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Elcielo Restaurant Washington D.C. Reviews from The Last Year
Great dining experience - so much food!! You will
Great dining experience - so much food!! You will definitely leave full. The cocktails are great if you prefer over the wine flights. The space is a little tight, and generally a little more expensive compared to other 1 michelin star restaurants in town, but still worth the trip. They highlight Columbia's culture in a wonderful way, even with a chocolate hand wash which is unique and yummy.
Overall - fun date night with creative dishes.
However, pricing is absurd for the experience. FoodFood was delicious with an emphasis on creative, sensory experiences. We had a great time. We only did not like one dish, which was the foie, because we don't love foie and no substitutions are accommodated. We only had the option of booking the 20 course experience on Tock, which was too many courses for us personally. We barely made it through. Would definitely recommend the 13 course Journey if able to book. PriceApparently, they just did a massive price increase as Tock costs do not match what is listed on their website. After tax and fees, it's now $380 a person for the Experience before any drinks. Wine markups of 3-4x bottle costs too. IE - with a bottle of cheapish wine our total bill was more than $900 for two. I expect you'll start to see harsher reviews as expectations soar when paying $1000 for a dinner. ServiceI booked same day and they did not have our reservation upon arrival as they had printed out on hard paper. Had to pull out reservation on phone to show them. Entire staff is Colombian which is cool and authentic. Our waiter was very difficult to understand, which detracted from the experience and not in line with pricing. The girl in training was actually better. We spent around 3 hours for dinner. Ambiance I thought the ambiance was cool. Great decor, upbeat music. Casual atmosphere.
We went with "the experience" a 22 course culinary journey
We went with "the experience" a 22 course culinary journey through Colombia and left very happy (and full)! While the meal was fantastic, we especially enjoyed the history, distinct flavors, and story that came with each dish. The service was great - everyone worked cohesively as a team and dishes seemed to come out just as you were finishing your current one. The staff was on top of everything - friendly and welcoming and able to give great recommendations.What I think we loved most was the creativity that came with each dish. It felt like we were looking at art and some dishes were (almost) too beautiful to eat. We also appreciated the storyline that came with many of the dishes. The cocktails were also tasty and creative, albeit a bit pricey (around $30). Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at El Cielo and this has inspired us to visit Colombia soon!
Beautiful venue! The service was great! I expected more for
Beautiful venue! The service was great! I expected more for the food since it is sooooooo expensive! Good for a try.
[Updated to include pictures]El Cielo is a high-end
[Updated to include pictures]El Cielo is a high-end restaurant brand founded by Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos. This Washington branch has one Michelin star. There are also locations in Medellin, Bogota, and Miami.Here in DC, you'll find a 20-point menu that's not just about tastings, but also "sensory experiences." As for the food and drink, it showcases how Colombian and Latin American cuisine can be world-class yet also welcome global influences and ingredients.The menu starts with several small amuse bouches: an intense shot of passionfruit mistela (a Spanish holiday liqueur), then a plate-cleansing bite of soursop and champagne sorbet, and an interesting canape-like take on an aborrajado (normally fried plantains stuffed with cheese).The bites got larger from this point on: a truffle buñuelo packing an amazingly powerful umami punch to it, a "crab empanada" where you stuff a crab-shaped shell with a pineapple ahi salsa or a meaty tomato onion coconut salsa, another powerful bite of tapioca and foie gras, and a "potato cone" adorably presented in a bird-shaped jar.Next came the first significant "sensory experience." You first wash your hands with "exfoliating" coffee and sugar - complete with a water rinse poured into your hands and a large bowl to catch the residue. Next, your hands get doused with liquid chocolate, which you lick off. Had I known about this "chocotherapy," I would have taken my sweet time enjoying all the chocolate, which in my case was rinsed off far too soon in order to move things along.All this was a unique twist that drew nervous laughter from me - and squeals of absolute surprise and delight from tables that were served after me. And in most tasting menus I've enjoyed, this would have been *the* highlight, but there were even more surprises in store.Next came three larger courses that were rolled out so quickly that they piled up on my table. A "tree of life" made of - if I remember correctly, irresistibly sweet yucca and cheese bread, accompanied by cilantro cream and caramelized butter - was a