10.25.2011

Day of the Dead Dishes at Oyamel

Just in time for Halloween and its ghostly traditions, Oyamel — the Penn Quarter eatery offering Mexican small plates — is celebrating the Day of the Dead, or “Dia de los Muertos” with two weeks of special dishes to commemorate the Mexican holiday.

Traditionally, Dia de los Muertos, celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, is a time when Mexicans gather to eat and drink in honor of those who have died.

This year at Oyamel, chef Joe Raffa is taking inspiration from the migration of the Monarch butterflies, which Mexicans believe are the souls of the deceased coming home, to the Oyamel fir forest in Michoacan, Mexico — a land of corn, frijoles and tropical fruits.

The Harvest Moon cocktail ($12), which I was able to try at a press dinner, probably most incorporates Raffa's inspiration. The drink combines Fidencio Mezcal ‘Sin Humo’, grilled and fresh corn, fresh pressed pineapple, D’Aristi Mayan liqueur and sal de gusano (that's worm salt) with hand-cracked ice.

Other dishes on the special menu include the tortitas de papa con Hoja Santa ($7.50), a Mexican version of fried cheese, and the tostada de Apatzinga´n ($7.50), a mini tostada topped with pulled pork, Michoacan tomato sauce, black beans, lettuce and queso fresco.

Raffa is also offering a Day of the Dead spin on a seasonal favorite — butternut squash soup. The sopa de calabaza con chicharron ($8.50) combines butternut squash with annatto, Mexican cinnamon, habanero chili, crispy fried pork, pumpkin seeds and micro marigolds.

The special menu is available through Nov. 2.











Katie Bascuas has lived in D.C. for the past year and a half, and when she isn’t working or traveling, she loves exploring new restaurants, farmers markets and bars in the city. A graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Katie also enjoys writing about food and is excited to be contributing to Metrocurean.














Katie Bascuas has lived in D.C. for the past year and a half, and when she isn’t working or traveling, she loves exploring new restaurants, farmers markets and bars in the city. A graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Katie also enjoys writing about food and is excited to be contributing to Metrocurean.





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