Tom Sietsema files a review of Nazca Mochica in Dupont Circle for the Washington Post. He awards the new Peruvian restaurant two stars. Chef Roberto Castre’s food proves there’s more to the cuisine than just ceviche, as the headline reads. Sietsema writes:
"Focus on the food. The task is easy when the order is causitas, translated here as totems of potatoes mashed with lime juice, each little cake set off with one of four vivid toppings: chicken salad, scarlet peppers, tuna seviche and pork belly... Lighter, but just as lovely, are wavy slices of raw white fish slicked with lime and fish juices — tiraditos, a cross between sashimi and crudo — and dappled with hot red chilies. The colorful garnishes, aji limo peppers, wash over the tongue like lit matches."
At the more casual downstairs bar, Sietsema finds the margaritas with smoked brandy just as good as their signature pisco sours. In fact, the critic's only complaint about the food is that there are only two dessert choices. But the service is inconsistent— it's good on some nights but but slow and amateurish at other times. [WaPo]
For his First Bite column in the Washington Post, Sietsema dines at Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan. The new restaurant comes from Komi alums Chef Jon Sybert, his wife, Jill Tyler, and their friend Bill Jensen. It has a more relaxed atmosphere, and the Meditrranean influenced menu emphasizes breads and pastas. The critic writes:
"A dive into the chef’s handful of pastas (some gluten-free) reaps octopus ragu on house-made cavatelli, a robust combination jacked up with lemon olive oil and lemon zest in the bread crumbs. Salt cod fritters are almost as unavoidable as post-Snowzilla potholes these days; the crisp golden orbs at Tail Up Goat set themselves apart with a soft base of smoked cauliflower puree..."
The critic’s only suggestion is they actually add a goat dish to the menu, but for now he seems quite content with the lamb ribs. [WaPo]
Tim Carman assembles a list of region's best destination for cheap eats for his $20 Diner column in the Washington Post. He writes:
"The antidote to cynicism is tucked away in strip malls, hiding along industrial highways, sprinkled throughout suburban neighborhoods — anywhere immigrants cook food from their home countries, untainted by the calculations and manipulations of many big-city restaurants. To relax into a place largely populated by, say, Ethiopians, is to watch an expat community gather together for a taste of home. It’s comfort in a foreign land, where the political climate seems to grow colder by the day."
He encourages diners to head to Eden Center in Falls Church for Vietnamese and Korean, H Street NE for po-boys and Mexican, Laurel for Indian, Ritchie Center in Rockville for Peruvian, Wheaton for Thai, and Silver Spring for Ethiopian. Lotte Plaza in Chantilly showcases a huge range of cuisines. [WaPo]
David Hagedorn reviews Kinship for DC Modern Luxury. It's the highly-anticipated new restaurant from former CityZen chef Eric Ziebold. But does the food live up to the buzz? Hagedorn writes:
"The food is sublime. Among the starters, a torchon medallion in which white mushroom puree whirred with butter subs for foie gras, is a bit of genius borrowed from CityZen...Thin slices of Aoyagi (surf) clam mingle with bok choy and tempura-fried shiitake mushrooms on a pile of garlic-fried rice to create a heady amalgam of texture, the clam's sweetness brightened bu the acid touch of yuzu. Crispy sweetbreads...get the stroganoff treatment with chanterelle mushrooms and cream." [DCML]
THE BLOGS: DC Wrapped Dates has a good meal at Thally...Hungry Travelist experiences food from the Balkans at Ambar...In A DC Minute returns to Penn Quarter for Bar Deco.