ginormous, beautifully photographable sight. Just as I started spreading some butter onto my first bite, I dropped it on the table after being ambushed with two other courses at once: an absolutely delicious and savory corn soup with multiple ingredients that I was too flummoxed to hear (but which still offered a nice mélange of temperatures and textures), and a lobster ceviche roll with sharp, spicy, and citrusy flavors to it.At this point I asked if the pacing was going to be so fast for the rest of the meal. The staffers got the hint and noted that things would come more slowly, especially since the courses would be getting larger. So I was able to savor and enjoy, at an appropriate pace, a black bass tamal with a delightfully savory sauce that paired beautifully with Argentinian malbec. A course of quail, wild onion, and rice, plus a rack of lamb, paired well with tempranillo, which I'd recommend finishing before sinking your teeth into the palate-cleansing "popsicle" that followed.After this came a succession of desserts. The cholao, a Colombian fruit salad with passionfruit, yuzu, and blackberry, was so intensely sweet that I started hyperventilating in a good way, as incredibly sharp jolts of sweetness shot through my senses. I had to close my eyes, bury my face in my hands, and take deep breaths to recover. Note that I've spent the last 3 months losing 30 pounds on a low-salt and low-sugar diet, so all the flavors throughout the meal were incredibly intense for me - whereas they might not be as sharp for you if you eat out all the time.This was followed by a small greenish marbly rock which was actually a chocolatey bite called the "Colombian Emerald." Then came a beautifully presented "yellow butterfly" with an edible Michelin star, followed by a "coffee field" that you absolutely need to take videos of because it theatrically elevates a normal coffee service into a sea of smoke that washes over your table. A most dazzling second "sensory experience" - but not the last.To finish, I was presented with rose petals treated with some type of cream, all of which I was encouraged to crush in my hands, and then close my eyes and inhale. While not edible, this felt like an aromatherapy course that cleansed my senses and felt like a mini-spa treatment to end the entire experience.And gosh, what an experience it was. The only nits I had were the fast-paced rollout of the early and middle courses; the need to alert diners to experiences that might be worth savoring slowly or at least capturing on photo or video; and possibly typing out the ingredients in greater detail or explaning them slowly, because there was sooooo much that went into every course - even the deceivingly tiny ones.Still, service was mostly refined, and this was an "experience" to remember in so many ways. An excellent occasion for my 10,400th Yelptime review and 2,100th of 2022!
A fantastic tasting experience.
We did the full 20 courses and each bite was good and interesting. The pictures will speak for themselves.Overall the appetizers and small bites were more flavorful packed and unique than the entrees. While still good, the entrees felt more classic vs the uniqueness of the appetizers. The deserts were delicious as well. Each dish is well crafted and has a unique presentation style. Only thing is pacing was a bit slower than expected. We started eating around 4:00pm and did not finish until close 7:45pm.
Visited El Cielo on Friday evening with my partner.
While I expected to be wowed, it pains me to say that we sadly left underwhelmed by the experience.Our reservation was for The Journey which promised 14-16 courses, but ended up being 13 (2 of which were sensory experiences and not edible.) To keep the review brief, we loved the amuse-bouches, the Tree of Life, the corn soup, the popsicle and the complexity of the Cholao which had a nostalgic feel of pop rocks. The restaurant is also beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.For the things we didn't love..we thought the wine pairing was overpriced and would not recommend as it was $110 for five pours (most were ~1 oz) that were not appropriately spaced over the course of the meal. Secondly, while the servers were really nice and accommodating (we were running a bit late due to traffic,) my partner had a shellfish allergy and although it was noted on the reservation it was not acknowledged when we arrived and we had to tell our server as we were seated. Even after us noting the shellfish allergy twice, he was served crab with the crab empanadas- thankfully we caught the error- but this left us questioning many of the meals the rest of the night. Not the level of service we'd expect for the cost. Additionally, with the acoustics inside, we couldn't hear the presentation of what was in each order. After a few attempts of trying really hard to hear our servers, we just smiled and nodded. Lastly, the Posta Negra was one of the dishes we were looking forward to because it was heartier than the amuses was almost too salty to enjoy. While I was glad to have the opportunity to try El Cielo, the $1,000 cost and status led us to have high expectations that unfortunately were not met and the experience was more 'ok' than 'great.'
