Thursday, April 27, 2006

SMFC Washington D.C. Trip Part 2: Jaleo's

Jaleo’s is a super yummy tapas bar and another one of my favorite ‘unique to the DC area’ restaurants. Tapas bars have become quite popular in the last few years and since I’m one of those people who always has to try a little bite of everyone’s dinner, tapas is the perfect kind of dining for me. I love all the little dishes and all the ‘ohhhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ and ‘omigod did you try the scallops’ while passing the little plates of food around the table. It makes for a very unifying dinning experience. Also since you order so many dishes it is much easier to be a little more experimental in your food selection, which is always a lot of fun.

I’ve been to quite a few Tapas bars, but none match the quality of the dishes that we get at Jaleo’s. All of the names of the dishes are written on the menu in Spanish with a description in English. Some of my favorite dishes we got this time include the Moorish stew of chickpeas and spinach, Shrimp with red pepper stew, Sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms and Scallops with ‘Romesco’ sauce. While I don’t eat meat (except seafood), the rest of my family couldn’t stop raving about the Duck confit with pear sauce and the Grilled lamb chops with rosemary sauce. Even my dad, who hates lamb, couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. Jaleo’s also has some of the best sangria which you can order by the pitcher. They use a perfect mix of red wine, liquor, and green apple pieces. Sometimes in the summer they offer white wine sangria with strawberries which is absolutely amazing. For dessert we always get atleast one order of the homemade coffee ice cream. This ice cream has a very rich and strong coffee flavor and comes with a piece of plain biscotti to help scoop it up (and dip in your espresso). We also tried for the first time the Basque cake with semolina cream, cinnamon-vanilla sauce and ice milk. This was very interesting; I really enjoyed the mix of flavors and the contrast in textures between the cake, semolina cream, and ice milk. Each bite could be different depending on the amounts of each of those ingredients. Dinning out is often so much more than just good food but also the experience and I also find both to be exceptional at Jaleo’s.

The Good: Yummy food, great service

The Bad: Eating too much! (its hard to monitor yourself with all those different dishes!)

The Yummy: Sangria, Moorish stew, scallops, coffee ice cream… (I could really go on and on…)


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