The District has Mexican restaurants. It was missing a neighborhood destination in Dupont where modern influence results in refined Mexican cuisine. The kind of menu inspired by traditional, bold flavors and fresh ingredients, but also able to offer diners a twist on the usual suspects without pretentious prices. Enter, Crios.
Crios comes to Dupont from the same minds next door at Scion Restaurant (home to our favorite destination for Sunday Brunch), and brings a unique dining menu and creative cocktail list to P Street. The exterior’s large, floor-to-ceiling glass facade gives way to a vibrant color scheme, modern decor and open concept inside. The atmosphere is casual, fun and exactly the setting we seek for a night out in the neighborhood with friends.
As to be expected, Crios offers a range of carefully selected beer on tap much like its sister restaurant, and serves up a fresh spin on the traditional Margarita with your choice of fresh fruit. Crios’ fresh approach to the traditional Margarita will certainly have us coming back for several future rounds.
The dinner menu is ideal for sharing, with a range of starters (“Bocaditos”), tacos and house specials. We opted to start with the House Guacamole, Duck Sopes and the Rockfish Ceviche that was so ideal it would make our Mexican friend’s family ceviche recipe jealous. The Dr. Pepper Carnitas tacos (pork shoulder braised with Dr. Pepper and served with arugula, chipotle adobo and queso fresco) were a unique spin on the traditional recipe, but the carne asada tacos (grilled skirt steak, pickled onions, guacamole and queso fresco) were some of the best we have had since moving to The District. These corn-tortilla wrapped bundles of flavor will have us coming back for these alone, and we highly recommend an order…or two.
Lastly, we’re not usually one for the after-dinner sweets, but having sampled the fried ice cream and another dish of chocolate pastries, any visit to Crios must end in trying these.
Our dining experience was much like the setting of Crios, with its fun and laid-back atmosphere, and our fellow diners appeared to be equally pleased by the setting and menu. Our only setback was the missed opportunity to sample the house-made salsa when our server forgot to bring any to our table. Sadly, we sat idly in anticipation, but were left to the expressions of enjoyment from the tables surrounding ours. We definitely look forward to trying the salsa at our next visit to Crios.
In a town that is increasingly being inundated by Mexican dining establishments, Crios stands out in Dupont Circle. The welcoming atmosphere, causal vibe and table sharing menu is sure to carry on the Scion tradition down in Dupont.