I must admit they nearly had to wheel me out after 20
I must admit they nearly had to wheel me out after 20 courses and experiences.I chose the entire Journey through Colombia for my 41st birthday dinner. I was seated and began my two and a half hours of eating. We began with a welcome shot and small bites. The blend of flavors were unexpected and incredible. I ate everything and I am a pick eater. Passion fruit and avocado together? Absolutely. Lobster ceviche topped with roe? Yes. Every delicacy you can imagine was featured. Quartered quail and quail eggs, lamb chops. Tamale. Empanada. Savory bon bons. Crystallized rock confections which looks exactly like the stones found in the mountains. And that's just the food.There were so many experiences. Like pop rocks suspended in a Turkish delight type gelatin, topped with dippin dots exploding in my mouth even after I swallowed my bite. The hot corn porridge with a frozen corn garnish to be eaten together. The choco therapy blending touch, smell, taste. The presentation truly was a journey from an iron tree to a bed of river rocks with a single bite which blended in so well I had to be warned to only eat the food items. Even my birthday candle was a gold flake layered chocolate filled with ice cream but able to be lit.I was so worried by the time the finale began because I was so full from the perfect pacing of my journey. But I was relieved to be greeted by pour over coffee and a rain forest light theatric scene and a rose petal to rub on my hands ending the night with the beautiful and serene.I cannot capture all I experienced in this review but everything was amazing and well thought out. Bravo.
El Cielo was a magical and fun dining experience! Emphasis
El Cielo was a magical and fun dining experience! Emphasis on the ~experience~ because this restaurant is a whole lot more than just delicious food. Each course is called "a moment," and Chef Barrientos brings you on a journey from the first tasty snacks to the exquisite desserts.The dining room is set up for parties all to be seated for dinner around the same time. We arrived 15 minutes early hoping to have a drink at the bar, but the restaurant was locked and the dining room was empty prior to our seating at 8:00pm. The host met us at the locked door and told us to come back in 10 minutes. We were a little thrown off, but pretty much everything else went off without a hitch. Once seated, you see everyone else getting their courses around the same time as yours, you essentially "experience the moments" together. It's a unique style for dining.Let's talk about the drinks. They come in the craziest decorative cups. Very cute! The cocktails are around $25 each, which is excessive but expected. I loved my spicy margarita. The mixologist put tiny red peppers on the martini glass, like devil horns. My husband had the wine pairing, and he really enjoyed the selection.The food is remarkable! The highlights included: A savory Truffle Buñelo, which was so rich and delicious. The Crab Empanadas, which are literally shaped like crabs. The Tree of Life bread was soo tasty, but our server gave us a tip not to fill up on it too soon! Corn soup was outstanding. The Rockfish Tamal was my absolute favorite. My husband loved the Cholao dessert, which had pop rocks in it! And the Colombian Emerald and Coffee Field were really the icing on the cake. It was really so cool to see the fog cover our table! The Chocotherapy was so weird and different but pretty neat to try out. It was fun watching other tables figure out the messy chocolate. The experience lasted over 3 hours! The service was good here. Yet, we thought it was a little unorganized at first. The servers were getting confused about which tables already received each course, so our server offered us the same dish 3 separate times (with different courses)! The server was good about explaining each dish and checking on us regularly. We loved our fancy date night here! It was a true treat and an unusual and exciting culinary adventure. We would recommend coming here for a special occasion.
We made reservations for a Friday evening.
El Cielo is a Columbian restaurant with one Michelin Star! We tried the Journey, which is 14 courses (2 of which are sensory experiences). The meal starts with several small amuse bouches: the soursop & champagne sorbet, Aborrajado and Truffle Bunuelo. The sorbet was sour but super refreshing. A great way to start off the Journey! Second was the Aborrajado, elevated style. It was like a little sandwich on this huge wooden block. A bite of flavor! Third was the Truffle Bunuelo was packed with umami taste, one of our favorite courses by far. As our meal continued, the portions got bigger! The crab empanadas were make your own, but the breading was super cute crab shape!Our first sensory experience was chocotherapy. They have you close your eyes and they pour warm chocolate on your hands (tell you to lick it). Next they pour some cinnamon (and maybe sugar), you rub your hands together to exfoliate then they rinse it off. Definitely an interesting experience. The Tree of Life came with this delicious bread and dip! I could eat so much of that bread, it was amazing. I believe there was some cheese on it. The corn soup was next, lots of different textures and flavors. There was a pastey block along with crunchies. The Lobster Ceviche Rolls came in these cheap hotdog platter/paper, not really what I would expect at a michelin restaurant. I get the vibe they were going for, but meh. The Rockfish Tamal with some type of sauce and lots of edible florals was pretty good! I think at this point was getting pretty full. Last salty entree was, Posta Magra. A pork dish with another type of sauce, I cannot recall. The last two dishes were desserts, popsicle and cholao. The "last" was the second sensory experience with Rose Petals. They hand you rose petals with some sort of lotion on it, they have you rub your hands together. Overall, a decent experience. I have some mixed feelings, because there were really good dishes. I could eat more of that tree of life bread and the truffle bunuelo. But this is a been there, tried it restaurant...i probably don't need to come back.
