Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cafe Atlantico

On Friday, Mr. BW and I treated ourselves to dinner at Cafe Atlantico. And by treated ourselves, I mean we decided we needed to take one last run at the Restaurant Week specials. Luckily, Cafe Atlantico had openings and we've been wanting to go for some time.

We started with some obligatory cocktails: a caipirinha for each of us. Good, but not entirely sure it's worth the $11 price tag. Then again, I'm cheap when it comes to alcohol -- I would much rather pour my own drinks with ample alcohol and little to no filler and not have to deal with driving home at the end of the tunnel.
We each ordered the salad to start. Mr. BW was skeptical when I reported that numerous online commentators had mentioned that the spring salad was surprisingly tasty and highly recommended. Nonetheless, we both agreed ~ toasted rice on salad is scrumdiddlyicious.

For our main course, I ordered a daiquiri. Again, I should've gone with a glass of red wine, which was Mr. BW's wise course of action. I, however, wanted to see what the online buzz was and try these so called amazing daiquiris. Unfortunately for me, there was just a wee bit too much sugar in this daiquiri (again, I like mine to be heavy on the alcohol, skimpy on the filler) and for $10, I should've gone with a glass of red instead.For my main course, I ordered the feijao tropeiro. Grilled pork chop with black beans with pork, rice, farofa, oranges, and sauteed collard greens with garlic. I'm not sure I cared for the farofa* (the mealy yellow stuff which was largely tasteless), but everything else was heavenly. And this from a girl who doesn't really like collard greens. The meal also came with some heavenly and wickedly hot hot sauce *not pictured, which was delicious. I need me a tub of that, post haste.
Mr. BW ordered the striped bass veracruz. Presentation was wonderful and it was good, but my meal was better.
Mr. BW's dessert outshone mine by a mile: warm chocolate cake with banana espuma and fresh banana lime salad. So friggin good. I managed to stealthily sneak about 1/2 of it.
I ordered the sorbet of the day - passion fruit. Mr. BW said it was darned tasty, but just a bit too sweet for me. Should've gone with the chocolate cake.
BTW: service was outstanding. I've had a few disappointing experiences dining downtown with shoddy (ie slow and ambivalent) service, especially at the more trendy places, but Cafe Atlantico was amazing. Service was fast and friendly. Loved it.

*To be fair, I had no idea what the strange mealy yellowness was and didn't bother to ask our server what it was and how to eat it. After poking at it suspiciously and trying bits of it on the tip of my fork, I decided that it just wasn't for me and moved on. As we were leaving, I heard our server explain it to the table next to us. Evidently, it is not supposed to be eaten plain, but rather, should be mixed with the other goodies on the plate to add texture. Go figure.


YaYa Bowmann said...

Hi: I'm a Hoya living in Santa Cruz, CA. I'm coming to D.C. in the latter part of September to attend the wedding of the daughter of a close college friend. But my real purpose is to come to D.C. and eat my way across the city in seven days.

Would you be willing to let me know where this restaurant is in the city? Feel free to make any other recommendations.

Mandoo - n. [mahn-doo] said...

Absolutely, this restaurant is located on 8th street, between D and E. In other words, it's right downtown, near the Chinatown Metro stop.

My current favorite restaurant in Rasika, which I've posted about before. Dino restaurant also gets uniformly good recommendations, but I have not eaten a full meal there. I highly recommend checking out various restaurant websites because many restaurants across the city offer prie fix theater menus, which make dining out very affordable. For example, Rasika's theater menu is not only reasonably priced, but includes all my favorite dishes that I sampled from the 6 course tasting menu. Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. I'll do my best to help.