Short answer: absolutely. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love El Cielo. This was my second time dining at their gorgeous restaurant, and it was just a thrilling as the first. The presentation of everything’s nothing short of sensational, and I promise although $$$, it will totally be worth the splurge.
The “experience” is 20-22 courses featuring modern takes on Colombian cuisine that’s prepared by Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos. In addition to their location in Union Market, they also have a brick and mortar location in Miami. The space itself is stunning, and the service is impeccable so walk in with (very) high expectations.
The meal starts off with a slew of amuse + mini cocktails like passion fruit mistela. I’m a big fan of the crab empanadas (so, SO cute), and the uni donut’s borderline orgasmic. I was happy to see favorites like yuca gnocchi listed, but there were a handful of new dishes as well.
I absolutely LOVED the soup they offered. It came with “frozen” white chocolate, and the balance between savory and sweet? Exquisite perfection. Just make sure you have your camera ready because you’ll have some fun smoke action to film.
I’m a sucker for their lamb and duck preparation, but they also offered a beautiful new cod that I loved. I wish I had details for you guys, BUT I forgot to take a picture of the menu. Sorry, I guess that just means you’ll have to go enjoy the food ASAP.
The sweet courses were fantastic as well. Their yellow butterfly chocolates were sublime (as per usual), but I especially enjoyed their new spin on “Lick Me!” and their seasonal cherry blossom dessert. A big, big shoutout to my girl (and their pastry chef) McKenzie Richerson for the amazing sweets.
As I’m sure you can tell by the name, you grab your plate and LICK it, lol! I enjoyed this rendition much more than the previous one because I’m a big fan of tart. I’m obsessed with all things sour so this to me was the perfect palette cleanser before our first “major” dessert. The cherry blossom dessert was almost too beautiful to eat, but I was all too happy to mess things up. You’d think it’d be cherry overload, but it was expertly balanced.
So, whether it’s a special occasion or you’re just looking to treat yourself to something delicious, El Cielo’s an amazing option. It’s easy to see why and how they got a star so quickly. It’s probably THE most “fun” fine dining experience in DC, and I’m not just saying that because you wash your hands in chocolate sauce, lol. Are you intrigued?
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