Jump to content




Photo

America Eats Tavern (formerly Cafe Atlantico), Penn Quarter - Closing July 4th

Penn Quarter American Pop-Up Think Food Group Closing

  • Please log in to reply
106 replies to this topic

#51 dcs

dcs

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,354 posts

Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:03 PM

Does he really need to sell the naming rights?

I kind of like the sound of "Cafe Atlantico's Chock full o'Nuts MiniBar." :blink:

#52 Apples & Bananas

Apples & Bananas

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts

Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:10 PM

I'm sure if we all pitched in a few dollars we could probably claim it. DonRockwell.com's Minibar.

That has a nice ring to it.
Anthony DeAngelo
http://www.applesbananas.blogspot.com/
anthonypdeangelo@gmail.com

#53 ladi kai lemoni

ladi kai lemoni

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts

Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:28 PM

I kind of like the sound of "Cafe Atlantico's Chock full o'Nuts MiniBar." :blink:

"minibar brought to you by Nuts & Gum: Two Great Tastes Together At Last!"

Alex

"Who ordered the bathtub mint julep?"


#54 cfl19

cfl19

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:24 AM

Anyone been to Cafe Atlantico recently? Am going there tonight for the first time and what to know if there are any can't miss/should miss items.

#55 giant shrimp

giant shrimp

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:36 AM

Anyone been to Cafe Atlantico recently? Am going there tonight for the first time and what to know if there are any can't miss/should miss items.

haven't been there in several months, but a mojito and guacamole is always a good place to start. (if you're feeling somewhat jaded, i'd also look for secondary ingredients that look like they may have spilled over from minibar, such as lime air, ham powder and pop rocks, although the sum of the cooking here is much more down to earth.)

#56 synaesthesia

synaesthesia

    I <3 Bawlmer.

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,527 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:21 PM

Not been in ages, but I really loved the duck confit with passionfruit oil. Welcome and please report back on what you have. =D
Jamie

Brian: Stewie, if you don't like it, go on the internet and complain about it.

#57 brettashley01

brettashley01

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:02 PM

Went recently and really, everything we had was delicious. The huitlacoche mushroom dish was to die for. I don't think we had a bad bite between the 4 of us- and we ranged from feijoada to salmon to bass(?).

On that note, anyone been to the dim sum brunch?

#58 Pete

Pete

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 477 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

On that note, anyone been to the dim sum brunch?

Paula and I really enjoyed the dim sum brunch back in July. The online menu is fairly representative of what we had, and we probably plowed through about half of it. I definitely recommend it for something different.

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#59 kturkey88

kturkey88

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:12 PM

Haven't been in a few months, but I loved the tuna tartare with avacado app.
leave the gun, take the cannolis.

#60 brettashley01

brettashley01

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 31 March 2008 - 08:22 AM

Just a report back on the dim sum brunch. Shared: huitlacoche and mushroom quesadilla (to die for, wow i love that fungus); Tuna ceviche with coconut; Fried egg with Veracruz sauce (a mess but a delicious mess), Seared cigala with vanilla oil (sort of a spiny lobster. would have preferred to have lemon rather than vanilla oil; didn't even taste the vanilla in there); guacamole tableside and the malanga chips. All delicious. Other than an obviously hungover server, the staff was super attentive and esp. concerned with making sure my experience was an allergy-free one. Would def. go back.

#61 heh

heh

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:42 AM

I would add that the chef's dim sum tasting menu ($35 for non-vegetarians and $25 for vegetarians) is a pretty good value and you get to sample all of the highlights from the menu. DIm sum brunch only offered on Sundays now, FYI. Famous duck confit has been replaced with pork belly. Not quite the same, but delish.

#62 diddy

diddy

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 01:45 AM

why did chef katsuya fukushima leave?

#63 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,644 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:29 AM

why did chef katsuya fukushima leave?

He's spending his time shuttling back-and-forth to Los Angeles as part of the opening crew of The Bazaar.

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#64 dag556

dag556

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts

Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:46 PM

I'm headed to Cafe Atlantico tonight for drinks... Can you order food at the bar?

#65 dcandohio

dcandohio

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 428 posts

Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:03 PM

I'm headed to Cafe Atlantico tonight for drinks... Can you order food at the bar?

Yes, I've eaten at the bar. It get crazy busy in there, so be prepared to be jostled while you nosh.

Shut up and pour another glass of wine, please.


#66 bookluvingbabe

bookluvingbabe

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,880 posts

Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:45 PM

Anyone been lately? Going for lunch later in the week. Thanks!

