A couple friends of mine, both very pretty girls, had reservations at Café Atlantico last night for dinner and when the third person from their party canceled on them I along with a few other friends received a first come first serve invite to join them. I of course jumped at the opportunity (a day later) and was the winner. (apparently these two are truly loved by their friends… ; )
I’d never been to Café Atlantico and didn’t know where it was, but am always excited to try new restaurants and food. They serve Latin American dishes and I assumed this would be similar to my Mexican dish favorites so I was extra excited about this one. I got there early to meet Krista for a drink before hand and ended up sitting at the bar by myself while I drank a Dos Equis and watched the many good looking people around me enjoy their mojitos and fruity drinks (which still scare me). I did get to see a mojito made for the first time which I was quite impressed by; smashing the peppermint(?) leaves with sugar and stuff, all pretty interesting.
When both Andrea and Krista arrived we took our seats by the window and began to look over the menu. The first thing we notice is how much is actually included in the restaurant week menu. Now this is how it’s done; include the good stuff that will bring people back to the restaurant and oh did they ever. The appetizer section included a good 6 or 7 items, probably their typical appetizer offerings, as did the main entrée section. We decided to get three different appetizers and share since we all wanted to try so many of them. We also got the guacamole which is the first thing mentioned in every review I have read of the restaurant. The appetizers we ordered were the gazpacho soup of the day, the ceveche with tuna and the fritters with liquid filling. Umm... WOW! Let me just say, that was probably the greatest opening to a meal I have ever tasted in my life.
First, the guac is made table side from whole avacodoes and pre-diced veggies. I have always enjoyed guacamole but never have I had some that was as good as this was! A little bit of red pepper mixed in with it, I seriously could have eaten just that for my meal and been great. The rest of the appetizers were amazing as well with the hightlight being the gazpacho soup which tased more like a desert then a soup. We decided it basically tasted like a creamy vanilla pudding mixed in with mango along with a bit of yogurt and some cherry tomatoes. Each of our reactions to it were the same astonished/bewildered look of "Holy S%^T is this for real?"
The main courses were slightly less astonishingly flavorful (maybe because at this point we extected it) but were certainly incredible as well. The flank steak served on top of an almost liquid bed of pureyed mashed potatoes was exceptionally good as well as the Salmon dish and duck which Andrea and Krista had. The desert was nothing special, although since I rarely eat desert it didn't really bother me at all.
We shared a really nice bottle of Argentinian wine recommended by the waitress and finished off the evening with a short, happy and very satisfyingly full walk back to the metro station. I am officially obsessed with restaurant week...