Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DC's ZENGO still has lots of zip (3-5-13)

Last week we returned to ZENGO (a local Richard Sandoval spot) in DC's

Penn Quarter after the theater (

index.php) and it was a brilliant scheme.

We had been to Zengo before and it was a zoo, despite the excellent

food. On this pre-snowstorm night (which never came anyway), at 845pm

the place was on the verge of being empty.

We had great service from our server Rudy with many wonderful


Drinks started the 3 of us off with a Margarita Tradicional for me

with El Jimador Tequila, Agave Syrup & Lime.

Will's Midnight Karma was tasty and not sweet with Tanqueray,

Blueberry Puree, Lime & Sour

The Mojito do Oro was a spiffy mojito with Pyrat Rum, Brown Sugar and

Mint Soda.

DUCK CONFIT -DAIKON TACOS are a big winner here where there is no

"taco" shell, but a thin slice of daikon radish used to wrap up the

superb meat with Yellow Curry Duck Apple, Orange & Coriander Sauce.

OXTAIL HUMITAS are Argentine tamales with a super sauce made from

Peanuts, Tamarind & a hint of Coconut Milk but not sweet at all.

If you like empanadas you will adore the THAI CHICKEN version here

just for the Chile Poblano Sauce made with Oaxaca Cheese, Mango &

Curry for a punch.

We moved on to an earthy chalky bottle of superb JUBILEO ZAPATA

ZINFANDEL 2009 from Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California Norte. I am

so happy they have Mexican wines on the menu as some, like this one,

are indeed superb.

Our main courses were all superb:

Chinese Braised Beef SHORT RIBS with Queso Manchego Potato Puree, Wok

Sauteed Mushrooms and Dragon Sauce with Huitlacoche was only a bit dry

in the center.

The Chipotle Miso Glazed BLACK COD was moist and flaky with Daikon,

Asparagus, Steamed Jasmine Rice and a Kabayaki-Lemon Togorashi

Aioli...this was a huge hit.

The Tagalog Style Churrasco Steak was tender and tasty with Calamansi

Citrus-Soy Marinade, Grilled Onions, Lemongrass Mojo and a divine

Green Herb Chimichurri with Sweet Potatoes and Tostones on the side.

We all wanted dessert and agreed to split one ASIAN PEAR EMPANADA; it

was a wise choice as the WARM dish arrived in the form of a cajeta

(empanada) with Dulce de Leche Ice Cram and sesame...very refreshing,

but two bites for each of us was indeed enough. Rudy came over with

some complimentary glasses of Churchill 13year old port and we went

home in perfect weather from a quiet and filling evening.