100 Very Best Restaurants: #34 – Poca Madre

Tasty Freeze. The Chapo on the Beach cocktail from Poca Madre.


One of the best restaurant revamps of the year came courtesy of Victor Albisu, who transformed his Penn Quarter steakhouse, Del Campo, into this sultry dining room (and added a branch of his popular Northern Virginia taqueria, Taco Bamba, too). Albisu channels the cutting-edge cuisine of Mexico City, where he says “tradition is being turned on its head.” Here that translates to Oaxacan rum cocktails frozen tableside; addictive “not guacamole,” with tempura avocado and chili-lime dressing; and kaleidoscopic ceviches. It’s easy to make a meal of smaller plates, but that would mean missing our favorite dishes: family-style taco platters featuring delectable meats—duck al pastor; a smoky pork chop cooked on the patio’s Green Egg—plus salsas, herbs, pickled vegetables, and freshly made tortillas. Expensive.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.