Saturday, November 2, 2019

Seven Reasons

Seven Reasons is "inspired by the best Latin American culinary roots, brought to life through Chef Enrique Limardo’s bold, contemporary approach. The menu takes patrons through a sensorial encounter, allowing them to discover their very own Seven Reasons of a magic culinary experience."  Tom Sietsema recently named Seven Reasons the best restaurant in his 2019 Fall Dining Guide.  Keith jumped on reservations right away. Closest Metro is U St.

With three stories, the ambience was jovial and vibrant. We were seated on the second level, which also had an enclosed patio area outside - tonight with extra heat lamps. The walls were covered with fake ivy plants to create a natural invasion to the exposed brick and duct filled ceiling.  Our server, Rafael, was friendly and recommended several "awesome" dishes (his favorite descriptor).  First, we ordered a bottle of Humo Blanco, Sauvignon Blanc (Edición Limitada) from Colchagua Valley, Chile. This white wine was excellent! It was very crisp with tropical notes and a zippy zest that paired excellently with our seafood-heavy meal.

As a 'snack', we started with the Cheese Arepitas.  These mini Venezuelan arepas sat in a raw sugar cane syrup that was a bit too sweet for our liking.  The little donuts were soft but we would have preferred the savory elements to shine a bit more.

My favorite dish was the Hamachi Tiradito.  Fresh slices of raw amberjack were topped with pineapple & ginger puree, avocado jalapeño sauce, microgreens, and salty roe.  The flavor combinations were exciting on the palate - with slight smoke, spice, and sweetness - and married nicely with our white wine.

We also shared the Jelly Tomato Salad.  This was an interesting dish - very light with cilantro mint pesto, smoked carrot puree, and cubes of tomato water jelly, topped with crispy shaved cauliflower. We didn't know how to eat it at first, and it would have been better had we known to mix it thoroughly in the bowl first before serving.  Nevertheless, it was a nice little refresher before our next big plate.

The star dish of the night was the Chorizo & Prawns Black Rice.  Squid ink Bomba rice was cooked with Jalapeño syrup, onions, fresh black truffle, chorizo and topped with large grilled prawns and short ribs. (We asked for our short ribs to be served on the side since I do not eat red meat.)  Served in a large skillet with fresh lemon and limes, which we squeezed all over the rice before serving.  The extra hit of acid really made the seafood flavors in the rice pop.  This dish was decadent and almost creamy.  It was large enough for 2-3 people to share.

Lastly, though we were pretty stuffed from the rice dish, we ordered the Guava Cheese Cake as it came highly recommend by Rafael.  This deconstructed cake was a layered pile of pink guava jelly, goat cheese foam, pink guava marmalade, almond streusel with a scoop of guava ice cream on top.  There were little balls of chocolate on the bottom for a nice contradicting crunch.  Keith also ordered their house Old Fashion to go with dessert.

Service was great, but we noticed our server recommend the same items to each table - and so everyone on our row ordered almost the identical meal.  I loved the Latin menu - with some Peruvian, Venezuelan, and Spanish dishes. We were treated to homemade chocolate with our bill.  Prices are a bit steep compared to other places, but the place was packed, most likely due to the recent buzz caused the Post's write-up.

What Micky Eats...
Total Rating: 4.05
Food: 4.5, Price: 2.5, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4.5

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