dLeña to celebrate Día de los Muertos multi-sensory dining experience

Budding, modern concept in DC to bring tastes, sounds of Mexican holiday to the table

dLeña by Chef Richard Sandoval will launch a Día de los Muertos multi-sensory dining experience this fall, including special food and drink. From Tuesday, October 5, through Tuesday, November 2, the Mount Vernon Triangle modern Mexican restaurant will host an immersive campaign for guests in honor of the Mexican holiday.

Day of the Dead is a two-day celebration that is vibrant and pays tribute to the past and present, while honoring ancestors. Throughout Mexico, there’s much to take in at these festivals as “revelers don makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones,” according to a Richard Sandoval Hospitality (RSH) announcement.

dLeña among RSH concepts to celebrate

RSH will celebrate Day of the Dead at 30 restaurant concepts in five countries. The festivities feature marigold-inspired dishes and beverages, a signature Spotify playlist, online tutorials led by Chef Richard Sandoval, and more throughout October. In Washington, DC, dLeña will lead in being the first RSH concept to launch the immersive campaign.

Sandoval’s aim is to show “appreciation for the past and intention for the future through the marigold, a symbol used to guide ancestors through vibrant colors and powerful aromas.”

He says, “We’ve chosen the marigold as the way we’re telling the story this year, as it’s symbolically used during the holiday and believed that the color and smell help guide one’s ancestors. I invite you to taste our marigold-inspired specials, listen to our signature Día de los Muertos Spotify channel, and immerse yourself in one of my favorite holidays.”

Marigold-themed cocktails include la vela, with Patrón Añejo, achiote, lemon, lime, activated charcoal, Fernet Vallet, fee foam, and churros

Marigold-themed dishes and cocktails to enjoy

While listening to dLeña’s signature playlist of Latin music, curated by Paco Rozas and Christophe Bourlon, guests can enjoy special holiday menu items:

  • chile ancho confit with pork belly stew, star anise, sweet plantain, almonds, and mole rosa
  • braised short rib with orange blossom purée, espadin-mezcal sauce, baby patipan, and sun-dried chili ash
  • pumpkin cake with caramel pumpkin, piloncillo sauce, spiced pepitas, and cinnamon ice cream
  • marigold margarita with Patrón Reposado, tonic, fresh marigold simple syrup, and lime
  • la vela “the candle” with Patrón Añejo, achiote, lemon, lime, activated charcoal, Fernet Vallet, fee foam, and churros
  • ej ojo “the eye” with Patrón Reposado, pumpkin, lemon, Fernet Vallet, egg white, and marigold flowers

Online, Sandoval will be on display, artfully preparing select Día de los Muertos dishes and drinks at richardsandoval.com In addition to the visual elements of his cooking shown online, in-restaurant, there is special featured artwork, designed by Mexico City-based illustrator and campaign partner artist Chepe, to take in.


Guests can enter the Día de los Muertos giveaway to win a $250 dining prize at a RSH location of their choice, a signed copy of Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors cookbook, and a make-at-home marigold margarita kit. RSH will accept entries from those 21 and older here and a winner will be selected November 5.

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