Debbie and I went to Arroz with Decker and Sherry. It has been open since March in the Marriot Marquis Convention Hotel lobby.
The restaurant, a Mike Isabella restaurant, is entered through the lobby of the hotel.
The lobby inside the door from the hotel is decorated with a variety of photographs, urns, plates and teapots shipped from Morocco.
One then enters a lengthy arched path leading to the greeters stand.
The restaurant seats about 138 people. 110 of them are seated in the main dining room and 28 are seated in the bar and lounge area which is at the opposite end of the restaurant from the main entrance. There is a 12-seat private dining room and are 60-some seats outside on a terrace that faces Massachusetts Avenue at the bar end of the restaurant.
There are a variety of kinds of seating. There are a number of 4-person booths on the street side of the restaurant. There is also a banquette on the street side that fronts a number of 2 and 4 tops.
On the other side of the restaurant are a series of 2 tops which are set into banquettes for two with a Moroccan framing.
In between there are a variety of other options, a couple of small banquettes in the middle of the room and various 2 and 4 tops.
The Spanish dishes on the menu add new foods to the Isabella restaurant group which historically featured Greece and Italy.
Our server was Ryan. He was attentive and very good at describing the various dishes.
We shared the following dishes:
Moroccan flat bread – olie oil, za’atar
Burnt Eggplant – Moroccan flat bread, tomato, za’atar, pine nut
Summer Tomato – country bread, burnt cucumber, tomato vinaigrette, goat feta espuma
Fried Cauliflower – grilled greens, mitmita lebne
Octupus A La Plancha – black garlic bbq, confit potato, tzatziki
Gambas Al Ajillo – citrus prawn, kohlrabi salad, black garlic emulsion
Chermcula Lamb Ribs – kohlrabi & pea shoot salad, spiced yogurt, coriander honey
Aged – Duck – confit leg, tiny radish, fermented allium, lebne
Almond Cake – lemon syrup, grilled peach compote, whipped, yogurt cream
Ice cream & Sorbet – vanilla ice cream, ras el hanout ice cream
There are a variety of interesting tastes and textures.
As you enter the restroom there is a tan figured ceramic-like counter into which are sunk two square ceramic wash basins. There are containers for towels at each of the counter. The walls of this area of the restroom are covered with an intricately designed star like design.
There are two wall hanging urinals at different heights with partial metal walls on one side and in between them.
In a separate room there is a wall hanging white ceramic commode with appropriate assistance bars at the back and side of the commode. There is a wooden two shelf table with additional supplies.
The walls of the commode room are large, rectangular off-white tiles as is the floor of this room and the balance of the restroom, with an occasional smaller almost black tile.
Mike Isabella has had some problems lately. Four of his restaurants have closed over the last few months; Graffiato in Chinatown, a second Graffito in Richmond, Requin Brasserie and most recently the food hall in Tyson’s Galleria. And in the last few weeks he has filed for bankruptcy including several but not all of his restaurants. Arroz does not seem to be included.
901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(inside the Marriott Marquis)