MASA 14’S RYAN RATINO: FLYING UNDER THE RADAR
We met fellow Cleveland native Ryan Ratino a few years ago, thanks to Amelia Sawyer, wife of Jonathon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern. I was looking for recommendations of places to eat around Disney World, and Amelia immediately chimed in with Todd English’s bluezoo, where Ryan was Executive Chef at the time. She made the connection, and we had some amazing and memorable meals with him at the helm.
Ryan left bluezoo a couple of years ago, and while we were saddened, we were excited for what was to come for him. After stints at Michelin-starred Caviar Russe in NYC and L’Auberge Provençale in Virginia’s Wine Country, we were excited to hear that he landed in our neck of the woods, at Richard Sandoval & Kaz Okochi’s MASA 14 in Washington DC.
Ryan hasn’t received much press, but that hasn’t stopped him from keeping his head down and refining his craft. One thing I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed about Ryan is his ability to take dishes that are popular in the area and offer his own twist, combined with artful plating. I loved the Peruvian Chicken we had during our first MASA 14 visit.
NEW CHEF, NEW MENU
Ryan invited us in last night to check out the new menu that he and his team just released. It’s a wonderful selection of dishes; a combination of his twist on dishes popular around DC (Korean Chicken, for instance), as well as his delicately delicious seafood that I came to love while he was at bluezoo.
Let The Games Begin
Jennifer & I are crazy busy with our work schedules, so we don’t get out to enjoy ourselves very much. I decided that we were going to treat ourselves, so I grabbed an UberVIP ride (yes, we use Uber THAT much!) to MASA 14. A nice perk of UberVIP (part of UberBLACK) is that you get access to the best drivers and vehicles in the Uber system. Our driver, Esmail (4.8 rating, very nice!), picked us up in an all-black Suburban with leather seats. Thanks to Waze and his knowledge of DC streets, we avoided the traffic jams and got to MASA 14 in record time.
We walked in, got seated right away, and Ryan came over with the restaurant’s General Manager to let us know what we were getting ourselves into. Based on our previous meals with him, we came with open minds and empty stomachs…and he delivered.
Nearly 3 hours later, we were deliriously full, happy and satisfied. We’re so glad to have Ryan here.
Got New Year’s Eve Plans?
Ryan tells me that they have a big NYE Blowout planned. Come and go as you please, alcohol package and tasting menu. 2 tiers, a $150 pp package and a $225 pp package. Caviar, truffles, wagyu beef, foie gras, o-toro tuna, champagne, etc. Call the restaurant to book: (202) 328-1414.