By: Laurie Wallin
Capital Cooking Contributor
The Mosaic District continues to grow and is quickly becoming one of the DC area’s hottest culinary destinations, and I was able to see why when I attended The Dish – a Mosaic Tasting Tour with four stops at several of their newest restaurants. Not only was this a great event, but it’s something that the average diner could easily do – hop from place to place and create your own “Mosaic District progressive dinner.”
The evening began at Cyclone Anaya’s with margaritas, nachos, and specialty tacos. I began with the Avion Strawberry Margarita and tried to keep myself away from the chips and dip. Cyclone Anaya’s chips were warm, not greasy and accompanied by a smoky tomato salsa. In addition, I was able to sample the Slow-Roasted Brisket Tacos with spicy coleslaw – they were incredibly tender and that’s because the restaurant braises them for 14 hours beforehand. In addition, I really enjoyed the Crispy Shrimp Tacos (Negra Modelo beer batter fried shrimp with spicy coleslaw), as well as the Crab Nachos.
Next, it was off to True Food Kitchen. I began with the Vegetable Crudités with Tzatziki and Black Olive Dips. Not only were the crudités super fresh, but they were presented beautifully. The Edamame Dumplings were incredibly smooth and earthy, and the Grass-Fed Street Tacos featured incredibly tender, juicy steak. Also, I loved sitting near the kitchen at True Food and watching the employees literally make my meal from scratch.
Off to B Side! I’d been to B Side a few weeks prior and was eager to try more of the menu. The Buffalo Spare Ribs were delicious and had much more of a kick than I was expecting. The Charcuterie Platter was absolutely phenomenal, with meats sourced from Red Apron Butcher next door. Another item that had a kick was the Papusas, and the Pork Rinds hit it out of the park – they were super crispy, warm and crackling; I couldn’t get enough. I accompanied my meal with the Old Brown Shoe cocktail with Old Overholt Rye, Lemon, Cinnamon Honey Syrup, and Domaine de Canton, which was just sweet enough to offset the spicy Papusas and Spare Ribs.
Gypsy Soul was the final stop. I began my meal with the “Smashing Pumpkins” cocktail, made with Zaya 12-year rum, Benedictine, black walnut, Ovaltine Pumpkin Ale, and marshmallows. I sampled several of their Pantry items, including the pimento cheese with “Gypsy Soul” ritz style crackers, the deviled eggs with corned nam and togarashi, and chicken skin cracklins with snake oil and roof top honey. All were delicious, although the chicken skin cracklins were particularly addicting, especially with their sweet & spicy sauce. I devoured the Shrimp and Grits – ruby shrimp with alliums, tasso, grits, and gullah nage. The evening ended with apple crisp with sour cream ice cream.
The Mosaic District is a dining gem, and I look forward to designing my own “progressive dinner” in the near future – no doubt, all four of these restaurants would be included!