#67 NolaCaine

NolaCaine

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 114 posts

Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:30 PM

I had my second lunch at CA today and it was very yummy. Both my dining companion and I had the Vera Cruz which today was a nicely baked trout covered in a (tasteless) foam. The taste was perfect and it was not overcooked. The trout was accompanied by a nice assortment of olives, baby onions, and baby tomatoes (which were super sweet). Also on the plate; very thin pita slices and a small pile of guacamole. The Guacamole was lime-yer than i've experienced in the past and really liked it.

My companion enjoyed the Mango Soup which is PERFECT and I had the warm white chocolate mouse. It was very yummy but not next level like the mango. Maybe it's just that time of the year when I want light and fresh, not put-me-to-bed rich. That said, I think the portion sizes were perfect.

I want to go back for cocktails, an entire serving of Guac, and that Mango Soup.

#68 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,644 posts

Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:44 PM

I want to go back for cocktails, an entire serving of Guac, and that Mango Soup.

I also suspect this trio may be (or could be) 100% vegan, so vegans take note.

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#69 Anna Blume

Anna Blume

    fruit bat

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,894 posts

Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:03 PM

Two things:

1) My visiting friends went to CA for the first time last Thursday (instead of the Bombay Club which The NYT is apparently recommending for good cheap eats) and truly loved it. I don't recall everything they said they had, but they really liked the guacamole and 'organized' (re? dis?) Caesar salad. A leitmotif during their trip has been wobbly tables. Valiant server tried to remedy their plight and everyone was gracious.

2) This is Terri's restaurant now, but update on news above is that, while hatless, Kats is back more or less for good. He says D.C. is his town.

Then one question:

Anyone tried the Friday night market dinner yet?

I've only seen the CA team roam the street on Thursday afternoons looking for inspiration. Looks like fun.

#70 silentbob

silentbob

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:01 AM

I would add that the chef's dim sum tasting menu ($35 for non-vegetarians and $25 for vegetarians) is a pretty good value and you get to sample all of the highlights from the menu. DIm sum brunch only offered on Sundays now, FYI. Famous duck confit has been replaced with pork belly. Not quite the same, but delish.

An out-of-town friend and I got the tasting menu two weekends ago. Pork belly is definitely the highlight. Conch fritter was tasty too, unfortunately it was more fritter than filling. Everything else was on the good-but-not great level. I really wanted to like the soups and mousses more but one flavor tended to overpower the others, not sure if that's by design.

I agree that it's a pretty good value overall (especially because you can get seconds of any dishes).

#71 kirite

kirite

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 495 posts

Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:58 PM

We recently had the legendary brunch at CA and it was great. Although the venue is a bit the worse for wear after twenty years of traffic , the food and wait staff were outstanding. The little plates were exceptional and very inventive. We each ordered three--four would have been better. This is a labor intensive restaurant with servers delivering and removing at just the right pace. I plan to return and try the vegetarian tasting menu.

#72 catharine

catharine

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:29 AM

We had the Latino Dim Sum brunch here on Sunday as well and thought it was wonderful. The pacing of the dishes was perfect. It was definitely a good value, but we didn't leave stuffed. Our favorite dishes were the pork belly confit with passion fruit oil, the conch fritters with a liquid center and the surprising pan dulce with cinnamon syrup.

#73 ktmoomau

ktmoomau

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,783 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:03 PM

Cafe Atlantico had been on my list of places I wanted to eat dinner every since we went to Minibar two years ago. I had been for their Saturday brunch, which I really like, but never for dinner.

So Hubby and I had a date Friday night to Cafe Atlantico. I started out with their special cherry blossom drink with lavender and cherry. It was very good, and not overly sweet, because of the tang of the cherry, but definitely a little sweet. I ordered the grapefruit and shrimp appetizer and Matt had the conch fritters. I really liked my appetizer it was really light and acidic. The shrimp and grapefruit were mixed with chayote noodles and some greens (arugula I believe) and it all mixed very well. Matt's conch fritters were great though. They were nicely fried, but not tough, and had a great side of jicama guacamole on the side. I really liked these. He had the margarita with the salt foam, and loved it. I thought it was really fresh tasting.

I then got the passionfruit martini, which was so fresh and juicy it could be a very dangerous drink. I really love passionfruit and this was lovely if you like passionfruit. Matt ordered the magic mojito, which I have had better mojitos, but not better mojitos that melted from being cotton candy with a lime hidden in it. It was definitely fun to watch the drink being made, but they taste better at Zengo.

I had the duck confit entree with corn and fava beans. This was fantastic. The duck just fell apart and it went so well with the veggies underneath so it didn't feel over the top rich. Matt had the pork chop which was of notable size, but very good. It was spicy- very spicy- but in a good way.

