Monday, January 9, 2012

Rasika for Mark's 30th Birthday Dinner

Rasika is the best restaurant in Washington, DC. It is, perhaps, one of the best restaurants I have ever experienced. Rasika is the whole package: sensational food and attentive service. It isn't even crazy expensive. It is, however, crazy difficult to get a table. We reserved well in advance and got a reservation for Mark's birthday dinner. I was SO excited. To start out the night, we popped into Oyamel for a quick pre-dinner drink. I love the happy hour at Oyamel and I sampled the China Paloma which was El Jimador reposado and grapefruit-lavender soda. It was not-too-sweet with a nice kick. I really loved it (so I got 2!).
On to the main event. We ordered a la carte because we wanted to taste as many things as possible. For our first dish, we got the Kadi Patte Ke Scallops which are seared scallops with curry, lemon, and green chilies. It was perfectly cooked with an earthiness to balance the sweet scallops. We both gobbled it up.
Next was the Mango Shrimp. Amazing! Sweet and charred from the grill with a mint dipping sauce. Mark had to fight me for the last one.
The signature appetizer at Rasika is the Palak Chaat, which is a dish of crispy fried baby spinach mixed with a sweet yogurt tamarind and date chutney. It is sensational. The fried spinach has such a unique texture and it is perfection with the yogurt and dates.
I woofed it down so fast that Mark hardly had time to notice what was happening. Birthday schmirthday...this is one of the best dishes served in Washington, DC and I wasn't about to share and share alike.
My main course was the Chicken Tikka Masala. Call me boring. Call me unoriginal for ordering this dish, but I don't care. I LOVE Chicken Tikka Masala and when I can get the best, I do. It was perfectly cooked and spiced. Creamy, spicy, buttery goodness on a plate. I'd eaten so much of the appetizers that I even got to take some home with me that I did manage to share with Mark.
Mark got the Tandoori Lamb Chops with cardamom, cashews and ginger. They were perfectly grilled to medium rare and they were almost creamy in their smooth, delicate perfection. His eyes glazed over while he was eating them and I think he momentarily was in a food nirvana. They were that good.
The Naan is puffy, golden goodness that we used to sop up all the juices.
They even brought Mark out a special dessert! Gulab Jamun with Ice Cream are these little fried dough balls with a sweet honey sauce that goes very well with the ice cream. A perfect way to end the perfect night!

One Year Ago: Dan Mayo's Standing Rib Roast

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