As I’ve mentioned, Restaurant Week is one of my favorite holidays. We went into town and turned it into an outing! As a rule, people in Northern Virginia don’t take advantage of the city nearly enough, because getting there is a pain due to traffic/Metro sucking. However, it was WORTH IT.
Stop #1 was Teaism. I just realized, I definitely ordered EXACTLY WHAT RACHAEL RAY DID when she ate there for $40 a Day. What a tool I am. But it was good!
So that would be the chai and the ginger scones (the other cup is my mom’s Darjeeling, which was also lovely). To be fair to Rachael, both were delicious- the chai was lovely and nicely spicy, to balance out the sugar and milk. The ginger scones had awesome chunks of crystallized ginger.
However, I actually regretted getting the scones (my Ma and I each got one) almost immediately, not cause they weren’t good but because I was on my way to an expansive dinner! So I had a few bites of mine and then saved the rest for, in two parts, evening snack last night and breakfast supplement this morning. After our snack, we walked around the Portrait Gallery.
But onto dinner!
Um, more like O-YUM-el! (*pause for laughter*)
So Jose Andres, chef extraordinaire, is basically going to take over the world. That is FINE WITH ME. Overlord Andres would feed his populace deliciously. The first of his restaurants, Jaleo (which I love) was tapas, and he’s opened a coupla those. There’s also Zaytinya, which serves mezze, and this place, Oyamel, which serves antojitos, which are basically adorable little plates of Mexican street food.
For the $35.00 restaurant price fixe menu, you got FIVE COURSES- 4 nibbles and a dessert. Rather than all three of us (my ma, my aunt and I) getting one each and passing out at the end of the meal, we got one round of the restaurant week menu and supplemented with a few more. So let’s review!
On the left:
Ceviche Verde “El Bajio”- Yellowtail Kingfish ceviche with avocado, tomatillo, green olives, and jalapeño chiles.
This was SO GOOD! I’ve had a lot of ceviche that is too acidic and/or the fish has gotten mushy from the marinade. This must’ve been made almost immediately before serving, because the flavors and textures were perfectly balanced.
On the right:
“Gaspacho” estilo Morelia- From the historic city of Morelia, a salad of jicama root, mango, cucumbers, jalapeños, queso fresco and Mexican sour orange
I cannot get enough jicama. Or fruit. Or queso fresco. Ergo I loved this.
Tamal Verde- Tamale with green sauce of tomatillo, shredded chicken breast, chile, garlic and cilantro
This was actually the only clunker of the dishes. I actually ordered it by accident- I thought it was just stuffed with cheese, but it was chicken, and it was DRY chicken. The onions on top were delicious- they had been pickled, I think. Everything else, meh.
Mejillones al tequila con chipotle - Steamed mussels with tequila, sautéed garlic and chipotle sauce
I’m bummed I took a sucky picture of these because they were un. Friggin. Real. I love mussels in general, but these were some of the best I’ve ever had. The smoky chipotle really brought out the MEATINESS of the mussels. And again, sucky picture- this bowl was HUGE.
On the left:
mushroom taco (It must’ve been a restaurant week special, because I can’t find it on the online menu). I can tell you that it contained a variety of wild mushrooms as well as a delicious avocado mash. We looked like idiots, splitting a taco in 3rds (I swear, the restaurant week menu said tacoS), but it was tasty enough we didn’t care.
On the right:
Cayo de hacha con pipián de chile pasilla- Seared scallops with a pasilla chile and pumpkin seed sauce, orange segments, pumpkin seed oil and toasted pumpkin seeds
Probably my favorite dish of the evening. This was one of those great things you can ONLY GET in a restaurant. I hate the feeling of going out to eat and paying for something and thinking “I could’ve made this at home.” This was something that really made you appreciate a chef’s talent and ingredients- the scallops were perfectly seared, the sauce was complex and tangy and spicy and smoky and sweet and oh so flavorful. It was lusciouuuuuus.
Machuco relleno de fríjol con salsa negra - Plantain fritters stuffed with black beans and served with a black sauce of chipotle chile and piloncillo sugar
Oh, yeah, maybe this was my favorite. Plantains. Are the best. Food. In the world.
And the sauce definitely had cocoa in it. So there’s that.
Dessert- also a special, so this is a serious challenge to describe.
Okay- base layer- fruit soup of tropical fruits. Definitely some pineapple, definitely some citrus, something green that was unreal. Also- little gelatinized squares of yummy. On top- frozen and creamy yogurt-lime thing.
The waiter came to take it away when there were like 4 tiny little pieces of fruit left, and I was like “well, hey, hold on there” and was scraping the plate.
I would’ve licked it had we not been in public.
Mmm. Merry restaurant week to all and to all a good night.