We split the cuatro leches dessert, which had a nice light cake, and leche ice cream that wasn't too sweet and toasted almonds. The only let down was that the oranges with it weren't very flavorful, just not very ripe.

We wanted the mexican hot chocolate, but they were out.

Overall I was really happy with the meal. It was different, but well prepared. I think thought went into pairing the ingredients for each dish, and most of the ingredients were very fresh and flavorful (the exception being the oranges). So it was a nice place for date night. And the cocktails were really great. I don't think this place gets enough credit for really good cocktails.

But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#74 ulterior epicure

ulterior epicure

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:50 PM

I'll admit that the length of my regular blog posts are way too long. I view my blog as a safe harbor from editorial limits; a sort of verbal vomit vortex. The following excerpt might still be too long for some of you. If you want more, including pictures, you can proceed with fair warning to my blog.

********

I can’t believe that I lived in Washington, D.C. and never once stepped foot in Cafe Atlantico.

Jaleo, yes. But never Cafe Atlantico.

Neither did I visit Jose Andres’s Mediterranean “mezze” restaurant, Zaytinya, which opened shortly before I moved away, or minibar, which always seemed (and still seems) like too much of a hassle.

Cafe Atlantico’s “Latino Dim Sum,” served only on Sundays, sounds like the kind of cultural collision I generally try to avoid. But everyone raves about it.

There’s nothing tremendously earth-shattering about the food here now, though it might have been slightly more so when the restaurant first opened two decades ago (in 1990).

Andres’s Latino “dim sum” is, basically, a smattering of creative tapas served with chopsticks, a fork, a knife, and a spoon. It’s a mish-mash of tropical ingredients and flavors from around the globe. He calls it “Nuevo Latino” cuisine.

The three of us decided to make ordering simple and opted for the 14-course dim sum tasting menu ($35 per person; $25 for the 12-course vegetarian tasting menu).*

The question of value of the tasting menu is worth considering here. A la carte, the dishes ranged in price between $3 to $8, with the average probably being somewhere around $4.75.

Some of the dishes came with two portions (there were two scallops – large ones – on the “Scallops with Cauliflower Puree” dish, two oysters on the “Oyster with Mango-Lime Oil,” and two conch fritters). Most seemed to come with three pieces to a dish – three cigalas halves, three endives, three pieces of tuna. However, it is difficult to know whether these were their normal a la carte portions, or if they were tailored to our three-person tasting menu format. Our situation was even more difficult to assess since Indo couldn’t have crustacea. Our server ended up bringing out 18 different dishes to accommodate Indo’s allergy. She even brought out multiples of the ones we particularly liked, though I have no idea whether this was the normal course of business, or whether it was her attempt to make up for the cocktail she accidentally poured over half our table. I suspect that individual dish portion sizes for a single person tasting menu would be smaller.

Assuming that the quantity of food we got was normal, then it turns out that ordering the tasting menu was slightly less expensive than if we had ordered those same dishes a la carte.

On top of the 18 dishes we were served as a part of the tasting menu, we also added three savory dishes and two desserts from the a la carte menu.

-

Endive with Queso Fresco Espuma
Walnuts and pomegranate ($3)

Malanga Chips
Plantains and curry ($3)

Tuna Ceviche with Coconut ($4)

Oyster with Mango-Lime Oil ($3)

Mango-Anchovy Ravioli ($3)

Fried Egg with Veracruz Sauce
($5)

Pineapple-Unagi
Avocado sauce ($6.50)

Cauliflower-Quinoa Cous Cous ($4)

Mushroom with 63-degree Egg ($5)

Conch Fritters
With a liquid center($5)

Potato & Vanilla Mousse
American Caviar ($4) (x3)

Hot & Cold Foie Gras and Corn Soup ($5) (x3)

Huitlacoche & Wild Mushroom Quesadilla
($7) (x2)

Grilled Skirt Steak “Carne Asada”
($7)

Coconut Rice
Crispy rice and ginger ($4) (x2)

Fried Egg with Black Beans & Pork ($5)

Pork Belly Confit
Passion fruit oil ($7.50) (x2)

Pan Dulce
Cinnamon syrup ($5)

-

Seared Cigala with Vanilla Oil ($8)

Scallops with Cauliflower Puree ($6)

Beef Empanadas
Date marmalade and queso fresco ($4.50)

Cuatro Leches “Morir Soñando” ($9)

Warm Apples & Raisins ($9)

-


As far as brunch goes, Cafe Atlantico’s Latino dim sum adds a splash of color to an otherwise predictable slate of options.

