Eater DC: A ‘Top Chef’ Winner Brings a Gigantic Tex-Mex Restaurant to Tysons Next Week
November 28, 2023

Eater DC: A ‘Top Chef’ Winner Brings a Gigantic Tex-Mex Restaurant to Tysons Next Week

Ometeo comes from Austin chef Gabe Erales and Long Shot Hospitality Group

By: Lulu Chang

There’sThere’s Mexican food, and then there’s Tex-Mex food. The two are not to be confused, especially at Ometeo. The massive new Northern Virginia venture from Top Chef season 18 winner Gabe Erales and Long Shot Hospitality Group (Dauphine’s, the Salt Line) pays homage to Erales’ upbringing in the borderlands between Texas and Mexico in an inviting space that celebrates Southern hospitality and a unique blend of culinary cultures.

Ometeo’s indoor-outdoor setup is flanked with billowing palms. Ometeo/rendering

The sprawling, 11,000-square-foot newcomer, with room for 240 inside and 75 out, opens for daily dinner service in Capital One Center next week (1640 Capital One Drive, Tysons, Virginia). Ometeo, which gets its name from the native Nahautl words ome (“two”) and teotl (“God”), captures cuisines from both sides of the border. And while the El Paso-born chef is no stranger to Mexican food or Texas cooking, this marks the first time he’s dabbling in both. (Back at his Austin home base, he recently unveiled Yucatán-themed Bacalar and walk-up taco counter Tómalo Taquería.)

“To me, Tex-Mex borrows from the styles of northern Mexicans, Native Americans, and Texan pioneers who cooked over campfires on trails,” he says. “I grew up being so influenced by this blend of cuisines, but have never really cooked professionally in this manner.”

The menu, which Erales describes as “seafood-focused Tex-Mex,” highlights ingredients sourced from the Gulf of Mexico. For example, the Ceviche Clásico features Texas red drum fish, red jalapeno, and crunchy hominy, while a so-called Stuffie Tamal — Erales’ play on a tamale-meets-stuffed clam — combines quahog clams, chorizo verde, and manchego with heirloom corn masa.

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