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Tico Gets Two Stars from Tom Sietsema

Tico isn't trying to be an authentic Mexican restaurant, and critic Tom Sietsema is more than ok with that. He enjoys the Boston import, and expects diners to get particularly excited about its cabbage salad.

The straightforward-sounding shredded cabbage salad is to Tico what the fried spinach starter is to Rasika in Penn Quarter, an appetizer poised to generate a following. In Tico's case, marcona almonds and a zesty salsa verde vinaigrette nudge the cool green cabbage, shredded zucchini and scallions into talker territory. Sweet corn blasted with jalapeño and fragrant with Thai basil is also smoky with bacon, an ingredient the kitchen can leave out for herbivores. [WaPo]

Washingtonian's Ann Limpert also reviews Tico, giving it 2.5 stars.

s Tico the most coherently realized restaurant? No. Do the folks creating 45-minute waits on a Tuesday seem to care? Not really. While the menu, with its frenetic styles, can be hard to navigate, much of the cooking is good, some of it excellent. In other words, the parts are better than the whole. [Washingtonian]

Sietsema also visits the reopened Al Crostino in Shaw. He's happy to have the place back.

A flat-screen TV on the ground floor flashes pictures of the owners and menu highlights, mostly pastas (all of which go for $12 on Tuesday nights). One of the welcome carry-overs from the old location is feathery fettuccine blanketed with a rich beef ragu. A small school of iced seafood brings together mussels, clams, shrimp and a catch of the day, an upstairs display that diners are encouraged to inspect. The kitchen knows that sea bream doesn't require much more than heat, olive oil and lemon juice to make its recipient happy.

Don Rockwell reviews the new Boss Shepherd's downtown, and likes the fried chicken. "Boss Shepherd's is more Woodward Table than it is Drafting Table. The dining room looks wonderful, and you could be at home here in a suit, or a decent pair of jeans." [DR]

THE BLOGS: Capital Cooking goes to Slate Wine Bar.

Tico DC

1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website

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