Since I'm headed out of town this weekend, we decided to do our one night this week at DEL CAMPO (777 I St, NW) and at the last minute Will had to cancel, so a friend joined Sam & I.
It was a most pleasant and relaxing evening and when we arrived at 630pm the place was rather quiet; by 8pm it was pretty full, but still not noisy--a sign of fine dining for sure in my mind.
I ordered a superb Pisco Sour (fotos as always on FB) which had me reminiscing about Ecuador and Samuel had his requisite Coke. He also decided that the $30 three-course Restaurant Week menu with its 3 choices in each section was not for him. He started with the Wagyu Sirloin Empanadas and Salsa Criolla which were a sure hit as I have enjoyed them here so many times before. We started with the Corvina Ceviche with Rocoto, Leche de Tigre, Sweet Potato & Cancha Corn which had to be one of the best ceviches I have ever had. Corvina was used a lot for our ceviche and main courses in Ecuador and was superb; here it was taken to new heights with kicky slices of fresno chilies, that amazing leche de tigre and a sweet potato puree, but the excitement came in the small crunchy (think somewhere between rice krispies and corn nuts) of the cancha corn.
A magnificent bottle of Santa Carolina VSC 2009 from Colchaga Valley in Chile was recommended by our strikingly handsome server Reyez, who our friend Rick immediately recognized from another restaurant he used to work in!
The red blend of 60% Petit Verdot/15% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Carmenere/13%Malbec/2% Mourvedre made for an amazing full bodied and intense wine that was a big win with us!
Puffy steaming hot pockets of bread called Chappas (from Argentina) arrived with EVOO(from Chile) and sea salt(from England) that we wolfed down and begged for more :-))......
Of course the wine went superbly with my main course of Grilled Creekstone Farm Short Ribs with Jalapeno Potato Puree & Bone Marrow. Chef Victor Albisu is known for his grilled meats and bone marrow needs to be foremost amongst them! The dish comes with a super chimichurri like salsa. Samuel had the Gnocchi a la Parisienne which were made with fall mushrooms, burnt broccoli pesto, parmesan and black truffles; who wouldn't like that? Rick had the Salt Baked Salmon with white beans, escarole and bagna cauda that may have sounded light for the big red wine, but this fish dish was a filing and delicious dish for such a cold winter evening as it was.
We were wonderfully surprised when Chefs Victor and Faiz Ally sent out two extra dishes which I immediately praised as two of the top dishes in the house and mandatory for any visit: Fried Yucca with rich creamy Aji Amarillo dipping sauce that would sent anyone to seventh heaven 9and I have to admit, I devoured most of them) as well as the gorgeous rare Wagyu Bavette Sirloin..with another Bone Marrow treat so Rick could have his own bone! It also came with a superb Chorizo Sausage! Some of the sirloin went home and even Will got to enjoy that when he got home from his meeting (where they only served him some teeny dessert or such right at dinnertime!).
the Restaurant week menu offers two desserts so Rick & I chose one each:
Tres Leches Twinkies with Passion Fruit Sorbet were an indulgence for me and quite rich, but so delicious.
The Grilled Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream & Dulce de Leche was perhaps a tad lighter, but just as decadent and superb.
Del Campo sure delivers on restaurant week and they even have a $60 menu with upgraded choices such as that Wagyu Bavette Sirloin & Lobster & Crab Fried Rice amongst others if you wish to splurge.
No matter what week it is Del Campo offers you a huge varied menu and is sure to deliver!