Chef Roberto Hernandez opens a chef’s counter on Wednesday.
By Anna Spiegel | Washingtonian | January 7, 2015
Chef Roberto Hernandez at Mio’s new chef counter. Photograph courtesy of Mio.
Many Washingtonians think of homestyle dishes when it comes to Puerto Rican cuisine: crispy yucca frita, roasted pork, or mofongo, a plantain mash often studded with pork cracklings. Mio, one of the few Puerto Rican restaurants in DC, serves some of these hearty dishes—as well as creative riffs on the classics— but is hoping to introduce diners to a different variety of flavors from the islands with a reservation-only chef’s counter.
Chef Roberto Hernandez arrived at the restaurant last summer after years cooking at spots like Miami’s Blue Door Restaurant and the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, and most recently directing a culinary nonprofit promoting his native Puerto Rican cuisine throughout the Caribbean and Americas. The new nine-course tasting menu, set for two guests at a time looking into the open kitchen, is meant to explore the flavors and ingredients in a new way. Dishes in the frequently changing prix-fixe could include truffled ravioli filled with mousse made from the taro-like malanga plant, roasted local fish with pomegranate butter, and cilantro butter-basted rib eye with tomato escabeche.
The chef’s counter launches Wednesday, and is available for 6 and 8:30 seatings Wednesday through Saturday. Menus run $95 per person, or $135 with beverage pairings.