After closing two weeks into its summer opening, 14th Street NW Tex-Mex restaurant Diego reopened last night with a new chef and new menu.
Co-owner Michael Askarinam previously told Y&H that he wasn’t happy with the initial food and service, so he decided it would be best to shut down while he searched for a new chef. Now leading the kitchen: Billy McCormick, an alum of EatWell DC restaurant group (Commissary, Logan Tavern, The Pig).
The new menu already looks like an improvement, with more sophisticated offerings beyond the obvious Tex-Mex fare. McCormick says he wanted to highlight barbacoa, and new dishes include mesquite smoked and slow roasted meats (goat, pork, and lamb) in banana leaves with baby potatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, and an assortment of salsas. The barbacoa meats also make their way into tacos.
Other offerings include fajitas, enchiladas, ceviches, soups and salads, entrees (maize-crusted tuna, skirt steak with plantains and chimmichurri), and appetizers like crispy baby back ribs with guava habanero sauce and garlic shrimp with red onion, cilantro, and olive oil-poached tomatoes.
On the drink menu, expect a variety of flavored margaritas, mojitos, sangrias, and Mexican beer cocktails. Happy hour goes from 4 to 7 p.m. and includes $5 margaritas (including prickly pear), sangria, and house wines, plus $3 Pacifico drafts.
Here’s hoping the guacamole—now “prepared to order with fresh tortilla chips”—no longer looks like this:
Diego, 2100 14th St. NW; (202) 758-3376; diegodc.com
Photo by Ally Mutnick