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New Chef, All-Day Menu, Late Night Tamales & More at Royal in LeDroit Park

by Prince Of Petworth May 3, 2017 at 10:22 pm 6 Comments

the-royal
501 Florida Ave, NW

From a press release:

“Royal, Michelin Bib Gourmand-honored bar and eatery in LeDroit Park, is thrilled to announce the appointment of its new Executive Chef Cable Smith. Smith is a kitchen veteran of acclaimed dining destinations such as Foreign & Domestic in Austin, TX, Richard Blais’ HD1 in Atlanta, and most recently, “Best New Restaurant” RAMMY Finalist Requin. The engineer-turned-Chef with almost a decade of culinary experience came to Royal last month and in addition to working with the family-owned eatery on a new menu for the late spring/early summer season, has recently added a small late-night menu, some dessert options, and happy hour food specials for the first time ever.

See the full menu here.

Perfect for the warm weather season, Chilled Corn Soup ($9) is topped with cilantro oil, shrimp ceviche and spiced popcorn, served with pandebono, a Colombian cheesy bread. Kale Caesar ($11) is anything but ubiquitous at The Royal, as Chef Smith chars fresh, sweet corn for the base of his house charred corn Caesar dressing. He tosses the nutrient-rich greens with grilled corn, avocado, cotija cheese, and arepa croutons for crunch.

Pork Belly ($13) is fried and served in a bowl topped with Salvadorian street corn, picante dulce (a sweet and spicy orange sauce), ember-roasted leeks and pickled onions, meant to be mixed together to integrate all of the flavors. Shrimp & grits get a Latin makeover in the Grilled Shrimp ($16), featuring head-on shrimp, charred tomato nage and pickled chayote, atop smoked cheddar grits.

The colorful new Fried Chicken Sandwich ($16) is breaded in panko and Colombian spices, topped with jalapeno aioli, Colombian B&B pickles, pickled fresno chilies and grilled slaw on a toasted brioche bun, and served with house-cut fries. And Charred Skirt Steak Escabeche ($22) features 8 oz. of marinated skirt steak accompanied by aji amarillo carrot puree, seasonal vegetables, yucca chips and chimichurri.

Smith is also getting ambitious with larger-format entrees and whole proteins, like the Whole Grilled Branzino served with charred lime, cabbage salad, fried plantains and aji aioli ($25) and the Whole Roasted Chicken (which is also available in a half-portion) featuring a 3 lb. chicken which has been brined, oven roasted and finished on the grill with chimichurri, grilled lime and cilantro, accompanied by grilled avocado and seasonal vegetables ($35/$25 for half portion).

Chef Smith has introduced dessert options for the first time, such as the Passion Fruit Tart featuring passion fruit custard on a graham cracker crust, sprinkled with toasted coconut, almond, lemongrass and served with coconut whipped cream and fresh blackberries ($10). He has plans to make his own ice creams later this summer, with unique flavors such as avocado.

Smith has also introduced a small late night food menu featuring handmade tamales ($10) steamed in banana leaves: the Roasted Chicken Tamal filled with roasted chicken, cheese, onions and peppers and Vegetarian Tamal stuffed with roasted corn, hearts of palm, onions and cheese; both topped with grilled cabbage and tomato salsa, and served with a side of Royal’s aji sauce. The late night menu is available from 10 p.m. to close on Sunday-Thursday and 11 p.m. to close on Friday and Saturday.

And for the first time ever, Royal now offers food specials during its daily happy hour (7 days a week from 3-7 p.m.), featuring discounts on House Fries drizzled with aji Amarillo mayo and ketchup ($5/reg. $10), Pork Empanadas ($4/reg. $6), Cheese Arepa with avocado and pickled slaw ($7/reg. $9), Grilled Avocado atop red quinoa and lentils ($7/reg. $11), Hearts of Palm Arepa stuffed with grilled cabbage and salsa rosada ($8/reg. $11) and Beef Arepa stuffed with avocado and cheese ($8/reg. $13).”

  • lmfb

    Sounds jummy! I love me some Royal!!!!!!

  • anonfortoday

    LOVE royal – and I love me some tamales. Good job, Paul!

  • hliz1001

    I’m sorry, I need to know who is paying $10 for a plate of fries with ketchup and mayo?

  • ET

    Can I just say that I was willing to spend that $$ on fries I would NOT be sitting a few feet from the zooming traffic of Florida Avenue. That is no way to enjoy any food.

  • northeazy

    So is the take away that if you earn a Bib Gourmand you lose your job to a chef who has never earned such praise? Also, $16 for a chicken sandwich is not OK. Convival does it for far less. That’s saying a lot.

  • Charles Imay

    This is amazing and fantastic news. The Royal is awesome and this new and expanded menu sounds delicious. The location is perfect and prices are reasonable for high quality food. I love sitting next to Florida avenue, reveling in how much our neighborhood and city has and is changimg. It is safer, cleaner, and much more fun to live in DC and near this exciting corner than it has probably ever been in the true full history of DC (for those who think DC was built in the mid 1900s, it actually has a much longer, deeper and richer patchwork to consider). Keep it up Royal. I will be there every week. Keep the menu fresh, seasonal, super high quality ingredients, and priced accordingly. We love you.

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