Yanyu
It's what you've been waiting for...the Top 5 for August

Ceiba - Say it with me...SAY-bah

Boy do I love Restaurant Week. It gives me a chance to eat at awesome restaurants like Ceiba at a nice little discount. Right off the bat, I am going to tell you all the our meal at Ceiba last week was one of the most wonderful culinary experiences we've had in a long time. Not only that, but Ceiba is the best run restaurant I have ever seen. It is literally a machine. No one, and I mean NO ONE, that I saw at the restaurant had a single complaint. Orders came out in a timely fashion. Everything was cooked perfectly. Service was polite and prompt. You couldn't ask any more of a restaurant.  Props to the cooks, management, and servers for doing a great job at what is probably one of the busiest times of the year for a restaurant in this area.

Now for the recap of the night...

Amy and I had reservations at 8:00 and once again we decided to drive down and use the valet. This caused us problems again, but I will get to that later. :) When we walked in, we were immediately sat. As we walked through the lobby to our table, we could see the kitchen. Standing right there in plain view working on a dish was the head chef, Christopher Clime. Every table was full. Shortly thereafter, our waitress came over to greet us, handed us the menu and asked us if we wanted any water. 

We weren't exactly sure how to dress for Ceiba. We visited their web site ahead of time which said, "Ceiba's dress code is upscale casual. We welcome well-dressed guests as well as those that are casually dressed. Cut-off jeans, halter tops, tank tops, baseball caps, t-shirts and flip-flops are not acceptable." So we dressed in our usual duds - I in my black Thomas Pink shirt that Amy bought me for my birthday and Amy in a cool outfit she had just picked up at Banana Republic. Wait a second, why am I going on about clothes...BACK TO THE FOOD!

Since it was Restaurant Week,  a three-course dinner was only $30.04. The first course was a choice of shrimp cocktail ceviche, a list of soups, and the mixed greens salad.  For the entree, you could order ANYTHING on the menu (including the specials). Talk about a deal! The entrees range from $18-27! Seriously, you're getting your moneys worth with the entree alone. For dessert, we had our choice of flan, chocolate Cuban coffee cake with coconut milk ice cream, and homemade sorbets. For the first course, I went with the shrimp cocktail and Amy chose the Cuban black bean soup.  I had the hardest time choosing an entree. They all seemed sooooo good. Amy ended up choosing the special. It was a roasted tilapia with a polenta cake, fried spinach, crab and a brown butter sauce. I chose the seared scallops with black bean gnocchi and sweet corn sauce. For dessert we both went with the Cuban coffee cake.

Well, to keep it short, everything was incredible. I try not to throw out glowing reviews all the time, but ALL of the food was simply fantastic. My scallops were cooked just right. Amy's tilapia was flaky and tender. There were so many entrees on the menu that I want to go back and order too - Brazilian brazed pork shank, toasted corn crusted halibut, whole crispy red snapper vera cruz...the list goes on and on.

Dessert was just as good as the entree and first course. Pastry chef David Guas outdid himself with the Cuban coffee cake. It was nothing like any coffee cake I have eaten in the past and was more like a big chocolate brownie with hot fudge inside it. In any case, it was wonderful and sinful at the same time.

Oh, and I dare not forget to tell you about the Hemingway mojitos! They are my new favorite mojito in the DC metro area. Served with a fresh husk of sugar cane, it was one of the best mojitos I have ever had. They were so good that we went back to the bar after dinner for a couple more. And that...Is a whole other story (Beware. slightly foul language).

When it was all said and done, our bill came to about $125. It was well worth it. And since the Restaurant Week menu was on $60.08 for the two of us, you can imagine how may Hemingway mojitos we had (at $7 each). Somehow I am going to have to make room for Ceiba on my Top 5 List.

Oh, I nearly forgot about the valet. Well when we left, the valet brought us the wrong car. Anyway, not really relevant with respect to the rest of the night, but when you toss it in with out previous attempt at using the valet, it deserves a bit of a chuckle.

Ceiba
701 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-3983
Map

Dress Code: I already told you above in the article. Ok, I see you are lazy so I will just tell you. It's "upscale casual". Now, doesn't that just answer all your questions?
Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11:30am–2:30pm;5:30 pm–11:00 pm
Sat: 5:30pm–11:00pm

Comments

susana

i went to ceiba several weeks after it openened, sometime last fall, and absolutely hated it. probably the worst meal i've had in dc. the fish had way too much sauce on it, our waiter was horrendous, the churros for dessert were a total ripoff (small and expensive). i guess it's a good thing it's gotten better.
i'm also very much over latino fusion food... any good latino (esp. carribean) restaurants you recommend?)

Brittany

We went to Ceiba's for my birthday. It was great. The cheese dip with steak (they call it something fancier) was awesome. The crab/conch fritters with mango creme were TO DIE FOR!!!!!!! Cruncy on in the outside, velvet on the inside. The chowder was a disappointing, not creamy at all :-(. The main dish (scallops with black beans) was good but not great. The octupus salad was delicious. The other main dish (some fish in tomato cumin broth - bland) was somewhat disappointing - appetizers and salads seem best. We had was also fab desserts, especially the chocolate/coffee cake with caramel corn. The drink I had, the playa - a creamy mango drink was like a cloud! The waiter had a severe case of OCD. He tried to get the sugar for my coffee off the table before I had even set it down. Jeez, overall a nice experience.

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