Sunday, July 30, 2017

Arroz

Arroz is the newest restaurant by Chef Mike Isabella serving modern Spanish/Moroccan fare. Located in the Marriott Marquis, the closest Metro is Mt. Vernon Square.

For a hotel restaurant, I was surprised by the large size and loved the bright Mediterranean blue colors that punched up the space.  We were seated in a cute side booth, and though somewhat enclosed, there was plenty of bright light that shown in from the opposite windowed wall.

Image via Eater DC
The menu is divided into four sections: meats and cheeses, plates, large, and bomba rice. We stuck to trying a sampling of the "plates" first, in order to try a bit of everything.  First, we ordered sangria - white for Keith made with viura, gin, pears, honey, rosemary, and cardamom; and the rose for me made with garancha, vodka, elderflower, lychee, grapefruit, and agave.  Each were quite refreshing and not overly sweet.

The first plate we shared was the Burnt Eggplant pureed with black garlic, topped with fresh bell peppers and pine nuts, and served with Moroccan flat bread.  This dish was the perfect sharing size and was bursting with unique spices and various textures.  It was delicious.


Next, we ordered their contemporary take on the Spanish classic - Patatas Bravas.  Potatoes are thinly sliced and baked into a terrine, then cut into squares and deep fried to provide a more elegant presentation.  Served with pimenton aioli, the flavors were on point with the original version.


To continue the decadence, we adored the Foie Gras Parfait.  Served with sesame butter, macerated stonefruit, burnt honey, and a ras el hanout (a Morrocan spice blend) doughnut, this dish was playful and seductive.  Though dusted in spice, the doughnut was a bit on the sweet side.   Extra crostini is available if you ask, which we did to finish off the remaining spread.


Last of the "plates" that we shared was the Octopus a la Plancha.  Served with spicy chickpea, saffron potato, and a harissa bouillon, the flavors were comforting. However, I could not taste as much char on the octopus as I expect from a grill.


We were still a bit hungry and decided to order a half portion of the Berkshire Pig Bomba.   Similar to a paella, this dish has a base of Spanish short grain rice that is stewed and then baked with the pork, chorizo, coco beans, and padron peppers, then topped with pickled fresno and lime crema to add some brightness.  The dish was filling and would be better on a chilly night paired with a glass of red wine.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed it all and stuffed ourselves full.

With the bill came complimentary almond shortbread cookies.  Sesame candies are also available in a dish at the door.  Overall, I loved the Spanish/Moroccan ingredients used in the dishes.  Service was excellent; very attentive and accommodating.  Though the restaurant is in a hotel, the cuisine is much more eclectic than typical hotel offerings, which I very much appreciated.

Total Rating: 4.18
Food: 4.5, Price: 3, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

Arroz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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