RESTAURANT: Tico DC
WHERE: Washington, DC
COST: $25 and under
The best part about birthdays other than the day itself is getting to celebrate surrounded by loved ones. For my friend’s 24th she decided to take our celebrations outside of Philadelphia to DC. The pick this year was Tico!
Tico DC, influenced by the owner’s travels to South America is the second of its name, the other located in Boston. It is described as simple with a fun atmosphere and is all about its customers having a great experience. They are also known for their drink selection, especially their tequila. If you’re planning to visit DC and do something different every second Sunday they host a chef led cooking class!
Since there were 5 of us we decided to get a couple of the smaller plate options to share here and there. I’ve been on a cheese kick lately and went with their macaroni and cheese. We also ordered crispy calamari, wings, and pork belly sliders.
Out of all the food I enjoyed their Tico’s mac and cheese the most. In the macaroni and cheese was Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, jalepenos, and bread crumbs. The addition of ham set this dish apart from the others and they definitely didn’t skimp out on the breading. Every bite had an equal amount of cheese, spice, and crunchiness.
The calamari and wings we ordered were not the memorable part of the meal. At almost all the birthday dinners we’ve been to someone gets calamari, so we’ve had our fair share. With that being said it was not the best I’ve tried. It tasted like many others without any extra kick leaving me unsatisfied. The wings also fell flat for me and if you’ve read my past posts you’ll know that I never say no to a batch of wings. There wasn’t much of a sauce or dry rub to make me want more than one.
It might seem like I didn’t enjoy myself, but the atmosphere of Tico made up for it. The restaurant was dimly lit with upbeat music playing just loud enough to hear and keep up with conversations at your table. If you looked up you could get caught in the maroon ceiling and designs that matched the restaurant’s lounge feel. Other than that the service was great! I know it’s a part of their job description, but you don’t always come across servers who follow through without sounding irritated. Our server was attentive and helpful with the drink menu even after I asked a ton of questions. From the vibe of Tico alone I would recommend stopping by and trying their other food choices or even hanging out at the bar to get a few drinks!
If you made it through comment down below if you think the atmosphere of a restaurant can make up for your food experience!