When I was in DC several weeks ago, due largely in part to a lotta-bit-o-luck, I got the chance to enjoy an amazing five course meal by Mike Isabella, one of my favorite chefs, courtesy of the the lovely people at Living Social. As rude as it is for new restaurants to continue to open in Washington when I am no longer residing there (I have similar sentiments about Nashville), I was thrilled for the chance to try Isabella’s new menu. Graffiato, his Italian spot in DC, had been one of my favorite restaurants in the Washingtonian days of yore, so I was thuper exthited to see what Mikey Mike could do with Mexican–and he did not disappoint.
Living Social, creative geniuses that they are, recently opened an entertaining space in downtown DC simply named after its address-918 F Street. Located at (duh), 918 F Street, the venue moonlights as a pop-up restaurant, a concert hall, a cooking school, a yoga studio, a rock climbing hall and much more. On opening weekend, (which Living Social planned especially to coincide with my most recent visit to DC, obviously), the space hosted a dinner featuring the experimental tasting menu of Bandolero, Isabella’s soon-to-open Mexican restaurant, and a private concert by OAR, my favorite band to make out to in high school. Needless to say, I was thrilled to attend.
I brought along my girlfriend and partner in crime, A, as well as my large rolling suitcase, since I had an Amtrak to catch later that evening (needless to say, everyone on the 11PM train to New York was thrilled with my antics post five course dinner with GENEROUS drink pairings).
[Our first course at Bandolero–Guacamole, Sikil Pak, and Salsa Roja, paired with a Michelada, which I can only describe as a Bloody Mary with Tequila, aka my new Sunday morning drink of choice]
[Mahi Mahi and Charred Asparagus Tacos, paired with a ‘City of Gold’–tequila, St. Germaine, and lemon–tangy perfection. The Mahi Mahi tacos were my favorite thing on the menu by far]
[Hanger Steak with Chimichurri, paired with Malverde–a cool, refreshing drink made with mezcal, agave, cucumber, cilantro and bitters]
[Chicken, cascabel and CHOCOLATE enchiladas. Apparently drizzling entrees in chocolate makes them perfect. One should have guessed]
[Spicy Pork Meatballs served with a Blood Orange Margarita. Meatballs are clearly having a moment. Like cupcakes a year before them, except cupcakes mania makes me angry and meatball mania is one of the most understandable crazes in existence. I have much more of a savory tooth than a sweet tooth–if I eat a whole cupcake, I will need to lie down, rub my belly, and whine. If I eat a platter full of meatballs, I will need to jump up and down in joy and request more]
[Dessert–flan and Mexican chocolate pudding, served with Prickly Pear Sparkling Wine. This spread looks a bit like a honeymoon dinner, which it in fact, was.]
[Miss A and I savoring every last bite]
After we finished dinner, A and I sought out the mixologists, who happened to be good friends of hers, and armed with cocktails, went downstairs for the OAR concert. You guys, OAR is OLD. But I think people still make out to them. We didn’t.
Thanks to Living Social and Mike Isabella for a fantastic meal (see the full menu here)–I can’t wait to visit the brick and mortar Bandolero next time I am in the hood!