January is going to be a good month for eating in the District. Zengo, the Latin-Asian fusion restaurant of acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval debuts its sixth Test Kitchen, series in January.
The Test Kitchen series at Zengo occur every few months when Sandoval and his team create a menu of small plates and cocktails based on new recipes the team develops to feature the cuisine and spirits of one Latin and one Asian country. The result is a unique meal that lets you travel around the world and linger in two countries all from Washington, D.C.
This Test Kitchen will showcase the flavors and culture of Japan and Mexico with a menu that includes Achiote Shrimp Tempura Roll with avocado, jicama chile lemon, chile toreado aioli and charred scallion; Octopus Aguachile Tiradito with ginger green chile broth, white soy, Asian pear, avocado, nori and sesame; Teriyaki Pork Belly Gorditas “Sliders” with crispy masa, Oaxaca cheese, guacamole, caramelized pineapple and pickled chilies, as well as Kabayaki Glazed Lamb Shank Barbacoa with ginger, chiles, tamarind, arroz verde and pickled vegetable, and an Avocado Panacotta with fresh avocado custard, tropical fruit salad and peanut chocolate cookie crumbs for dessert.
Drinks will complement the dishes and the countries that inspired those dishes. The unique cocktails on the Test Kitchen menu include Calamansi Old-Fashioned made with Japanese whiskey, fresh calamansi juice, agave and bitters, Shiro Margarita made with nigori, 100% agave blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and house-made sour.
I can’t wait.
If you go:
Zengo, 781 7th Street, NW, 20001
Lunch: Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner Sunday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 5 p.m. to Midnight
Lounge Sunday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner Sunday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday to Saturday 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Brunch Saturday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..
Test Kitchen: Japan to Mexico is available Jan. 2 to March 31, only during dinner service, which begins at 5 p.m. Test Kitchen dishes are designated with a TK on the menu and prices range from $7 to $28.