Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rasika: A Feast for the Senses

Just when I thought the Penn Quarter Neighborhood in downtown DC was 'hot' enough, another chic spot opens its doors. Rasika, the latest venture from Ashok Bajaj, owner of Bombay Club, 701 Restaurant, The Oval Room, Ardeo and Bardeo, is a feast for the senses.

The name, Rasika, which means flavors in Sanskrit, combines a refined and elegant atmosphere with a menu of modern Indian fare. Bajaj has created a warm and inviting dining room, complete with earth tone colors, an open showcase kitchen, and cozy lounge and bar area. At first glance of the menu, you will notice a variety of small plate dishes, ideal for sharing, along with larger sized entrees. The wine list covers both old and new world selections designed to pair well with the chef's creations.

This evening, I had the opportunity to experience Rasika with two of my clients. The food was ABSOLUTELY amazing. We decided to order a number of small plate items in order to get a feel for the entire menu. My favorite was one suggested by our sever, which happened to be one of the restaurant's signature items. The Palak Chaat--crispy spinach served with sweet yogurt, tamarind and date chutney was absolutely mouth-watering. I was a bit skeptical upon reading the description (crispy spinach???), but was simply blown away, not only by the texture, but the sheer flavor of the dish.

For wine, we sampled a bottle of Tissot Crémant du Jura: a dry, sparkling wine from the French Alps. The Crémant was a perfect match to our menu selections: dry and crisp with mouth-watering acidity, which cleansed the palate after each bite.

Rasika is a must try for your next visit to the Penn Quarter!

633 D Street, NW
Washington, DC

Pictures courtesy of Rasika

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