The food is all very good, and I suppose it’s a novel experience. But it didn’t leave me raving.

True to the dim sum experience, there’s a factory feel to it all.

Here, instead of steaming carts with loud-mouthed drivers, you have servers mad-dashing about the crowded, three-level dining room with trays stacked with dishes. Some might find it festive. I call it chaotic.

The restaurant was packed. They seated us 20 minutes after our reservation time. It might have been delayed even longer had I not checked in with the host about 15 minutes into our wait and mentioned that my friend and I were both needing to catch a flight out later that afternoon. While at no point did we feel rushed, other than by our own time constraints, getting people in and out efficiently seemed to be top-of-mind for the staff. There was a steady stream of diners exiting and entering throughout the two hours we were there.

Dishes were churned out with the same slapdash affect as at a dim sum house. The food wasn’t sloppily plated, necessarily, but most if it looked like it rolled off an assembly line; attempted order.

Yet, almost everything was properly cooked.

My favorite dishes were the more traditional, hearty Spanish ones. The “Grilled Skirt Steak ‘Carne Asada,’” for example, was simple, straightforward, and tasty. The strips of meat were tender and juicy. “Pork Belly Confit” was amazing – the layers of melting collagen and tender meat were almost indistinguishable from each other.

The egg dishes – all of them – were great, especially the one with a delicious layer of pork-stewed beans (“Fried Egg with Black Beans & Pork“).

The “Coconut Rice” was also very good, an unexpectedly savory comfort (I had expected something more akin to sweet rice pudding). And the “Huitlacoche & Wild Mushroom Quesadilla” were great – a toasty tortilla sandwich layered with a beefy, layer of silky mushrooms glued together with melted cheese.

Other than the cigalas, which were mushy (Could they have been frozen? Past experience suggests so.), there were few truly disappointing dishes. The “Hot & Cold Foie Gras and Corn Soup” sounded better than it tasted: warm corn soup with a cold foie gras froth, it tasted like a mistake. I like my soups either all hot or all cold. This just left me feeling lukewarm, literally.

The balance of our fare fell somewhere between forgettable and good. The scallops were good (and, at $6 for two, giant U-8s, the best buy of the day), as were the oysters. The packets of anchovy mousse wrapped in thinly shaved sheets of mango were creative – admirable for the subtlety – but not terribly moving (“Mango-Anchovy Ravioli“). Even less interesting was “Endive with Queso Fresco Espuma,” another casualty of the iSi epidemic. Crunchy endive leaves beg for a hefty partner – a cloud-like foam is not it.

Rave? No.

Pleased? Sure.

Like the refreshing and well-made limeade, our “Latino dim sum” brunch at Cafe Atlantico was a bubbly and fun occasion, much more because of the company than the food. Unless someone lands a reservation to minibar and invites me, I won’t be rushing back.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
- Carroll

#75 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,644 posts

Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:59 PM

Limp, limp, limp ...

Aria Pizzeria may be open now.

Limp, limp, limp ...

Elephant and Castle was packed, as usual this time of year, both the patio and the bar. I opted out and moved on.

Limp, limp, limp ...

Ollie's Trolley, no.

Tosca, underdressed.

Limp, limp, limp ...

Zaytinya, underdressed.

Ella's, not interested.

Cedar, too recently.

Zola, nah.

limp, limp, limp ...

Penn Quarter Farmer's Market, acknowledged with a reverential nod.

limp, limp, limp ...

Cafe Atlantico.

Mojito ($11) - Reasonably well-made
Chips (Free) - Average at best
Xinghu Black Beer ($7) - An underrated beer, with finesse, not power
Roasted Beet Salad ($12) with seasonal organic baby beets, oranges, cotija cheese, sherry vinaigrette (not to mention lots of toasted seeds on top) - Dominated by an over-application of pungent vinaigrette, the few honorable beets lost in the mix
Glass of Screwtop Rueda ($7) - An overcropped, insipid table wine left 2/3 unfinished.
And out of respect for the kitchen, despite wanting to escape the clutches of JoséVision on the bar TV, Olive Oil Poached Escolar (a painful $27) with an abundance of stewed cherry tomatoes, black olive powder, corn two ways - three poorly cooked, surprisingly dry, pieces of escolar - one of my favorite inexpensive fish - without any bread to soak up the impressively skinned tomatoes served in a clumsy (but modern) bowl.

This kitchen should be better than this, and has been in the past. Tonight, it was an unimpressive, expensive showing, and a big waste of my money.

