Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
foodgeek

Jaleo

Recommended Posts

I'm going to have some time to kill late next week...and was thinking of hitting the DC sights...(Smithsonian maybe) and getting some lunch. I've been meaning to try Jaleo's DC loaction. hich tapas do they excell at? The paella won't work since I'll be on my own (while my g/f is working).

Last time I headed that way i skipped Jaleo in favor of that BBQ joint in Chinatown (which didn't do much for me.) Bad decision I guess.

Thanks


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't belive you'd skip Jaleo for Capitol Q or whatever that place is in Chinatown. :hmmm:

Now that you are remedying your ways, I think I can safely say that you won't have an easy time going wrong. The only thing I've ever eaten there that I didn't like was a squash blossom tortilla...I think the squidgy texture and mild flavor of the flowers didn't work so well with the rich eggs. But everything else...olives with manchego, asparagus with romesco sauce, endive leaves with goat cheese and oranges, crusty bread slathered with tomato and topped with a thick, salty anchovy, potatoes with cabrales, etc etc...will not disappoint. I promise. If I went alone, I'd try to eat at the bar and suck down a few glasses of wine with the treats. Have a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't belive you'd skip Jaleo for Capitol Q or whatever that place is in Chinatown. :hmmm:

Now that you are remedying your ways, I think I can safely say that you won't have an easy time going wrong. The only thing I've ever eaten there that I didn't like was a squash blossom tortilla...I think the squidgy texture and mild flavor of the flowers didn't work so well with the rich eggs. But everything else...olives with manchego, asparagus with romesco sauce, endive leaves with goat cheese and oranges, crusty bread slathered with tomato and topped with a thick, salty anchovy, potatoes with cabrales, etc etc...will not disappoint. I promise. If I went alone, I'd try to eat at the bar and suck down a few glasses of wine with the treats. Have a great time.

You can't fault me for being a brisket freak.....can ya? I was actually heading to Capitol Q when I passed Jaleo. :) Well...I wasn't impressed with Capitol Q.

Thats for the Jaleo suggestions. It sounds great.


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't get to Jaleo on the last trip -- too many other new (to me) places to try. But as Malawry says, it's hard to find something NOT good. As I recall, they have an excellent selection of sausages and cheeses too.

If you get to the new International Spy Museum, I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it. We enjoyed it a lot, but still found it really creepy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't get to Jaleo on the last trip -- too many other new (to me) places to try.  But as Malawry says, it's hard to find something NOT good.  As I recall, they have an excellent selection of sausages and cheeses too.

If you get to the new International Spy Museum, I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it.  We enjoyed it a lot, but still found it really creepy.

I've never heard of the International Spy musem. I have the time. Have any info?

I'll probably avoid the sausages and cheese since I have access to all that in NYC. I have idiazabal and manchego in my fridge as we speak. I even know a place (in queens) that makes their own spanish sausages which they sell to restaurants. I would be more open to getting a cheese or sausage sampler if I was dining with a group, but not alone.


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was all pretty good. I can't remember any flops. One stand out was an eggpant dish with red peppers as I recall. It was surprisingly good. We ordered it for the variety it lent to our selection, but it was a big hit. Otherwise we found few surprises and no bad ones. Go with your instincts. It's a very enjoyable place.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gettign ahead of myself since I'll try the DC location first but...is the Bethesda location just as good?


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. I'm more likely to eat in Bethesda...it's close to the good art-house theatre and Gifford's Ice Cream, making it an excellent destination for an evening out. Plus I love the big windows at the Bethesda location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big windows? Doesn't the DC location have a full wall of glass on the street, or do you not want to see the street in DC? :biggrin:


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big windows at the Bethesda location swing open Bux--quite nice in warmer weather--when you don't want to sit on the very nice sidewalk patio and risk getting rained on. The main difference between the two is the feel of the inside space--the ambience. Bethesda is bigger and feels more expansive; DC is smaller, glass-sided but don't open and it feels more constrained. DC seems to have the more happening, stylish crowd--rubbing up against each other when it's hopping, but that's just based on appearance and hardly valid.

