Chef Geoff’s – New Mexico Ave.

Happy hour and brunch are the busiest times at these casual neighborhood restaurants.

From November 2004

"It's Tuesday night," I thought. "No need to make a reservation." How wrong could I be? Every table and every seat at the bar at chef Geoff Tracy's New Mexico Avenue eatery was occupied.

Chef Geoff's popularity is evidence of the dearth of restaurants in this largely residential neighborhood, but more than that, it's a testimony to how well he has gauged his customers. They can order a full meal or just a sandwich or salad. The atmosphere is right for a casual meal after a hard day at the office. Service is prompt and friendly.

The menu is up-to-date without being demanding. Shrimp stuffed with crab, accompanied by a roasted-corn salsa, makes a good appetizer, as do the mildly spicy chipotle chicken empandas. On a recent visit, cumin-crusted salmon with black beans was very good; pan-roasted duck, a bit undercooked, was less so. But on the whole, a visit to Chef Geoff's is likely to encourage customers to return. Another appealing feature is a list of well-chosen wines, all priced at $25 a bottle.

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