FOR: ANCIENT CORN
2716 Washington Blvd., Arlington; sibaritarestaurant.com
Vegetables have become precious with the likes of microgreens and our preference of Brussels sprouts over cabbage. But big wins at the two-year-old Sibarita.
Choclo, an ancient breed of corn with kernels bigger than a nickel, is imported from Bolivia and arrives with a scoop of house-made salty, crumbly cow’s milk cheese, quesillo. Choclo is starchy and not sweet, and plays well sauced with aljosa, a pungent raw jalapeño and habenero salsa brought out with gratis plantain chips.
What else is big here? Everything. Three levels of food fill the massive silpancho plate starting with a base of jasmine rice sweet with allspice and pleasantly greasy with fried potato wedges. “We’re pretty fanatic about those,” says owner George Alborta, 29, who owns Sibarita with his sister Nadine, 32. Next: fried steak pounded with a rock Nadine brought back from Bolivia. Breadcrumbs are beaten into the meat, which is flattened until it spreads to the edges of the plate. Hard-fried eggs complete the dish, enough food to fill your stomach for days.