What do you do when you run a marathon in under 3 hours? If it’s me I either pass out, or wake up from the dream that I was having. If it is Ashley, well then we celebrate. This means finding a place that is a little low key, with a wide range of good food within walking distance of the hotel and that can accommodate 10 people. Ceiba (a sister restaurant of District Commons) definitely fit that bill.
When we arrived it was quiet, dimly lit, but with a relaxing vibe. And, as the first ones to arrive we had plenty of time to pour over the eclectic Latin American menu with influences and recipes from Brazil, Peru, and the Yucatan. And the drink menu of course.
I nearly started with a traditional caipirinha or mojito, but decided to ask the server what his preference would be. Without hesitation he suggested the Jardin del Eden (the Garden of Eden), as it a unique, chef-inspired drink that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. And it only took one sip of the bright green and fragrant concoction to make me glad I took his advice. The Patron is infused with jalepeno, and then mixed with a mild pepper puree and finished with cilantro. There is a little bit of heat from the jalepeno that is balanced by the freshness of the cilantro and a little of the natural sweetness of the peppers. Definitely not a sweet drink but if you like peppers and cilantro and tequila, it is fantastic.
The drinks definitely set the tone for the evening. We started with a sampling of four different ceviches, each different, and each well done. The classic Peruvian ceviche was expertly done with large chunks of firm white fish, the acidic bite from the fresh lime, and the freshness of cilantro to round out a perfect bite. But the star of the sampler was the yellowfin; sweet and spicy with a crunch from cashews that had me watching the plate make its way around the table, hoping that there would be some left when it made its way back to me.
In between bites of ceviche, I was enjoying the simple but delicious guacamole that wasn’t overdone, but just left to its quality self, all the while preparing myself for the roasted pork loin special. It was good, but a little more reserved whereas the flavors of the appetizers popped. The pork was nicely cooked in the middle, though the ends got a bit overdone. But the sauce was a nice, simple compliment, and the pickled red onions (which I’m a sucker for) brought the brightness of flavor.
We rounded out the meal just as you should…another round of drinks and some churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce. Cinnamon and sugar and crispy, yet chewy dough with chocolate? What’s not to love?
Ceiba was definitely a hit, and everyone walked out full and happy. It was the perfect environment and the perfect food for what we were looking for. The flavors were excellent, the staff was friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.