Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The girls and I flew to Washington via Porter, from Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto. As our flight was at 6:45 AM, we decided to be smart and efficient with time and meet the night before to catch the last ferry - then simply wait at the airport for 6-7 hours before the flight. 

The Thinker, The Kiss, Cupid on a Dolphin

Nydia, the Blind Girl of Pompeii

Little did we know, "the airport closes from 12 to 5, and you are not allowed to stay during that time," said the ferry attendant to us. 

If I was the swinging girl...
The Swing, Jean Honore Fragonard

So did we have to go back home and then come back to the ferry at 5 AM for the first ferry? Nope. Instead, we spent the 6-7 hours waiting at a Tim Horton's nearby - which had food and Wi-Fi, or the two basic necessities of our lives. 

Mom can you teach me?

A Painter's Studio, Louis-Leopold Boilly

It was a long night, neither of the four of us got any sleep. But were replenished after the less than 2 hour flight and hour long ride from the Washington Dulles Airport to the place we would be staying at in Washington.

Sire, your bubble blowing is magnificent

Soap Bubbles, Jean Simeon Chardin

On the first day, we hit my favorite sightseeing place - the art gallery. While one girl and I fell in love with the paintings (that seemed it would be impossible to look through even if we were given a day's time), the two other girls took a nice nap on one of the many benches placed in the viewing galleries.

David Triumphant

After several seeing other monumental-like buildings, we finished our long day filled with walking and picture-taking with a dinner at Oyamel.

Yay we're here!

So if you've read my blog before, I was obsessed with watching anything "Anthony Bourdain" for quite some time. And decided it would be a good idea to eat at where he recommended. And it was a very good idea indeed.

One of José Andrés' many restaurants, Oyamel delivers tapas style mexican food. We begin with an almost mandatory dish that everyone orders:

Guacamole: made right before your eyes, with green tomatillo, serrano chile, crumbled queso fresco, and a basket of fresh tortilla chips.

I don't like chips very much, no matter what kind they are, but the guacamole and queso fresco pairing just made the tortilla irresistible. After eating the spicy, tangy, and rich guacamole here, it will be difficult to enjoy it anywhere else. Hands down, this was the perfect start to the rest of the meal.

Cayo en aquachile: bay scallops with a sauce of cucumber, lime and serrano, served with freshno chiles, pickled red onions and mint. 

Though there seems to be chiles sprinkled all throughout, it is pleasant to eat. The mint, cucumber and lime makes this ceviche a great palette cleanser for your next dish:

Col de bruselas estilo San Quintin: crispy brussel sprouts with a chile de arbol sauce, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and lime.

The vegetable dish recommended to us by our server did not fail to please. The sauce again, is spicy, tangy, and sweet all at once. The brussel sprouts are grilled until caramelized with the sauce, and crunchy with the addition of the seeds and nuts. The typically unpleasant taste present in brussel sprouts was nary present even after eating the entire plate.

Quesadilla en chicharonnes: pasture-raised Rock Hollow Farms pork belly fried until crisp and served in a house made tortilla with Chihuahua cheese and a sauce of five chiles.

I would have enjoyed this more if the pork was less crispy because it was nearing the edge of dry, if it weren't for the spicy-sweet sauce, and unique mix of melted cheese. The soft tortilla was definitely a hit though - it was so different from the kinds supermarkets sell prepacked that I'm doubting whether or not I can still refer to the store bought kinds as tortilla. Oh yes and the sauce kept the tortilla nice and warm (the cheese nice and gooey). This was also a recommendation from our server.

Acelgas con nuez de Castilla: Sauté of swiss chard, cabbage, shallots, toasted hazelnuts, dried cranberries and raisins with a spiced apricot purée, topped with pickled swiss chard.

A salad of cooked vegetables made into what almost could pass for dessert because of the sweet sauce and dried fruits. The spiciness is what keeps this dish from floating over under the dessert menu. Having never thought to saute vegetables on the sweet instead of savoury side, I might just have to try this at home the next time I go to the farmer's market and pick up colorful swiss chard and cabbage. 

Gorditas de pato: House-made masa cakes topped with Hudson Valley duck confit and salsa chile árbol and served with a relish of local peaches, habanero and piloncillo 

Oyamel on Urbanspoon

Delicious. This was our last plate, and we ended up ending this meal on a very spicy note. Staying on this restaurant's sweet and spicy trend, the duck confit did not disappoint. The fruity sweetness was refreshing and a taste that we all appreciated amidst the heat of the chiles. The masa cakes were a bit tough to cut through but the generous portion of duck meat to masa cake, topped with a warm blackberry, really hit the spot.


I'm missing my school friends already. Spending time with family is great, but I do miss cooking for the girls every night, and how they always like whatever I cook up for dinner.

 The Seine at Giverny, The Japanese Footbridge, Monet

In exchange, I now have plenty of time to bake because I have all my entire baking materials ready in the kitchen *yay*

A Game of Horse and Rider, Jean Honore Fragonard

My first bake since co-op was a soft fluffy chiffon cake for a friend's birthday the other day, which will be in a post after Washington, with a recipe!

Come back soon for the rest of our Washington trip!