The Washington Post
Critic rating
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Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisine: Latin American
Price: $$ ($15-$24)
Sound check: 75 decibels (Must speak with raised voice)
San Juan native Giovanna Huyke's Vermont Avenue kitchen is best known for its Puerto Rican cooking.
Our Review

Eating at Mio is a trip — to San Juan. Lift off with green plantains mashed in a wooden mortar with pork rinds, garlic oil, chicken broth and chives while you watch. Guacamole, move over. You’ve got stiff competition in starchy mofongo. The July arrival of a new chef, Roberto Hernandez, means there are fresh reasons to explore this fizzy downtown dining room: tender grilled octopus with diced potatoes crisped in duck fat, pomegranate-glazed duck splayed on gnocchi made with the tropical root vegetable malanga, one of the city’s best steaks under $30. (The juicy rib-eye is drenched in butter, green with the herb cilantro.) “Lechon Friday” lets a diner pig out on a roast suckling beast flanked by brittle mahogany skin and yellow rice flecked with pigeon peas — “like lentils, but better,” says a server as bubbly as any fountain. Cheesy arepas plated with a bright slaw and tasty black beans throw out a welcome mat for vegetarians. The kitchen’s energy can flag at dessert, but dense flan and dull ice cream are excuses to finish the way you began — in my case, with a bueno house margarita, blushing with blood orange.

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