(Photo by Travis Mitchell)
This post originally appeared in DCist.
When it comes to Spanish cooking in D.C., there's one thing restaurateur Michael Schlow is quick to point out.
"The bar has been set very, very high here," he says. "We have José Andrés, who is a culinary icon."
That didn't stop Schlow from opening his latest concept, a temporary Spanish restaurant named Calle Cinco (465 K St. NW) in the back of Alta Strada. Named after its 5th and K St. NW location, the pop-up opened last week in the space was previously dedicated to Conosci, which closed earlier this month and will look to relocate to a larger space in time. DCist was recently invited to participate in a preview of the launch.
Schlow is no stranger to the D.C. market, having opened five restaurants, including Tico, Alta Strada, and The Riggsby since 2014. He say's he's excited to bring his on take on Spanish tapas to D.C. and stresses he's not out to eclipse what's already being done, whether by the boundary-pushing Andrés or others.
Calle Cinco won't wow diners with modern technical tricks or overtly creative plates. That's not really the goal. Food here is casual, inspired by what Schlow, chef George Rodrigues, and the team learned and enjoyed while eating across cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian. It's approachable, well-executed, and likely to resonate with anyone who's spent entire evenings chowing down on Spanish snacks.
Travis moved to D.C. in 2007 has written about the city's diverse food scene for a number of outlets over the years, including Eater DC, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian and DCist, where he was formerly the food editor.