Rural Society: Bife de Chorizo

Bife de Chorizo

Having demolished some delicious meals at Jose Garces’ flagship restaurants in Philly like Amada and Tinto, we expected big things from Rural Society. The restaurant is so damn handsome, you want it to take you on a date. It’s masculine vaquero cowboy chic, making it a setting where you want to manhandle some meat. Enter, The Best Thing on the Menu: Bife de Chorizo – a 12oz platter of Estancia grass-fed beef from Uruguay. Tom Sietsema digs it too, and for good reason.

Parilla

The ribeye is kissed by the flames of Rural Society’s already famous parilla, a wood-burning grill that is often the subject of patrons’ Instagram accounts. The outside of the Bife de Chorizo has an incredible sear, and the inside has just enough fat to speed up the melt-in-your-mouth experience. It doesn’t need any sauce, but if you’re so inclined (and if you brought dental floss) throw a few dabs of herbaceous chimichurri on top.

empanada

But before the steak course comes out, dabble in some starters like these Empanadas Tucamana. The Latin pierogies are stuff with braised Wagyu beef belly and smoked chile. For something a little lighter, try the octopus carpaccio or the morrones (which is not a Spanish word for morons). Morrones are a build-it-yourself stack of grilled bread, creamy eggplant spread, roasted red peppers and anchovies.

Bife de Chorizo not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Click here for a few more photos of the meal. Rural Society is located inside the Loews Madison Hotel at 1177 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005.

You might also like Del Campo or BLT Steak.

Agua 301: Pork Belly al Pastor

Agua 301 Pork Belly Taco

If Hawaii and Mexico had a baby, a perfect baby, it would be this taco. The Best Thing on the Menu at Agua 301 is undoubtedly: Pork Belly al Pastor. Three succulent tacos filled with crispy fried pork belly, pineapple habanero salsa, al pastor aioli, salsa de arbol arrive at your table glistening with an entrancing glaze.

As if the world’s most perfect protein needed any help…Chef Antonio Burrell lightly breads and fries the belly, which has already been slow-cooked to optimal tenderness. The pineapple habanero salsa is what transports you directly to a Hawaiian luau, where the pig of the party is cooked underground to an equal level of deliciousness. Hopefully by men in ridiculous outfits.

Berry Mezcal Cocktail

If picking the right margarita has always been a problem for you, we’re here to help. The Humo en el Agua (translation Smoke on the Water) is the right choice. This pomegranate margarita made with Fidencio Classico, Pama Liqueur, pomegranate juice, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Fidencio Classico is key because it’s mezcal, and thus delivers smoke. Typically mezcal is paired with citrus fruits, but here’s hoping that the smoke and berry combination is a new trend. Mezcal is one of my favorite things right now, with its notes of beef jerky and peat. Fair warning though, mezcal is a gateway drug to scotch because once you go smoky, toasty, roasty  – you never go back.

Apple Pie Empanadas

Finish the evening at Agua 301 with Chef Burrell’s apple empanadas. They’re stuffed with his mother’s good old-fashioned apple pie recipe. You’ll undoubtedly be choosing between these and the churros. Choose these.

All and all the tacos and the guacamoles (with bacon!) steal the show at this new spot in the Navy Yard. They outshine the entrees and will be perfect before or after a Nats game come spring. Click here for more photos.

Pork Belly al Pastor not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.