Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Restaurant Review: Cafe Atlantico

Just realized I never posted some reviews from Restaurant Week (RW). 

I made reservations for Cafe Atlantico for the Friday of RW. Ended up meeting one of my friends there at 8:00 for our reservation and both of us were starving.

When I arrived there was a huge crowd of people inside and out on the side walk.  The hostess informed us  that there would be a wait and that we were welcomed to wait by the bar.  Since it was so crowded, that was not really a viable option so I found a little nook near where the valet guys were and we stood there.  Soon others followed our lead and that area got a little crowded too. I was glad when we finally got a seat.

Around 8:45 we were seated and since we were way beyond famished, we quickly surveyed the limited RW menu and ordered.  My first dish was the "beetsteak" tomato salad.  It was an interesting mix of flavors but nothing special.  The second dish was the pork cheeks served with rice and pureed black beans.  It wasn't seasoned how I liked it but once I mixed in the incredibly spicy pepper sauce that was on the plate (see photo #2 the red spots on the right side of the plate) it made it more flavorful. 

The first two courses weren't all that impressive, so I hoped the dessert would make up for it.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I ordered the chocolate cake with some lime flavored whipped topping and vanilla ice cream.  Didn't really like the pairing of the cake and lime topping so I stuck with the ice cream.  The cake wasn't as moist as I liked so I ended up eating the cold stuff instead.

I would definitely have to say I was severely disappointed.  One of my friends swears Cafe Atlantico is one of her favorite restaurants, wish I could've said the same.  It was surprising as well since I love the other restaurants that belong to the Think Food restaurant group (Zaytinya, Jaleo, Oyamel). 

Maybe I'll give them another try one day, when it's not Restaurant Week.  Not a fan of restaurant that severely limit their menus and "create" dishes that they wouldn't normally serve.  On a more positive note, seems like it would be cool for happy hour, when it's not so crowded since they do have tasty mojitos.

Food C
Ambiance B
Service B-

Cafe Atlantico
405 8th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-0812

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