We would like to welcome you to an amazing world of Spanish and Mexican tapas at modern artsy decorated Tico restaurant on U Street in Washington DC. Before you say what we always tell ourselves about tapas. Tapas are too Expensive. Tapas are not enough food. I prefer brunch all you can eat tapas. All those things are true. However, Tico’s great dinner menu, strong drinks, and amazing desserts might change this. They do also offer all you can eat brunch, which we will check out and review soon enough. You should check out during dinner.
- Serrano Ham
- Mac & Cheese
- Spicy Pork Tacos
- Flamed Queso Fundido
- Hot Wings
- Delicata Squash
- Los Muertos Cocktail
- Passion Fruit Creme Brulee
- Tres Leches Cake
- Churros Con Dulce
- Caramelized Banana Split
The other thing that will make you fall in love with this place is the romantic atmosphere and giant graffiti spray painted walls. Low light is an enemy of good pictures so make sure to bring an external light. Just make sure you are not obnoxious to others.
Tico Guacamole (4 NOMs)
Highly recommended by our awesome waiter we decided to start with their signature Tico Guacamole for $14. We were starving and already drinking so this arrived just in time. Served with thick warm chips, it hit the right spot. What made this a bit more unusual and it might be just us, but at Tico, they add black olive powder on top of their Guacamole. It only added a small hint that barely registered with our taste buds. It added for a nice presentation. Solid dish, while not the most amazing guac we ever taste it, it was delicious and tied us over for next dishes.
Serrano Ham (5 NOMs)
Our next dish during tapas dinner at Tico became one of the best of the night the Serrano Ham for $15. You can never go wrong with ham, but this is a whole new level — very thinly sliced ham with crunch bread and what makes it amazing the guava jam dipping sauce. We got to admit, that our preference is for thick meat ;). They made every single slice contain a lot of flavors. Also, we have to talk about that bread. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, it went very well with the ham and sauce. Everything about this dish made us fall in love. Maybe the only problem is we ate it all, bring us another! We have to talk about the price tag, yea its a pretty expensive tapas dish, but well worth it and make sure to split it with few friends.
Tico’s Mac & Cheese (4 NOMs)
You know us well, we love Mac n Cheese, one of our favorite foods to eat and can’t pass up ordering one from Tico for $12. It’s very cheesy Few things we would change about this dish. The dish comes with their good Serrano Ham, extra cheese on top, and crunchy breadcrumbs. Cheese lovers rejoice and enjoy this gooey cheesiness. While a small portion, remember its a tapas dish, its still pretty harty (is that a word?) so it’s enough to share with few hungry friends. Overall we liked the dish and would order it again. We might have few suggestions to make it full 5 NOMs by making ham thicker cuts because cheese and mac are overpowering it. While there was the round amount of cheesiness, it was a bit too wet and could be better a bit gooier. Yea, we are all about that thickness.
Spicy Pork Tacos (4 NOMs)
Tacos are always a must, and with their six different choices, we settled on Spicy Pork $13 with cucumbers and salsa verde, since you can never go wrong with this combination. The corn tortilla was light in flavors so to allow the pork shine. What it did best is hold it together without getting too soggy. Made for a perfect delivery system for those nomnoms into our mouth. We do kind of wish there was more kick to these tacos since they are called spicy. Only thing, there are only two tacos in order. After all its a tapas restaurant so you can’t expect large portions. So its something to keep in mind if you are hungry or with a big group.
Mezcal Flamed Queso Fundido (6 NOMs)
This cheese is on fire!!!!! Today we were not the most flaming thing at the table. By far our most favorite dish, Mezcal Flamed Queso Fundido for $15. I mean you can’t beat this presentation, and of course, flavors were out of this world. We know that it says flamed in its name, but it came by surprise. If you love cheese, then this is a dish for you because it comes with three different cheese. Two Mexican cheese Oaxaca (commonly known Quesillo) and Queso Chihuahua, it’s not a type, and it’s not a dog, plus an American cheese. Every bite was pure joy of course after the fire went out. Served with corn tortilla for tipping, which we ran out quickly and just switched to those thick chips. Flamed Queso Fundido is another dish that is on the higher end of prices, but the quantity makes it more like a full entre and flavor makes it nomnom worth it. This dish alone is a reason enough for you to go to Ticos and try it with few good drinks.
