We’re still having a great time here in Brazil, equal parts adventure and folly (nothing terrible, just silly) have occurred so far. I will post more about Brazil this week, but first I need to write about a fabulous meal I had at Tico before I left D.C.
My friend Lauren and I caught up for dinner the Friday before I left, and because she is brilliant, she suggested we head to Tico. I’d been once before, for brunch, and once for a drink but never for the full shebang.
We started with an affordable bottle of Malbec rose, to share, and then moved on try trying as many dishes as we could possibly fit into our bellies. Have I mentioned that I love going out to eat with this girl? She totally gets me.
We started with a few veggie dishes: the shishito peppers (above) with crispy shallots, lime zest and sea salt and the roasted cauliflower (below) with chipotle, crunchy favas and cotija cheese.
The peppers were good, with a medium spice level and interesting texture, but the cauliflower stole the show. It was so good. Epic really. And I rarely refer to cauliflower as anything close to epic. In fact, we wound up getting another order of it. Okay… two orders!
The cauliflower itself is so tender, nothing like the mushy stuff most often presented as cauliflower. Topped with a chipotle sauce and creamy cotija cheese, it was heaven. Even writing this, I feel weird extolling the virtues of cauliflower so fervently, but trust me – it’s that good. But we did eat more than just veggies.
The scallop dish (above) with piquilo pepper and smoked paprika vinaigrette was light and refreshing.
The tender lamb meatballs (above) with tomato, cumin, pine nuts and ricotta salata were true to their name, they were indeed tender and cooked perfectly. I’m not a huge cumin fan, so this wasn’t my favorite dish, but it certainly didn’t have any flaws either.
You can’t go to Tico without eating tacos! We had a hard time deciding which ones to order, but finally settled on the roasted pork tacos with corn, black beans and Habanero. They were definitely solid, but nothing special. I’ve heard the crunchy fried chicken tacos are delicious and hope to try them next time.
Neither Lauren nor I are huge dessert people, so instead of ending the meal with something sweet we opted for an order of the black risotto croquettes (above) with saffron aioli, piquilo peppers and calamari.
These were so good! They were probably my second favorite dish, after the cauliflower. The saffron really took the flavor profile to another level, and the croquettes themselves were perfect – crunchy on the outside and creamy and decadent on the inside. I’d never had black risotto before, but will now be on the lookout for it in the future.
Overall, Tico provided a dinner to remember. Lauren and I took our time savoring each dish as we talked about our lives and chatted with our very helpful server, who just so happened to resemble Adam Levine (if you’re into that sort of thing). It was such a wonderful way to spend my last friday in the district!