"If you don't like guacamole, you don't like life," Todd English said, with only a smidgen of hyperbole, at the June 19 opening of his newest restaurant, MXDC. That's why the celebrity chef offers four guacs at the sleek new restaurant in the former Galileo III space at 14th and F Streets NW. And like many other items on the menu, they're remixed takes on Mexican classics.
MXDC is inspired by the chef's travels to Mexico, where his restaurant, Olives, has an outpost. (The D.C. Olives closed in 2009.) English has stocked the menu with creative crowd-pleasers, without focusing on a specific region. Amid pork belly and beer-battered mahi mahi tacos, you'll also find grilled octopus with pickled red onion, and duck carnitas with red chile peanut pesto. One of the guacamoles, the Azul, is loaded up with blue cheese, bacon and red onion, "All of the best parts of a Cobb salad," English said. You can also order family-style platters of pork, lamb, chicken and fish, served with corn on the cob, tortillas, rice and beans to share.
English says he hopes that people will come to the restaurant for different reasons, whether for the tuna and crab ceviche, the sweet corn panna cotta for dessert or the nightclub vibe the restaurant will adopt after dinner. There's a built-in DJ booth tucked above the bar.