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Read about the site in NYT and bought a reservation at Mother Wolf in LA 2 days later. Worked great and the food was amazing!!!
Got the reservation (that I couldn't get anywhere else) and was able to entertain a group of friends at the infamous Bern's Steakhouse.
Wonderful! My parents are visiting and we have wanted to go to Nobu Malibu for years. I tried getting a reservation myself but it was next to impossible. So glad I was able to buy a reservation on appointment trader for a decent price!
Was very hesitant going into this experience but am glad to say that it worked out very well ! will definitely use appointment trader in the future
I was veeeeeerry skeptical that this would work, particularly at a restaurant as hard to get into as Nobu Malibu, and it was perfect! We had lunch outside on the patio and it was fabulous!
Just wanted to take a second to shout out the reviewer team. Even though they probably review hundreds of listings and bids a day, they still take the time to leave great comments and respond relatively quickly. Thanks!
I got a reservation to Don Angie, which I've been trying to book for weeks! I am very happy with this service.
Super simple, easy, and fast to secure reservations for hard-to-get restaurants and locations!
This app has opened my world up to so many wonderful new experiences I would never have the chance to have without access to this awesome app! 10/10!
Was a little nervous at first but was pleased to see that the booking went through flawlessly.
Was able to snag an indoor table at Don Angie through an absolutely seamless worry-free process.
This is a crazy holiday season in NYC and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that AppointmentTrader works! Will be using again!
Worked so well! I was a bit nervous, but everything went very smoothly. purchased the reservation, and got into the restaurant seamlessly.
So glad I came across this app :)
I didn’t have my hopes high as it was a party of 4. In 24 hours I had a carbone reservation available! I was very happy as my family really wanted to come here
So easy and had a prime time which I can never seem to get on normal res apps. So worth it
instead of waiting weeks I got my 4 charles reservation instantly
I was skeptical, and I still don't really know how they managed to find this hard-to-find reservation, but it was a win-win from my point of view, and I'll use this service again.
Got a last minute reservation, dinner for 2 at Delilah Las Vegas: super impressed! The process was simple, transaction seamless. We had an amazing time! Couldn’t be happier! 😍
Ok at this point I've attended a reservation purchased on AT by a friend and sold a reservation personally. Both worked pretty smoothly, nothing sketchy about it. A few areas for improvement including a way to more directly communicate between buyers and sellers, but the app always seems to be in development. AT customer support is really(!) responsive and helpful too if you have questions!
As a seller, I like the fact i have the ability now to transfer money out of my AT account and into a bank account. Makes getting the money much easier then the process before.
Got to go to places otherwise unreachable
Very easy to get into one of the hardest restaurants to reserve in New York.
I was waiting on the transfer for name but it hasn’t happened yet and my reservation is tonight , will it be an issue that is hasn’t changed into my name yet
Same goes for 4 Charles and I Sodi
Agreed. Ultimately not addressing this month after month is clearly resulting in a drop in certain venue’s rankings & sales.
Thats unfortunate but you can always get your money back if they cancel the reservation.
🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾🧨🧨🧨 now on to 30 mill!
Click on "Take off the Market Option" in your portfolio
Your bid has been “matched” with a reservation. From the time a reservation has been located, the seller of the reservation must connect with moderator to give transfer information for reservation. If the seller;however, does NOT respond to reservation transfer, then your bid is reprocessed and returns to the first step, which is connecting your request to a reservation.
Hey @EvocativeFold67, welcome to appointmenttrader! Once the reservation is in your portfolio, you definitely own the timeslot, the review team would not have approved the trade if the reservation wasn't confirmed - so you are going :-) Judging from your post you bid today and are going tomorrow - don't worry as long as you initiated the name transfer, you are good - the transfer service has to work with the opening hours of the reservation team of the respective venue. You will likely see the transfer confirmation a couple hours before your reservation time.
Mostly from people who don't need their reservations or appointments any longer. AT has no relationship with places listed and acts as a platform connecting buyers and sellers making sure that listed reservations are real and that privacy is not compromised when transacting.
Hey @FluffyStar64, thanks for the question! When you place your bid the amount gets transferred in a deposit account, the second you either cancel your bid or a few minutes after the bid expires the funds are moved back into your main account from where you can refund it to your payment method or use for other transactions.
Elcielo Restaurant Washington D.C. User Reviews & Question Forums
Latest Reviews On Yelp
By 👻 @Olivia N. (03/16/2023 3:00 am)
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By 👻 @Tess (08/21/2022 3:00 am)
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By 👻 @CleverCow75 (11/12/2023 7:48 am)
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