For years, D.C.’s Mexican restaurant scene has been as dry and barren as the Chihuahuan Desert, but that’s changing. Now you can visit several Mexican eateries that offer great food and drinks. This week you can indulge on couture guacamoles, Mezcal cocktails, Mexican-themed brunches, and a slew of handmade tortillas and plantain chips. If your diversions run to more vinous options, visit a one of our most venerated restaurants to sample rare magnum wines by the glass. All of this is just in time for thoughts of patio dining and breezy nights sipping a cold drink.
Blue Duck Tavern
It’s baack! The weekly “Blue Duck Uncorked” wine program at Blue Duck Tavern is back and once again it’s being offered every Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. from May 3 until July 26. Just like it did this winter, Blue Duck is pouring one specially selected rare magnum not found on the restaurant’s featured wine list. Lucky guests can count on Blue Duck Tavern general manager Joseph Cerione’s choices and try each vintage by the glass for $30. The selection for next Tuesday, May 3 is an elegant red from Bordeaux: Château de Tertre Cinquième Grand Cru Classé Margaux Haut Médoc France 1979.
Last weekend master Mezcalier Josh Phillips launched the new brunch menu at Espita Mezcaleria and judging from the rave reviews, it’s sure to be the hot new boozy eatery everyone wants to visit. Southern-Mexican inspired brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Look for mouthwatering bites like a selection of custom guacamoles ranging clasico to an incredible newbie made with pistachios, roasted tomatillo, Serrano chilies, sherry, and mint. You can also “C” your way through some Mexican classics like the chilango made with potato hash, slow poached eggs, chorizo, and salsa verde or the chilaquiles that arrive smothered in salsa roja and topped with over easy eggs, queso fresco, and cilantro. And don’t leave out smokin' cocktails like the misa del gallo made with tequila, grapefruit, honey, and sparkling rosé.
If you are a social butterfly, love guac, and can’t bypass any kind of contest, visit La Sandia, Richard Sandoval’s new authentic Mexican restaurant in Tysons Corner, Virginia. They are offering a special menu of rotating guacamoles and restaurant-goers who snap a picture of its guacamole and upload it to Instagram tagged with #GuacFest16 and @LaSandiaRSR have a chance to win dinner for two at the restaurant. The dinner for two includes two Margaritas de la Casa, one appetizer, two entrées, and one dessert. Try a few of the exciting guacamoles like huarache with crispy chorizo, queso panela, roasted corn, and pickled jalapeño or the verde with aguachile sauce, shrimp, fresh jalapeno, baby cucumber, pumpkin seed, green garlic oil, and pickled onion, served with cilantro tortilla chips. One taste and you will feel like a winner.
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Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva. Read more of her stories here.