Brian and I were a little underwhelmed with our first Restaurant Week choice. Luckily, we had a chance to redeem ourselves with another restaurant.
Jaleo is a DC staple restaurant. Jose Andres is the well-known chef behind the tapas menu. Most everyone has been, but somehow we have not. The menu they had planned for Restaurant Week looked good, so we decided to take advantage of the deal and go.
We arrived about ten minutes before our reservation and the place was a little chaotic. The restaurant is downtown in the Gallery Place area, right next to The Verizon Center- and a Capitols hockey game was going on. We usually avoid the area because there are a ton of chain restaurants and tourists, but there are definitely times when its worth it to head over.
One of the first thoughts I had when I walked in was that the decor was just weird.
Yeah. Not sure about that artwork or how it correlates with a tapas restaurant. Maybe it's a Spanish artist?
We ordered off the Restaurant Week menu, and added a dish that our waiter recommended.
Tapas are small plates, served to share, so although we both made individual choices, we ended up splitting everything except for our largest 'main' dishes.
Started off with yummy sangria.
The first dish was my favorite of the whole night.
Uh. Yeah, that was after we were well on our way through it. It was a beet salad with citrus, lettuce, blue cheese and pistachios. Brian even agreed this was his top dish of the night. This is one of many dishes we had this evening that I want to try and recreate at home!
We had some peppers cooked in ham fat (ah, yum) on bread, more bread topped with fresh tomatoes and Serrano ham, peppers stuffed with mushrooms and goat cheese, deep fried dates wrapped in bacon (amazing) and shrimp sautéed in garlic.
We also had an amazing spinach dish that is also on my recreate list.
When I sauté spinach at home it's always so boring. I bought some spinach at the market this week and am going to dress it up just like this- with raisins, pine nuts and apples.
For my main entree, I had the chickpea and spinach stew.
It was very good and the flavors layered well. I think this is something I would like to try to create, and might not be too hard. We'll see. It probably wouldn't be Brian's first choice.
Obviously, we didn't skip dessert.
Chocolate hazelnut mousse cake :)
Jaleo was SUCH good choice to finish the week. I had heard mostly positive things, and we weren't disappointed. We ate A LOT this weekend, but considering Valentine's Day is this week, I have a feeling that there's more of that to come!