A group of us decided to set our book club meeting at Destino and ended up talking more about the food than the book.
Our dishes consisted of:
The first and best dish of the night, Ahi Tuna Cebiche cooked in lime juice with diced avocado, mango, red onions and achiote oil.
A wonderfully light and refreshing dish. It managed to capture all the best qualities of each ingredient without overpowering one another.
Yucca Fries, executed just like good french fries: crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and without too much grease.
Plantain Chips were good, but my notes don't provide any further details.
Pato Saltado con Arroz Verde - A braised duck breast served with cilantro infused basmati rice and aji amarillo salad; overall the second best dish of the night. The duck was flavorful and tender and well complimented by the aromatic rice.
Chile Relleno, Salsa de Chipotle - A poblano pepper filled with ground sirloin, sharp cheddar, roasted chipotle salsa and drizzled with creme fraiche. Did not receive rave reviews from the four of us at the table. This was just one of those dishes that sounds great on the menu, but fails to live up to it's description; I think we expected the dish to be spicier.
Aji de Gallina - Shredded chicken in cream & aji panca sauce, toasted walnuts, accompanied by crostini to dip in the cream. Very rich and wonderful at first bite. However, after a couple of bites the richness of the dish made us happy were sharing. The phrase, "To much of a good thing," comes to mind. By this I don't mean to imply that I wouldn't order it again, simply that it makes a great tapa.
Brochettas de Cordero a la menta, Ensalada de Quinoa y Jicama - Mint marinated lamb skewers, quinoa (a type of wheat, from my understanding, with very high nutritional value), jicama and sweet 100 tomatoes salad. This came in a close third place behind the duck breast. For anyone who has never had quinoa (such as myself, up until that day, I would highly recommend it.) Those who had either prepared it at home or eaten it at other restaurants agreed that it was well executed.
And of course, to fairly review the restaurant, we were compelled to order dessert. We shared a banana sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk and made by someone with a heavy hand on the rum. A little alcoholically intense, but very good never the less.
Flan which we all found to be extremely thick and heavy. Not one of my personal favorites, but believe that it really depends on how an individual prefers the consistency. I can see how some people might love it.
As a side note, non-chowhound friends of mine who enjoy good food, but aren't quite as discerning as many on this board, have eaten at Destino and been very happy with the food. I know I've recommended their cebiche twice already.
The decor is warm and stylish and the service friendly. Serves good drinks and tango dancing on the night we were there.
Seating consists of one small dining room, which I would imagine gets quite packed and noisy on the weekends.
I hope any of my lovely dining companions will chime in with anything I've missed. I'd also appreciate further insights or rebuttals to my descriptions.
Cheers - Nancy
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