D.C. was much tastier than I remember it being when I was 13 hopping on and off a tour bus. Our first night, the air was so warm we were able to eat outside. He took me to Zaytinya, José Andres’ take on Mediterranean cuisine. Being Greek, this was one of his favorite D.C. restaurants. Let's refer to my guide as "Adonis." (Adonis, if you’re reading this, thanks again.) I trusted him to do the ordering, we usually agreed on menu items anyway.
- Keftedes Kapama: Beef and lamb meatballs, feta cheese, rustic tomato sauce, cinnamon, allspice
- Kolokithokeftedes: Zucchini and cheese patties, caper-yogurt sauce
- And something else delicious that was a special that I didn't write down, but it was wrapped in phyllo dough and had lamb inside!
The next morning, it was bagel time! We went to Dupont Circle to Adonis’ favorite bagel place Bethesda Bagels. I was overwhelmed by the too-many ways I could order my bagel and just stood in front of the wide glass case for about 10 minutes, pondering every possible way I could enjoy my bagel. This was my one shot! I also became distracted by the largest doughnuts I had ever seen in my life.
Did I want an egg and cheese bagel sandwich? A classic bagel and cream cheese? A whole wheat bagel? A sesame bagel? I went with the pervy-est choice I could make. Cream cheese and lox on an everything bagel! IT WAS SO DIVINE! Tomatoes, red onion, savory, soft, melty salmon and a thick smear of cream cheese. No capers, which was fine, not a caper fan. Flecks of garlic, salt, poppy seed, and sesame seed dotted my tongue before disappearing into the fold of lox, cheese and dough. Sorry west coast, bagels just aren’t your thing and they never will be.
- Ceviche de Peje-Sol: Hawaiian sunfish with avocado marinated in a salsa Mexicana of tomato, sweet onion, cilantro and lime juice
- Machuco y Calabaza Relleno de Frijol con Salsa Negra: Plantain and butternut squash fritters stuffed with black beans and served with a chipotle chile and piloncillo sugar sauce
- Pollo con Mole Poblano: Half of a grilled young chicken with epazote herb rice and a mole poblano sauce of almonds, chiles and a touch of chocolate
- Carnitas estilo Michoacan salsa de Tomatillo: Confit of baby pig with green tomatillo sauce, pork rinds, onions and cilantro
- Chilorio de Res: Shredded beef braised in a rich and tangy sauce of pasilla and guajillo chiles, topped with white onions
To Be Continued…