El Centro Opens Georgetown Location
El Centro D.F. opened its second location at 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Georgetown where Third Edition used to be, on Sept. 6. DC on Heels was invited to the VIP grand opening last Thursday for a look.
This is Richard Sandoval’s second taqueria and tequileria in Washington, D.C., joining the original El Centro on 14th Street NW. Georgetown is serving some new dishes as well as house-infued tequilas, with more than 270 different types of tequila and mezcal.
The Georgetown location is similar in design to its sister restaurant on 14th Street, with a back patio that can seat 55 instead of a roof deck at the original location. The main floor dining room and bar can seat 59 guests, while the second floor can seat 59 guests at another bar and high top tables. After dinner, the tables are removed and a DJ plays.
“El Centro D.F. Georgetown embodies the spirit of Mexico City,” said architect and designer Brie Husted. “The ground floor features a wooden vaulted ceiling with masonry wall structure, reclaimed wooden tables and comfortable benches. The upper level has a café sentiment with reclaimed wood lathe and custom murals created using old wood, used metal and Mexican newspapers. The garden patio has old world charm with ivy climbing up a neighboring brick wall, a large bar and a fire bit.”
Chef Juan Romero is running the Georgetown kitchen. A native of Arlington, Romero is currently a student at the Culinary Art Institute of Washington and is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2014. He has previously worked for Sandoval first at La Sandia in Tysons Corner then as a sous chef at La Sandia in Santa Monica, Calif. He returned to the 14th Street El Centro in 2011 then worked with Sandoval to develop the brunch menus at Maya New York and Zocalo Mexican Restaurant in Atlanta.
Georgetown’s menu includes four kinds of guacamole — traditional, bacon, tuna tartar and spicy crab — prepared tableside along with an assortment of traditional Mexican braises, or cazuelas, served with warm tortillas, Mexican-style rice and crema fresca. New dishes include roasted chicken with mole poblano and plantain; slow roasted pork shoulder with corn masa flatbread, goat cheese and truffle oil, and beef short ribs with tamarind mole and root vegetable. Other new additions include chicken, steak, shrimp and market vegetables iron skillet fajitas and new taco selections include vuelve a la vida with octopus, shrimp, chorizo and tomatillo salsa; roasted octopus with rojas, pico de gallo and chile de árbol sesame salsa, as well as gratineed scallop and chorizo made with avocado, pickled chiles and chile cascabel aioli.
The three bars offer house-infused agave tequilas that include strawberry-basil, watermelon and cucumber, pineapple and habanero, grilled pineapple, cilantro, tamarind, guava, rosemary Granny Smith green apple and strawberry chile.
This fall, the restaurant is hosting weekly complimentary tequila and mezcal tastings on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. through Nov. 13. You can sample several varieties of tequila and mezcal from different distilleries each week led by bar manager Joel Mann and a representative from each supplier. The tequila and mezcal tastings are free, and open to the public. Upcoming tastings include: Sept. 25 – six varieties of Milagro Tequila, Oct. 2 – six varieties of micro tequilas, Oct. 9 – three varieties from San Matias Tequila and three from Del Maguey Mezcal, Oct. 15 – three varieties of Tanteo Tequila, Oct. 16 – three varieties of Avion Tequila, Oct. 23 – six varieties from Herradurra & El Jimador Tequila, Oct. 30 – three varieties from Sauza Tequila, Nov. 6 – three varieties from Corzo Tequila and Nov. 13 – three varieties from Cazadores Tequila.
El Centro D.F. Georgetown is open for from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for lunch Monday-Friday and brunch on weekends. Dinner is served from 4-11 p.m. and happy hour is from 5-7 p.m. nightly. From 11 p.m.-2 a.m., a late night menu inspired by Mexican street food will be served and the lounge will be open 11 p.m.-3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.