Hot Wings (4 NOMs)
Clap your wings if you like it hot! We are fans of wings as they make a perfect dish with drinks so time to order up these Hot Wings. NIce and juicy wings served with some pickled vegetables on top and blue cheese dipping sauce. Definitely, one of those dishes you will need extra napkins for, things get very messy. Now is hot about temperature or spice level? We are a fan of spicy food and cute so went with spice spiciness. Sadly it didn’t pass our spice test and had very little kick to it. It didn’t take away from the nomnom of the dish. We still recommend ordering this. For $13 you get enough wings to share with friends.
Delicata Squash (6 NOMs)
With so much meat we just wanted to try some veggies like the Delicata Squash $12 which turned into the best dish of the night. You know its good when meat lovers prefer a vegetarian dish over meat. Its squash in cinnamon butter, guajillo chile, and pickled onion. The name Delicata Squash refers to a specific variety of winter squash that is also known as peanut squash. The flavors combination was an interesting mix of sweet and savory together. It’s almost like this dish was inspired by the graffiti art decor of the restaurant. Again we wish there was more of this dish, stop forgetting its tapas or order another one.
Los Muertos Cocktail (5 NOMs)
Let’s talk about alcohol because mama is thirsty for some Los Muertos Cocktail. Recommended by the waiter and description sounding so good we ordered up a pitcher for $48. While this sounds like a lot, a single serving is $12. Oh my oh my did that hit the spot. The Bacardi Rum, Passionfruit Serrano Syrup, and Lime made for a sweet and sour combination. With a strong alcohol flavor that will get you drunk. This beautiful drink is served with a giant ice cube and layers of yellow and orange colors. While its more of sipping drinks we easily enjoyed it in large quantities. A drink that will keep you warm during cold days. Even the pitcher it arrives in is very cool. So far our favorite drink at Tico restaurant.
Time for dessert, its one of those sad and happy moments in a good dinner. On one side we are sorry that dinner is nearly over, but on another, we are so glad for some dessert. Tico does not disappoint with their fantastic selection. Surprisingly they are large, so it doesn’t feel like tiny tapas and not too expensive so your wallet will be happy. If you are not there for the food, the desserts are a good reason. Maybe an end to a beautiful date night with drinks and sweet things.
Passionfruit Creme Brulee (4 NOMs)
Get creamy for some Passionfruit Creme Brulee. We always enjoy eating Creme Brulee for its hard melted sugar layer and smooth creamy interior. In this case, they used caramelized turbinado (brown sugar) to create a very thick layer. Must order for all the fans of this dessert. Portion wise its pretty standard size and well worth for $10.
Tres Leches Cake (5 NOMs)
Just look at this beauty, how can you not order Tre Leches Cake from Tico. Just in case this is your first time hearing about this dessert: 1) This is a sponge cake that soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. 2) You should order it next time. This dessert can is common in many Latin and Spanish restaurants in the DC area. The preparation processes of soaking in milk give this a very soft consistency. It’s like the dough is just as creamy as the cream on top. Served with fresh berries, candied almonds, caramel pink peppercorn, and mango sorbet. We just fell in love with the sorbet that made for a great texture and cool refreshing addition to every bite. Portion wise its just the right amount for $10. For such a low price for a tapas dish, there is enough to share with friends or date. Or be like us and eat the whole thing yourself (note: we shared it with friends)
Churros Con Dulce (4 NOMs)
Churros are one of those things we’ve had so much that we were a bit tired, but Tico’s Churros Con Dulce have revived our love for this dessert. These churros is another great dessert for a great price of $10. Every detail of this dessert was lovely and delicious that this sugar addict just fell in love. The crunchy churros were not the only great part of this dessert. It comes with super tasty Dulce de Leche Espuma which is creamy sweet milk for dipping churros. Plus very chocolaty tasting chocolate pearls. Just in case you might think there are not enough desserty things in there.
Caramelized Banana Split (5 NOMs)
Banana Split may not sound very exciting, but Tico is changing that with their Caramelized Bana Split. While this is a tapas place, their desserts are far from it and will give a nice big sugar coma. It might not look it, but a lot is going on there that makes it one of the best desserts. Chocolate gelato, peanut butter mousse, peanut crunch, Mexican chocolate sauce topped with cream and chocolate pearls. It was a smoothy chocolate joey in every spoon. With so many things it makes for a pretty heavy and very sugary treat. Hence we have no complaints. You can and really should share this dessert with friends since you get a lot for $14.
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