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).”