Nuevo Latino

How pathetic am I?

OK, for those of you who are looking for restaurant reviews...This is not the post for you.

I am officially pathetic now. Last week, while Amy and I were in Miami, we decided that we wanted to get a dog. We got online (YES, how even more pathetic am I that I go online while I am on vacation in Miami) and started looking up breeds. One in particular that stood out was the Miniature Pinscher. So when we got home, we started looking for Miniature Pinscher puppies. We looked on the ASPCA web site and found a couple, but we kept getting rejected. For some reason these people think that you need a yard with a fence to own a dog - Effing discriminatory practices. Anyhow, I am very bitter, to say the least, about that. Finally, we got impatient and started looking in the classified ads for pups. We found a bunch. We came across a woman who shows dogs, but was not a breader. She was selling a little girl that was 16 weeks old. We went over to see her and fell in love immediately.

So we were trying to think of a name for our puppy, and we were totally stumped. I mean, we totally had to come up with a clever name, otherwise all our friends would think we were lame and stupid - nevermind PATHETIC. We threw around lots of names: Roxanne, Roxy, Leeloo (yes I am a sci-fi geek - ala Fifth Element) , Chula, etc., etc.

We had our puppy for a couple days and I was on my way to work when I got a call from Amy, "CEIBA!"

"What?!"

"CEIBA!"

"Yes, I like that restaurant too. What about it?!"

"We should call her Ceiba!"

"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Yeah! Totally!"

And it stuck - And now you know why I am so lame. Because I am so into food, that I name my dog after a freakin' restaurant of all things.

So below are some pictures. Enjoy!

ceiba-max-meceiba-closeupceiba-closeup2


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