A long-overdue downgrade for this tired restaurant.

Cheers,
Rocks

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#76 fuzzy510

fuzzy510

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 365 posts

Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:15 AM

I'm actually glad to see Atlantico get knocked down a few notches not out of any sort of malevolence towards the restaurant, but because I have had a couple of really lackluster meals here, and I was starting to think I was the only one who thought it wasn't that great. I think "tired" really is the best word to describe Cafe Atlantico right now, and if it weren't for Jose Andres' star power or the fact that Minibar is inside, I'm not sure how relevant it'd be.

#77 ulterior epicure

ulterior epicure

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:55 AM

Olive Oil Poached Escolar (a painful $27) with an abundance of stewed cherry tomatoes, black olive powder, corn two ways - three poorly cooked, surprisingly dry, pieces of escolar - one of my favorite inexpensive fish - without any bread to soak up the impressively skinned tomatoes served in a clumsy (but modern) bowl.

Ouch. Dry escolar. That's not an easy achievement.

A long-overdue downgrade for this tired restaurant.

I'm nodding with some familiarity.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
- Carroll

#78 Anna Blume

Anna Blume

    fruit bat

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,894 posts

Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:30 PM

Limp, limp, limp ...

Hurt your foot, Don?

#79 Toogs

Toogs

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 457 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 12:52 PM

Wait, Zaytinya is dressier than Atlantico? Hmm. Maybe because I only seem to go there before or after Wiz or Caps games the crowd is a little different?

#80 Miami Danny

Miami Danny

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 303 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 04:16 PM

despite wanting to escape the clutches of JoséVision on the bar TV

In that case, you may want to pass on 60 Minutes tonite. Yeesh.

#81 giant shrimp

giant shrimp

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:27 AM

Hurt your foot, Don?

what happened to jose andres? maybe it's just my imagination, but wasn't he just here?

many years ago he used to be in the kichen at cafe atlantico cooking, and the food was so good he would promenade in the dining room.

#82 mdt

mdt

    @#$%#^&*!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,016 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:41 AM

what happened to jose andres? maybe it's just my imagination, but wasn't he just here?

many years ago he used to be in the kichen at cafe atlantico cooking, and the food was so good he would promenade in the dining room.

What happened? You mean besides recently opening a place in LA that is getting huge raves, not to mention running the rest of his restaurants. Oh and there is the planning for new ones in Las Vegas and wherever else they mentioned in the 60 Minutes piece last night.

#83 giant shrimp

giant shrimp

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:02 AM

What happened? You mean besides recently opening a place in LA that is getting huge raves, not to mention running the rest of his restaurants. Oh and there is the planning for new ones in Las Vegas and wherever else they mentioned in the 60 Minutes piece last night.

actually, i was referring to local sightings in the vicinity of cafe atlantico.

#84 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 20 June 2010 - 08:48 PM

Latino Dim Sum Tasting Menu (exactly 14 courses)

The first dish is some kind of whipped cheese in endive - nothing special.

The next trio were (1) Tuna ceviche with coconut, (2) Mango-anchovy ravioli, and (3) Oyster with mango-lime oil. Couldn't taste the tuna because it was overpowered by all the other ingredients.

Attached Thumbnails

  • CIMG2589.JPG
  • Oysters, Anchovy Ravioli, Tuna Ceviche.JPG


#85 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 20 June 2010 - 08:52 PM

The second trio were (1) Potato & vanilla mousse with American caviar, (2) Conch fritters with a liquid center, and (3) Hot & cold foie gras and corn soup. The potatos were great with caviar, could've lived without the vanilla. The foie soup was super (mostly because we love foie gras). And the conch fritter had no conchiness to it...could've been ham.

Pineapple-unagi with avocado sauce. Nicely grilled ell but why pair it with a cloyingly sweet pineapple?

Mushrooms with egg 63 - nice dish of various mushrooms, kinda helped fill me up.

Grilled skirt steak “Carne Asada” - grilled from medium rare to medium well, good flavor and a little chewy at times.

Duo of (1) Pork belly confit with passion fruit oil - it was 2/3 fat, not at all appetizing, and (2) Fried egg with mashed black beans & pork - very tasty dish that helped fill my wife up.

Coconut rice, crispy rice & ginger - their version of congee. I don't really care for congee, it's okay if I'm stuck in a hotel in China with a lousy breakfast buffet, but not as part of tasting menu.

Pan dulce with cinnamon syrup - grilled cheese with syrup - this I can do at home.

Overall - not my cup of tea. I would prefer 14 courses of regular dim sum, which would have cost much less. The service was really good so that was not a factor in my less than stellar opinion. FWIW, I also didn't think much of Minibar (more form than substance IMO).

