El Centro Opening Georgetown Location on Friday

1218 Wisconsin Ave, NW

Back in April we learned that the old Third Edition space would become an El Centro.  We judged the Logan Circle El Centro at 1819 14th St, NW back in Aug. 2011.

From a press release:

“El Centro D.F. will open a second location of its vibrant Taqueria and Tequileria at 1218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, 20007 in Georgetown on Friday, September 6th. Renowned chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval is working with Chef Juan Romero to showcase his popular Mexican comfort food, full of authentic flavors found throughout his homeland. New dishes will be introduced on the Georgetown menu along with house-infused tequilas. Diners can anticipate over 270 different types of tequila and mezcal, handcrafted margaritas and classic Latin cocktails to pair with Sandoval’s enticing menu.

The Georgetown El Centro D.F. is similar in design to its sister restaurant on 14th Street, with the addition of a secluded outdoor patio that can seat 55 guests. Spread over two floors, the restaurant can accommodate 59 guests on the first level and 99 guests on the second. For this project, architect and designer, Brie Husted, drew inspirations from traditional Mexican towns. “El Centro D.F. Georgetown embodies the spirit of Mexico City,” says 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.”

Richard Sandoval tapped Chef Juan Romero to oversee the menu at El Centro Georgetown, and the two have collaborated to help introduce new menu items at this location. A native of Arlington, VA, Romero is currently a student at the Culinary Art Institute of Washington and is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2014. He has worked for Richard Sandoval Restaurants for the past four years beginning at La Sandia in Tysons Corner, VA before transferring to La Sandia in Santa Monica where he worked as a sous chef. He returned to Washington in April 2011 to work at the first El Centro DF on 14th Street, NW and later traveled with Richard to develop the brunch menus at Maya New York and Zocalo Mexican Restaurant in Atlanta, GA.

El Centro D.F. Georgetown, guests can anticipate four variations of guacamole, Traditional, Bacon, Tuna Tartar and Spicy Crab, each prepared tableside. An assortment of traditional Mexican braises, or Cazuelas, served with warm tortillas, Mexican-style rice and creamy yogurt crema fresca will also be available. Highlights include the Roasted Chicken with mole poblano and plantain; Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with corn masa flatbread, goat cheese and truffle oil, and the Beef Short Ribs with tamarind mole and root vegetable. Other new additions include Iron Skillet Fajitas including chicken, steak, shrimp and market vegetables, 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 & Chorizo, made with avocado, pickled chiles and chile cascabel aioli.

The restaurant’s most popular menu items will carry over to the new location and include Appetizers, For The Table, Soups & Salads, Tacos, Chef’s Specials, Enchiladas and Sides, for lunch or dinner, as well as the generous weekend bottomless brunch.

Guests can look forward the popular Grilled Skirt Steak Huaraches with corn masa flatbread, caramelized onion, cilantro, black bean, Mexican cheeses, crema and salsa roja, and from the sea comes the Jalisco Shrimp & Crab with Oaxaca cheese, corn, rajas, crema fresco, plantain and cilantro rice. Prices range from $7.95-$10.95 for appetizers, $10.95-$17.95 for tacos, $11.95-$15.95 for enchiladas, $7.95-$11.95 for soups and salads and $14.95-$19.95 for chef’s specials.

Patrons seeking libations will find a diverse selection of over 225 tequilas, including blancos, reposados, anejos, premium, micro and house-infused options ranging in price from $8 to $150. A vertical tasting is available for $25, which features tequilas made with different aging techniques. A horizontal tasting comparing three tequilas made by different distilleries is another option with prices ranging from $18 to $32. In addition, a micro-tequila tasting can be enjoyed for $25, as well as a premium tasting of three high-end tequilas for $75. For those seeking an alternative to traditional tequila, the menu at El Centro D.F. features over 45 different mezcals ranging from $8 to $40, as well as a mezcal tasting highlighting three unique selections for $25.

Also available are a variety of house-infused tequilas crafted at the restaurant. These infusions include strawberry-basil infused 100% agave tequila; watermelon & cucumber infused 100% agave tequila; pineapple & habanero infused 100% agave tequila; grilled pineapple infused 100% agave tequila; cilantro infused 100% agave tequila; tamarind infused 100% agave tequila; guava infused 100% agave tequila; rosemary infused 100% agave tequila; Granny Smith green apple infused 100% agave tequila, as well as strawberry chile infused 100% agave tequila. These infusions will be incorporated into El Centro’s specialty cocktails. Highlights include the El Centro Margarita made with house-made mango or strawberry puree, the Mojito Mexicano with El Jimador, lime, mint and chili-ginger, and the Red and Smoky with Vida Mezcal, chili-ginger, and hibiscus agua-fresca. Frozen margaritas will also be available throughout the restaurant along with house-made sodas. Prices range from $9 a glass, $22 for a half-carafe and $40 for a full carafe.

At El Centro D.F. Georgetown, lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Happy Hour will also be available nightly from 5 PM to 7 PM and boosts $4 featured libations. Additionally, the restaurant will showcase $6 specialty dishes nightly from 5 PM to 9 PM. For late night fun, from 11 PM to 2 AM, El Centro’s patrons will enjoy a special menu inspired by Mexican street food, with every item priced at $6 and available in the Taqueria. Weekend bottomless brunch will be offered Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM. Dinner will be served daily throughout the restaurant from 4 PM to 11 PM. Lounge service will be available Friday and Saturday 11 PM to 3 AM.”

7 Comment

  • I like El Centro, but as a Georgetown alum, this is just so weird not to have Third’s there!

  • El Centro belongs in Georgetown with their pricing (which isn’t worth it in my opinion).

    I’m still bitter about their grand opening on 14th a few years back where they charged us $20 to get on the roof (on Cinco de Mayo).

    • If you paid you have no one to blame but yourself.

      • nope, pretty sure I can blame them for springing the charge on people the day of. When I had already coordinated a bunch of people to go check it out. I fell on the sword and paid the $20 so I could check it out and then text my friends to tell them if it was worth it or not. When I first balked at the $20 the guy at the door said it’s to pay for all the food up there so it was more than worth it. Instead they had one or two waiters come out every 20 minutes with the smallest plate of appetizers I’ve ever seen. I think they made enough food for about 3 people.

        It wasn’t worth 1 cent. And $7 for a Corona on Cinco de Mayo? Pffft.

        Once people started demanding refunds they put up a big sign near the staircase saying “No Refunds”

        So f them.

  • Agreed. Way to pricey for what it is. Should go over well in G-town.

  • andy

    El Centro DF Georgetown embodies the spirit of Mexico City?

    I am waiting for the Mexico City restaurant that embodies the spirit of DC! Quizas con la salsa mambo!

  • I wonder if I am going to meet Wilson Ramos at this location as well?

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