Wow. Was it the amazing company we had? The beautiful weather? The creamy vanilla syrup-laden iced coffee? All I know is that when I look at the pictures from Cafe Atlantico and think about our meal, I actually start salivating all over again.
Cafe Atlantico is part of Jose Andres' plan to make all of the delicious restaurants in the D.C. area have his name on them, muahahahaha. Jaleo, Zaytinya (I love those places), Oyamel, and Minibar are all his. You may remember him from the PBS special Made in Spain or No Reservations: D.C. Or maybe you've never heard of him, in which case--you're welcome, reader.
Why don't we do this old style, huh? A hit list. As F says, "SMALL PLATES! SMALL PLATES! SMALL PLATES!"
Tableside guacamole: Delicious. M doesn't like avocado (K, he's your 'cado-hating soulmate) so the rest of us pitched in extra oomph and finished it without his help. Cilantro, some hotness (we got "medium" and it was perfect for me--the weak one), tomatoes, onion, and lime. Perfect.
Sopa del dia: The tomato bisque with chipotle peppers was good, but not amazing. If I were J I would've downed most of the shot glass in one...shot? But he didn't. And then it got kind of cold, which was sad.
Coconut rice, crispy rice, and ginger: I liked this dish, but not everyone did. It was almost like a funky rice pudding with a floraly-vanilla scent. This dish is on the bigger side of the ones we had, so keep that in mind if you order it.
Fried egg w/mashed black beans and pork: Awesome. We also took the liberty of adding the leftover beans from this dish to bites from other plates--delightful.
Mushrooms w/egg 63 degrees (celsius, folks): Pretty good.
Conch fritters: These were really interesting. The inside was liquid-y and hot, the flavor earthy and somewhat indescribable beyond that. Not seafood-y tasting. Intriguing. I'd like to go back and get them again.
Fried egg with Veracruz sauce: Not our favorite. Not special.
Carne asada: Good, but plain. And too safe. F says too much sauce!
Jicama-avacado ravioli: Almost like a summer roll outside, very thin (not crispy): We liked this fresh and crispy dish, but J wished it was more like a traditional ravioli. Fellas and their pastas...
Scallops: Scallopy. Nothing incredible here.
Pan dulce w/cinnamon syrup: (Run-on sentence about to commence): Hiii, it's like the silkiest most decadent while still being small totally soaked French toast you've ever had. Mmmmm wanting more. Now.
Seared crabcake: What's not to like?
Huitlacoche & wild mushroom quesadilla: Huitlacoche was described by F to the rest of us as "diseased corn." Sounds delicious, right? This was SO YUMMY. I LOVE DISEASED CORN TUMORS.
Pineapple unagi w/avocado sauce: Eel! So good!
Porkbelly confit: A+ from the crowd
I'd love to go back to Cafe Atlantico, especially for brunch. It was awesome. Sure, you can get the tasting menu, but we sort of did our own version, choosing the particular items that we wanted. Customized. Perfected. Picky, some would say. And DELICIOUS. Our company was unbeatable. Even our drinks were yummy. I had an iced coffee that I thought would send me straight to heaven.
405 8th St NW
Metro: Green/Yellow to Archives, or G/Y/Red to Gallery Place/Chinatown. Or Fed Tri. Or Metro Center. You know, it's just sort of near everything.