Attached Thumbnails

  • Unagi - eel.JPG
  • Mushrooms with Egg.JPG
  • Skirt Steak.JPG
  • Pork Belly Confit Passion Fruit - Fried Egg Black Beans.JPG
  • Coconut Rice Porridge.JPG
  • Grilled Cheese with Syrup.JPG
  • Conch Fritter, Mashed Potato, Foie Gras soup.JPG


#86 Tujague

Tujague

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 525 posts

Posted 16 May 2011 - 02:10 PM

Cafe Atlantico is disappearing, at least temporarily, for this, then the long-promised Minibar expansion will happen.

"There's no need to get snippy. I'm just doing my job here."--Marge Gunderson, Fargo


#87 Kibbee Nayee

Kibbee Nayee

    Mayor of Springfield Dining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,232 posts

Posted 16 May 2011 - 03:27 PM

I think I'm going to like the concept. An accomplished foreign chef, like Jose Andres (or Jacques Pepin) comes to America and falls in love with our regional ingredients and traditions, and then gives them center stage with a slight uplifting from his culinary heritage. I'm going to like this a lot....

Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
No, I eat my fingers separately.


#88 Waitman

Waitman

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,899 posts

Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:03 PM

The other day I asked a friend of mine why people take an immediate dislike to me. "Well, Chuck," she said, "it saves time."

Fair enough.

Because that's exactly how I feel about America Eats Tavern. And, in this case, taking an immediate dislike saves money, as well.

Take this with a grain of salt because we just did three dishes and some wine, but there is much to dislike.

Take the decor. I like the hanging windows dangling down the locus of the staircase. But slapping reproductions of famous phrases ("we the people") on random surfaces give the place the feel of the souvenir stand you hit just before the tour bus picks you up.

Or the wine list. The concept of an American tavern suggests to me a certain egalitarianism. And yet, the wine list offers far more bottles over $100 than under $40. More over $300 than under $30.

There may have been some serious food research done but it doesn't show up on the tavern menu, which looks like an agglomeration of the neo-traditionalist food trends that have already trickled down to food trucks (lobster rolls), Cosi (Cobb Salad), bullet-proof glass joints in bad neighborhoods (wings) and your kitchen (peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese).

We had the grilled butter oysters, which had all the disadvantages of warm oysters and none of the advantages of grilling, such as smoke, butter or -- just a thought -- garlic. I kind of liked the hush-puppies, but my wife, who is from LA (Lower Alabama) pointed out that they were more fluff than flavor. The wings were an expensive joke. First, if you're going to reference the Anchor Bar but serve some kind of neo-not hot-soy sauce wings, there should be a warning. Second, $14 for four little winglets, boned out and topped with a smallish dollop of blue cheese and diced celery, is ludicrous. And, now that I think of it, $10 for six tasteless corn balls was a little much, as well.

I am willing to be persuaded otherwise, but the whole thing felt less like a tribute to the fine tradition of American cooking, but a tribute to that other fine American tradition: Separating tourists from their money.

"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

-- Jesse Jackson


#89 Barbara

Barbara

    Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,259 posts

Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:07 PM

The other day I asked a friend of mine why people take an immediate dislike to me. "Well, Chuck," she said, "it saves time."

You have a "friend" who calls you Chuck?

#90 lperry

lperry

    leviathan

  • Calendar Girl
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:17 PM

You have a "friend" who calls you Chuck?

Is it Peppermint Patty? She'd probably be annoyed by the fare as well.

#91 Adam23

Adam23

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 250 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:54 AM

I had a satisfying meal at America Eats on Friday with the wife. I thought the food was rather good, but the prices seemed high for the small portions. For appetizers I had the peanut soup and the wife had the butter oysters mentioned above. Our oysters were rather delicious - smoky, buttery, warm. It worked well. The peanut soup was very good as well - if you like peanut butter.

For mains I had the short ribs with cole slaw and my wife ordered the baby corn and the "fried chicken" appetizers. The short rib was good - it was tender, had a nice smokiness and came with a nice spicy sauce. The cole slaw served served with it was excellent - vinegary, crisp cabbage - it was very good. My wife enjoyed her corn, but the portion was tiny for $12- 5 little baby corns, grilled. (But they were "from the best farming co-op near the nation’s capital" according to the menu, so I guess that explains the miniscule portion of the highly prized veges). The fried chicken was good, but unexpected. It was thigh meat (we think) compressed into nuggets and fried. The chicken was very juicy and the breading was very good and crisp - so it was enjoyable, but certainly not traditional. We also had some of their early American cocktails which were tasty. For dessert my wife had the pineapple upside down cake which was good and I had the strawberry shortcake which was fine but unremarkable. I had wanted to get the cheese plate, but at $21 for a couple reasonably garden variety cheeses, I couldn't get myself to order it.

