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El Presidente: A Theatrical Culinary Adventure in the Heart of DC

El Presidente, the latest culinary innovation from the creative genius behind Le Diplomate, Stephen Starr, is setting its roots in DC’s Union Market area. This unique, theatrical restaurant promises a trip straight to Mexico City with its striking seafood towers, inventive interior, and delectable menu.


  • Design and Ambience: Breaking from the mold of a traditional brasserie, Starr has chosen a vibrant and theatrical theme, calling upon the design team AvroKO. The design features captivating surrealist installations from various landscapes – ocean, jungle, and desert. It offers a dramatic dining room equipped with stage lighting and a special “theater room” for special occasions, and possibly surprise musical interludes.
  • The Menu: Drawing from the diverse and rich culture of Mexico City, the menu has both sophisticated and traditional elements. Signature dishes include mahi-mahi tacos, a uniquely presented nacho platter, and a grand seafood tower that makes a dramatic entrance with a mist of dry ice. Other standouts range from the grilled whole striped bass to enfrijoladas and a selection of tlayudas. All this is complemented with top-tier avocados from Michoacán, Mexico, the prime spot for avocados globally.
  • Beverages: Going hand in hand with the bold menu, El Presidente’s bar will offer a wide range of drinks. Highlights include a Michelada “service”, the spicy and intriguing Sgt. Pepper cocktail, and a vast selection of over 100 tequilas and 50 mezcals. The bar also boasts gins infused with Mexican botanicals.
  • Upcoming Ventures: Starr is no stranger to expanding his horizons in the restaurant world. As El Presidente aims for a launch in the coming weeks, Starr has other projects underway: Pastis, in partnership with New York’s Keith McNally, is expected by year-end. Osteria Mozza, an Italian market and restaurant venture with the renowned chef Nancy Silverton, is also in the pipeline for next year. Starr hints at another secretive project, building anticipation and intrigue among food enthusiasts.

Stephen Starr, with his knack for innovation and boldness, is bringing yet another culinary masterpiece to DC. El Presidente, with its promise of a rich, theatrical, and flavorful experience, is sure to be a magnet for both DC locals and tourists alike. The city waits in eager anticipation for its doors to open.

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