We've long known Recess Lounge, by the White House corridor at 757 15th Street NW, was a hot spot after-hours, particularly with the Rock Creek Social Club's wild Tuesday parties. The lounge just launched a new tapas menu under chef Will Vivas (pictured, top left), and it's actually super good.
The plates have a distinct South American flair and range in price from $5-12. Sides like Spanish rice and sweet potato fries are $4, and Cuban empanadas are available for $2.50.
Our favorites dishes: Start off with the Platanitos Con Guacamole Mousse ($7), which features plantain crisps in guacamole mousse. For entrees, we loved the Lamb Con Romero ($12) and the Scallops al Chef ($10), which are served between two decorative shells, and the chef's special, which was Rockfish when we went. Wash them down with the light and refreshing Summer Splash Cocktail while it's hot out, or a glass of their Red Sangria when it gets cold out. They don't skimp on the fruit!
You must finish with Vivas's Flan del la Abuela, $6. The recipe is his grandmother's. It was the best dish of the night and a fine conclusion to the Recess tapas dinner.
Atmosphere: Dark and hip, with cool staff and modern decor. It is underground, making cell reception difficult (perhaps ideal for a phone-aholic date)
[Red Sangria] [Scallops al Chef] [Lamb Con Romero]
[non-watermarked photos courtesy Emilio Pabon and Recess]