Service was friendly and efficient. The restaurant was packed. Overall, I won't be running back but it was good and something different than the norm.

#92 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,644 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

Congratulations to Matthew Petersen of CityZen and Sou'Wester who will be a contestant during the upcoming season of Just Desserts.


Thank you Don! Hey next time you're in Sou'Wester ask for me!
I am looking forward to the upcoming season and all of the fun that will come with it!
Season two will air on Bravo at 10pmEST on August 24.

And as long as I'm at it, congratulations to Joe Raffa, who has been promoted to Culinary Operations Director of ThinkFoodGroup.

You've come a long way, robojoe. :mellow:

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#93 Tujague

Tujague

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 525 posts

Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:17 AM

After reading mixed reviews of this place, and the departure of the chef, I was a bit uneasy about taking Bob to America Eats for his birthday last night. But the menu and its historical descriptions appealed to him, and we were fortunately rewarded, belying most of my misgivings. The space is at best evolutionary from Cafe Atlantico days, mostly matters of paint and decorations (those hanging windows mentioned earlier). It's not unpleasant, but still has the feel of a design rush job.

That perhaps describes much of the food, too, though we enjoyed everything we ate. Bob opened with a Waldorf salad, which surprised him by being more like an ordinary dressed salad strewn with walnuts and green apple balls. It was tasty, but not what he expected. My vermicelli pudding was perhaps the star of the evening--a thick oval of intense cheesiness (parmesan and chevre), moist yet firm, surrounded by tiny sauteed mushrooms. This is a must-order dish, and lighter than you might expect. We also shared a plate of shrimp remoulade with fried green tomatoes; this also differed from the usual preparation in that the tomatoes were in chunks than in slices, and the remoulade was not slathered on everything (though it had a nice spiciness to it.)

For entrees, Bob opted for the mutton with oysters and potatoes, which is offered only on weekends. This must be one of their signature dishes; I can't recall seeing mutton on any menu in town. A deliciously tender cylinder of meat was surrounded by cornmeal-fried oysters and cubes of fried potatoes, and accompanied with (I think) an oyster catsup. If you go on Saturday and Sunday, do order this. My Eisenhower stew was pleasant--a composed plate of stewed culotte steak and baby vegetables. Again, very tender meat that was reminiscent of childhood meals, but rethought. It's only problem was a sauce/gravy that was a bit too salty.

For dessert, Bob went for pineapple upside down cake, which again took me back to my mom's kitchen, even in its more deconstructed form. And I went for the New York cheesecake, which is really more like a cheesecake-flavored mousse--very light, very tasty, with a nice raspberry couli. We shared a bottle of Coeur de Terre pinot noir, preceded by a few classic cocktalis (a Last Call and a Bourbon Rickey). Our server was pleasant, but answered every remark with "Thank you!" But she at least was not as verbose as some of the other servers I witnessed.

So, if the food was satisfying, what's not like to like? Well, for one, the pricing. There was hardly a dish that shouldn't have been priced 10 to 20% below what it was--not so much because of portion size, which was mostly reasonable, but because of refinement. These were near-luxury food prices for what was mostly upscale tavern food. Everything was done with technical finesse, but not much refinement. (That seems to describe much of what Andres does, in my mind.) The flavor is there, the technique is fine, yet you're always aware that most of this is gussied-up comfort food, which makes the prices hard to take. For instance, that remoulade appetizer--four medium-sized shrimp and five small tomato chunks was $14! Most of the cocktails run $12-14, and some are not particularly large. Desserts, at $10, are also above what comparable restaurants charge. It's also annoying that some of the more intriguing-sounding dishes are only available on one or two nights per week.

America Eats is an honorable experiment that deserves to be tried out, even at the high prices. I hope that after it ends its run, Andres finds a way to refine the concept and reopen it elsewhere, at a more reasonable price point. Right now, it feels like it's still a work in progress; it's temporary purpose is still a bit too much in evidence. But there is much I'd like to come back for nevertheless. It was a good birthday choice for Bob, but on return visits I'd probably only do some light grazing to keep the price down.

