Inspired by the cuisines of Peru, Argentina, and their regional neighbors, Del Campo is a fine-dining restaurant that also embraces the rustic side of South American eating—note the Argentinian penguin decanters lining shelves behind the wine bar, and the bar-goers negotiating towering street-style sandwiches, egg yolk running off their chins.
Chef/owner Victor Albisu loves all things smoked and charred—even the bread comes with smoked olive oil—and blackened food shows up everywhere. For instance: Grilled octopus and avocado top a fancy version of a Peruvian causa with grilled octopus, tuna confit, and ramps prepared three ways. Berkshire pork chicharrones—an appetizer offering ribs and belly—taste both tender and charred.
Albisu says Del Campo’s early diners have leaned toward the chivito sandwich on the bar menu, opening wide to wrap their lips around layers of Wagyu beef, mortadella, ham, provolone, fried egg, grilled olive salad, and hearts of palm mayonnaise, as well as the tuna ceviche and the chef’s asado boards, soon to be featured at a reservations-only chef’s table with a view into the kitchen.
Del Campo. 777 I St., NW; 202-289-7377. Dining room open Monday through Wednesday 5:30 to 10:30; Thursday through Saturday 5:30 to 11. Bar open Monday through Wednesday 5 to 11:30; Thursday through Saturday 5 to midnight. Restaurant open Sunday 5 to 10.