavenly. We left sated but not stuffed — a lucky turn of events since we still had to toddle back to the office in triple digit temperatures. Restaurant Week was starting off quite well.

(To be continued…)

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

Wow, that entire meal sounds delicious! Especially dessert! (and I’m w/ you – why flan when you can have chocolate??)

Comment by Jenn 08.14.07 @ 5:32 am