"There's no need to get snippy. I'm just doing my job here."--Marge Gunderson, Fargo


#94 ktmoomau

ktmoomau

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,783 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

Was here last week, and while the cocktails were absolutely fantastic. And the food was ok, it was not special, and it certainly was priced at special. I started with a few oysters which were really wonderful. I then had the grapefruit and shrimp salad, which had nice flavors, but just wasn't special. And expensive for what it was. I then had the lobster newburg which was a really small portion, although it was very good. The pineapple upside down cake was not as good as a normal one.

They said the portions were made so that you could have multiple courses, and I had three with a couple oysters, and I thought it was way overpriced. But I did love the cocktails.

But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#95 durwoodx

durwoodx

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 236 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:44 PM

It's hard to overstate how underwhelmed I was with this place. Severely overpriced for what you get (as previously stated by many others.) Food offerings simply not very exciting or (frankly) good. The biggest beef I have with the place is innovation in the place of quality. This place is supposed to be a sort of "museum of American food"? Then why are you serving Buffalo Wings without the traditional sauce? Why does the She Crab Soup in no way resemble ANY version I have ever had during numerous visits to Charleston?

This place should have been focused on making the best version of <fill-in-the-blank> but instead just serves as another excuse for Jose Andres to get his pretentious self all over everything. Epic fail.

Darrell Partin - beer snob to the stars!


#96 ktmoomau

ktmoomau

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,783 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

It's hard to overstate how underwhelmed I was with this place. Severely overpriced for what you get (as previously stated by many others.) Food offerings simply not very exciting or (frankly) good. The biggest beef I have with the place is innovation in the place of quality. This place is supposed to be a sort of "museum of American food"? Then why are you serving Buffalo Wings without the traditional sauce? Why does the She Crab Soup in no way resemble ANY version I have ever had during numerous visits to Charleston?

This place should have been focused on making the best version of <fill-in-the-blank> but instead just serves as another excuse for Jose Andres to get his pretentious self all over everything. Epic fail.

I too was disappointed in what it was v. what it could have been. For the vast amounts of research he did for his talk, I feel the food just didn't do it for me. If you are going to reinvent something it should taste better than the original version.

But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#97 Tujague

Tujague

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 525 posts

Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:07 PM

I too was disappointed in what it was v. what it could have been. For the vast amounts of research he did for his talk, I feel the food just didn't do it for me. If you are going to reinvent something it should taste better than the original version.

It seems like the concept does the food a disservice and vice versa by setting up expectations and comparisons leading to inevitable disappointments. Bob's "Waldorf salad" was respectable enough, but billing it as a "classic" dish left him wanting the original. Would he have liked it better if it had been called something like "apple-walnut salad"? In that case, he might have better enjoyed it on its terms and said it was "reminiscent" of Waldorf salad, without thinking it should actually be that. The best dishes here seem to be the ones that don't beg those sorts of comparisons, such as the vermicelli pudding or the mutton.

"There's no need to get snippy. I'm just doing my job here."--Marge Gunderson, Fargo


#98 pltrgyst

pltrgyst

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 11 posts

Posted 19 September 2011 - 03:56 PM

As much as we might not want to recognize the problem, Jose Andres has become a "Brand Name." It began when Jaleo multiplied -- neither the Crystal City nor Bethesda locations were ever ujp to the original. Even very simple dishes such as the apple and anchego salad were prepared more coarsely at the satellites. Atlantico started going downhill when Minibar was a year into its run.

Jaleo in Vegas is considerably more upscale, but I found the food imitative of the original Jaleo menu. OTOH, his China Poblano in Aria is delicious and fascinating, particularly if you sit at the counter and watch the ethnic artisans at work assembling your meal's component dishes. I've eaten there three times this year, and all three have been great. But given his track record, I'd recommend getting there in the next year, before things start suffering from a lack of expert attention.

LA I don't get to, so haven't tried it. From reviews, I have no interest whatsoever in America Eats, just as I've never cared for Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria.

#99 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,644 posts

Posted 19 September 2011 - 04:19 PM

From reviews, I have no interest whatsoever in America Eats, just as I've never cared for Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria.

But it got two and a half stars, same as Graffiato and Fiola. I mean, they're all at about the same level, right?

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#100 monavano

monavano

    leviathan

  • The Blog Keeper
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,245 posts

Posted 19 September 2011 - 04:30 PM

LA I don't get to, so haven't tried it. From reviews, I have no interest whatsoever in America Eats, just as I've never cared for Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria.

Very different price points. I'd hate to be let down paying $$. Gadsby's is good for soup and a sandwich and it's uniquely Virginian. Good review in the Post, but I trust the reviews here a bit more, so I think I'll pass.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Penn Quarter, American, Pop-Up, Think Food Group, Closing

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users