If you were to take ten steps past the door of The Hamilton, you’ll arrive at the District’s newest Mexican-inspired offering, MXDC. The brainchild of Celebrity Chef Todd English, the famed PBS “Food Trip with Todd English” host, MXDC promises authentic, no-nonsense food, drinks and decor. And it certainly lives up to that.
The restaurant opens today, with a limited dinner-only menu for the first few weeks. But, it’s only limited in the sense that English’s knowledge of the cuisine could easily span volumes. For MXDC though, English offers simple dishes with high-quality and high-flavor ingredients. Their tacos range from a grilled soy-ginger skirt steak, to pork belly, to huitlacoche (or, mushrooms that grow on corn). Even their side dishes are accompanied by unique flavors, like their guacamole with serrano chile and shaved crab meat.
As for the drink menu, MXDC offers three signature margaritas: a house, a hibiscus flavored, and a picante spiced with jalepeño water. For the latter, the earthy heat is welcoming (think bonfire warmth more so than hit-you-in-the-head habanero) balanced by citrus, and a slice of grapefruit for a chaser.
The restaurant itself has an intimate feel, with thirty-plus tables adorning the two levels. The main floor, with vaulted ceilings, has the largest bar and seating in a sunken dining area. Upstairs, after passing metal sculptures hanging on the walls, there is a second bar and tables overlooking the entire restaurant. The decor isn’t tex-mex (no cheesy teal tiles to be found), but an emphasis on wood and metal – true rustic-Mexican design.
MXDC is located at 600 14th Street NW, and begins their dinner-only menu tonight.