When one of my co-workers told me about Mike Isabella’s new restaurant Arroz, I put it on my list of D.C. restaurants to check out. That list is more like a novel, as the DC restaurant scene is expansive – and there are only so many days I’m in DC with the opportunity to explore.
When my best friend Meaghan, and her now fiancé Daniel, messaged me about their short upcoming visit to DC, I was eager to plan a dinner for the three of us. You know those friends you don’t talk to in months, but as soon as you speak, it’s like you never skipped a beat? Meaghan is that friend for me. She is hands down the best friend I’ve had; life gets hectic, but we both respect each other’s pursuit of success and happiness. Silence is never taken personally, and we always celebrate each other’s accomplishments. We are also the friends that enjoy sitting around a table with a bottle of wine, talking about life — using good food as the perfect pairing to experiencing each others’ company.
Speaking of accomplishments — our dinner was my first time seeing the couple since their engagement! Any dinner meant for celebrating friendship & love is my favorite kind of dinner. So, I took the opportunity as an excuse to check out the new Mike Isabella restaurant, Arroz – a celebration of the tastes of Southern Spain and Morocco. My friends are pretty adventurous with food and the spot was a quick trip from Union Station, so it seemed like a perfect fit!
Important point: Arroz has a tapas-style menu, with very limited selections for “large” plates. I personally love this style of dinner because it highlights dinner as a shared experience while fostering communication over and about food! That being said, we weren’t entirely sure of how large the plates would be; we started off by ordering 4 dishes to share amongst the 3 of us – lettuce gems, fried cauliflower, octopus a la plancha, and patatas bravas.
I got the Rose sangria off of their drink/cocktail menu; Daniel ordered one of the dark-liquor cocktails (I want to say it was the Andalusiana but I could be wrong!) The plates were a surprisingly decent size, and after 2 drinks and splitting the 4 dishes, each of us were content.
BUT We couldn’t leave Arroz without sampling something off of their dessert menu – one of the reasons Meaghan and I are best friends is our mutual love of sweets. So, when she said she wanted dessert, I was 110% game. We decided on the Chocolate Custard, and a wise decision it was. The rich custard was complimented perfectly a brandied cherry ice cream and crispy phyllo. And I continued to listen to my best friends’ life updates through bites of the dish and sips of decaf coffee.
If you’re looking for great food and a spot that takes an active role promoting dinner as an experience shared amongst friends, I definitely recommend Arroz. Not only is their menu filled with a delicious and diverse selections, but the space’s design creates a Moroccan oasis in the heart of D.C. Plus, the natural light pouring into the restaurant had me beaming.
Click HERE to check for availability and make your reservations through OpenTable!
Thank you Arroz for the experience; and an extra special thank you for an amazing atmosphere, perfect for catching up with those who mean the most to me!
Have you been to Arroz inside the Marriott Marquis, Washington DC.? What did you order? What did you think of that gorgeous lobby?? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
Curious about where else I’m eating on my #TayloredTravels? Check out more of my recent eats HERE!
Share your favorite dining experiences + best dishes with me by tagging me @stylishlytaylored on Instagram! I’d love to see what city you’re visiting and what you’re loving!
Until next time, keep experiencing.