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First Look: Agua 301
December 17, 2013 | 11:00AM

Words and Photos: Stephanie Breijo

2013 was quite a year for Capitol Riverfront. The neighborhood adjacent to Nationals Park first sprouted Bluejacket this fall, followed closely by Osteria Morini. Come Saturday night, the waterside community gets a new restaurant with a gorgeous view and mouthwatering menu: Agua 301.

This weekend, the chef-driven Mexican concept opens its doors to 150 seats, 60 tequilas, 10 mezcals, and a modern Mexican menu from El Centro D.F.’s own Antonio Burrell.

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The cuisine piqued our interest immediately–there are three forms of gourmet guacamole (one involving jumbo lump crab and fresh corn, no less), pork belly tacos al Pastor, ceviches with horseradish infused with tomato water, adobo-roasted chicken, and short rib in mole sauce.

When it comes to lighter fare, Burrell has you covered there, too. A selection of Bocadillos–or Mexican small plates/bites–include wild mushroom flatbread with truffled salsa, grilled local oysters with chile butter, empanadas, and seafood tostadas.

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Stephen Briggs, who also owns Zest Bistro, knew the Riverfront was the perfect spot for his new concept. “”When you have an opportunity to be on the water, it’s ideal,” he said. “When we’re next to the water we like to drink a margarita.”

From there, it was simple. Briggs tapped Burrell for the menu and GrizForm Design Architects, the team behind the design at Founding Farmers, who then created a minimalist look that evokes Mexican culture. Shutters lend a hacienda feel while the etched walls are the cityscape of an old Mayan community.

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While Agua 301 opens with dinner only, they’re beginning lunch service the first week after Christmas, with a New Year’s Day Brunch kicking off their weekend brunch service. Beginning Monday, they’ll even offer happy hour with reduced bar menu (and food items). In the summer, expect seasonal surprises like churros and homemade popsicles outside on their waterside patio. As you could have guessed, we can’t wait.

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