Washington DC: Spanish Tapas at Jaleo

 Jaleo in Washington DC

Jaleo in Washington DC

Meaning “fuss” in Spanish, Jaleo is a Spanish tapas restaurant of acclaimed Chef José Andrés that I discovered few years ago on Top Chef and while dining in its other DC restaurant, Zaytinya that we also visited during our trip to the capital. Jaleo is a little jewel, with an incredible menu that can be a bit overwhelming, having many choices to pick for the vegetarians and carnivores. But do not think you can just show up on a Friday night for dinner: reservation is highly recommended.

 Dining room at Jaleo in Washington DC

Dining room at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Dining room table at Jaleo in Washington DC

Dining room table at Jaleo in Washington DC

Here is what we tried:

Bread and olive oil:

 Bread at Jaleo in Washington DC

Bread at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Olive oil at Jaleo in Washington DC

Olive oil at Jaleo in Washington DC

As a beverage, a grapefruit and cinnamon soda:

 Grapefruit and cinnamon soda at Jaleo in Washington DC

Grapefruit and cinnamon soda at Jaleo in Washington DC

Pan de cristal con tomate: it is simply slices of bread brushed with fresh tomato. Yes, simple but delicious.

 Pan de cristal con tomate at Jaleo in Washington DC

Pan de cristal con tomate at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Pan de cristal con tomate at Jaleo in Washington DC

Pan de cristal con tomate at Jaleo in Washington DC

Queso Massimo Del Rey Silo con magaya de sigra: taking its name from the King Silo of Asturias, this is an Asturian raw-cow milk cheese cured for 4 months, specially made for Chef Andrés and Jaleo. This was fantastic, and in fact, I ate it with the pan con tomate, the two pairing well together. It was served with pressed cider apples that I however did not really like.

 Queso Massimo Del Rey Silo con magaya de sigra at Jaleo in Washington DC

Queso Massimo Del Rey Silo con magaya de sigra at Jaleo in Washington DC

Calamares en su tinta: basque style squid with rice and squid ink sauce. I was really looking forward to that dish that was superb: the calamari was perfectly cooked, not rubbery, and the squid ink sauce was thick with a bold flavor that was nice with the calamari but also the rice that was slightly fried.

 Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

Calamares en su tinta at Jaleo in Washington DC

Setas al ajillo or sautéed button mushrooms in a garlic and white wine sauce. It was my least favorite dish: I found it just ok, with too much garlic. In a smaller quantity it would have been fine maybe.

 Setas al ajillo at Jaleo in Washington DC

Setas al ajillo at Jaleo in Washington DC

Tortilla de patatas al momento: Spanish omelet with onions and potato. A classic dish, I was wondering where the mayonnaise that is often served with it was. There was no need for it: it was delightfully runny, the onions and potato adding some texture to it.

 Tortilla at Jaleo in Washington DC

Tortilla at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Tortilla at Jaleo in Washington DC

Tortilla at Jaleo in Washington DC

Iberico de bellotta mini hamburguesas or Spanish slider made with iberico porc and bacon. I am always hesitating when ordering sliders because they can quickly turn dry. Not this one, from the delicious bread to the juicy patty. If they made this a whole burger, they would make a killing!

 Slider at Jaleo in Washington DC

Slider at Jaleo in Washington DC

 Slider at Jaleo in Washington DC

Slider at Jaleo in Washington DC

Last was dessert. I admit that I was a bit disappointed not to see any churros as this is a classic Spanish dessert. But maybe that is why Chef Andrés does not put it on the menu: too classic. So we ended up with their arroz con lèche “tia chita“ that is their version of rice pudding, also a classic dessert, made with caramelized rice and creamy rice pudding with vanilla, lemon and cinnamon. The description looked fantastic and I was expecting a dish that looked like a crème brûlée, the top being caramelized. But it was not the case. I enjoyed the caramelized rice but there was not enough; the rice pudding could have been sweeter and the lemon gave an off taste to the dish. Too bad.

 Rice pudding at Jaleo in Washington DC

Rice pudding at Jaleo in Washington DC

Despite this, we have a wonderful meal at Jaleo. If you are in DC and like tapas (or never had any), I highly recommend it!

Enjoy (I did)!

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Jaleo - 480 7th St NW, Washington DC 20004

 
Jaleo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato