When we walked into Puro, I immediately noticed its laid back vibe. Puro calls itself a "Mediterranean tapas" restaurant, but the ambiance made it feel like a casual European bistro. The menu had a wide variety of tapas, ranging from quinoa with Medjool dates to meatballs with basil sauce to jumbo lump crab cake. Although Puro offers such a wide range of options, they are all infused with a Mediterranean spice influence and flavor profile.
We went with a selection of seafood, vegetarian, and meat tapas including the meatballs with basil sauce, shrimp with dill, shallots and dijon, golden rice with raisins and asparagus, grilled asparagus with sea salt and tapenade, and an arugula salad with gorgonzola, apples, and walnuts.
For me, the highlight of the meal was the meatballs with a delicious basil tomato sauce. The meatballs were tender and well seasoned, and the sauce was the best tomato sauce I've ever had. Basil is my favorite herb, and this sauce was the perfect combination of sweet tomatoes and earthy basil. I finished every ounce of sauce on that plate.
My roommate's favorite dish was the shrimp with shallots, dill and dijon. The sauce was definitely the star of this plate--it was creamy and slightly buttery without being overly fatty or too rich. The dill added another layer of flavor to the sauce that perfectly complimented the dijon.
The third-best dish was the golden rice with raisins and asparagus. I loved the combination of the sweet raisins, the perfectly seasoned rice, and crunchy asparagus. The textural contrast between the raisins and asparagus truly made the dish.
Overall, my roommate and I really loved our meal and the laid-back vibe of Puro Cafe put me at ease. We also noticed a great deal on mojitos ($15 dollars for a pitcher during happy hour), and vowed to return in the next few weeks for drinks. Mojitos, I'll be back for you.
Visit Puro Cafe at 1529 Wisconsin Avenue
Washington, DC NW 20007