We wrapped up the Winter Restaurant Week with a group of friends to top of my list Del Campo. I’d heard many great things and I always look forward to eating a good grilled meal, something I have yet to master myself. Also, I tend to be overwhelmed by heavy, rich wintry meals, and spend far more time looking for bright acidic balances during January. I guess I just can’t wait for spring!
Typically, I am not a fan of cocktails. For the most part they’re too sweet or they have liquors that I can’t seem to drink anymore (oh, college). But my date and I arrived before our other friends and my eyes landed on the jamon y melon. This is a cocktail worth returning for by itself; Grey Goose Melon, Peychaud’s Bitters, Champagne, smoked cantaloupe syrup, fresh lemon and rimmed with crumbled prosciutto. It was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for anything more balanced between salt and tart, with a bit of bubble and crunch. I cannot wait to come back during the summer just to have this drink. While I do admit I am not a big cocktail drinker, this is probably the best cocktail I’ve ever had.
I started my meal off with the grilled scallop sushi ceviche with soy citrus, smoked trout roe, radish. It was beautifully seasoned and the scallops had a wonderful sear on them. The soy sauce glaze and trout roe were full of umami and a great start to the meal.
The grill is really where it’s at when you go to Del Campo. My husband ordered the grilled prime short rib and chorizo with jalapeno mashed potatoes and since I cannot resist yuca fries, I tried the Peruvian chicken with yuca fries, aji amarillo alioli and green chili purée.
They were to die for. The char was perfect, complimenting the chicken without overpowering it, and searing in the juice making the chicken extra flavorful. The steak was cooked perfectly and I enjoyed a twist on the traditional steak and potatoes. Yes, I ate my entree and a couple of bites of my husband’s… As I mentioned before, I have a special place in my heart for yuca fries and while I can’t really tell you why, they are reminiscent of the old school steak fries I used to get when my grandparents took me to a special dinner out.
And then came dessert. I love their playful, deconstructed, approach to s’mores– a chocolate cremeux, graham cracker with burnt marshmallow ice cream. Bringing the grill back full circle in an unexpected way that still pays homage to the essence of a s’more was perfect. It was sweet without hurting your teeth and a great finish. It very much reminded me of making a s’more over an open fire, the cremeux acting as a chocolate bar melted by the heat of the toasted marshmallow with a bit of crunch from a graham.
In case you can’t tell I am excited to go back and try the rest of their menu; its great to have a bit of variety in the DC dining scene that gives South American cuisine the love it deserves.