Bethesda has a bigger, newer kitchen and tends to run more "plancha" seafood specials. The food is comparably good, so are the award-winning wine lists with gems from Spain and South America. Good restaurants in Bethesda seem like an oasis in the desert; in DC there is so much competition. For Jaleo to remain packed, to remain valid in DC is quite an accomplishment with so much going on around it--within two blocks are Cafe Atlantico, Poste and Zaytinya, among others.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the tableau of a DC city street, but the windows at Jaleo Bethesda are really quite gorgeous. I mean the windows themselves; they are trimmed in a rich blue color and have this gorgeous triptych-arch type styling to them. And they do open as Steve said. It's a wonderful place to waste a late summer evening with a pitcher of sangria and a few friends.

Jaleo DC is wonderful too, and I like the vibe there. It is younger and hipper. I mean Bethesda is a suburb after all! But Jaleo Bethesda is more accessible to me (particularly because of the aforementioned theater, where we see 80% of the films we take in).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those very windows in the DC location allowed my suburbanite children to watch a street preacher literally eat pages out of his bible. They were quite entertained.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually looking like I may hit both locations on different nights. Has anyone had their paella? how is it?


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went alone for lunch yesterday after the Spy Museum (which was great, btw.) The tapas were excellent although I only tried two of them...the anchovies on tomato bread, and the blood sausage in tomato sauce with whole garlic. I ate the sauce with bread. :)

We are probably trying the MD location tomorrow before or after seeing a movie at the art house. I need more tapas! :)


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's actually looking like I may hit both locations on different nights. Has anyone had their paella? how is it?

I've had the paella at the original location several times and would advise you to stick to the tapas. The spinach with raisins and pine nuts, and the octopus are my favorites.


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As some of you know, I'm bogged down in the middle of a transition from New York to DC. (N.B. If anyone is interested in a review of Amtrak's cafe cuisine, I'm your man.) Based on recommendations here on eGullet, I recently tried Jaleo. I wanted to go a second time with a bigger group before posting, but that may not end up happening for a few weeks. So, here goes:

Jaleo - First Impressions of a DC Newcomer

We began our evening in Jaleo's elevated bar. The place was packed with everyone from first daters to hill staffers debating the chances of bills their bosses were sponsoring, to engagement and birthday celebrations. After a pleasant 30 minutes over our Rioja (more on this later) we were seated and began poring over the very extensive selection of tapas. Eventually, we settled on the following six:

Manchego Manzana - Julienne strips of manchego and apple in a light dressing.

I like a good Granny Smith apple with a sharp cheese. This manchego was relatively mild and medium textured and the apples were crisp. The contrast between the two was not as great as I had hoped for, but it was a good combination to start the meal.

Ensalada Rusa - This salad of potatoes and fish with a mayonnaise dressing is a classic tapa, but it's different from place to place and I'm not sure a definitive recipe exists. Jaleo's standout version has potato, tuna, chopped egg, and peas. For me, the peas made the dish. Each was like a little balloon that popped between your teeth to release a burst of springtime pea essence. They were a brilliant flavor and texture contrast to the rich creaminess of the rest of the salad.

Anguilla - These thick eel fillets were glazed with a sweet smoky syrupy sauce. Interestingly, this dish reminded me of the eel served as sushi in Japanese restaurants. My dining companion's immediate reaction was that the sauce overpowered the fish. I tend to agree, but I liked the sauce enough to let it slide.

Pinchito de Chorizo - A skewer of six little cocktail-size sausages, grilled and served with mashed potatoes. We liked these bite-sized morsels, with their crisp skins and tender interiors. The mashed potatoes were smooth and competent, with a single lump that added a homey authenticity.

Rape con Tomate - This tapa of monkfish with a tomato ragu was one I was really looking forward to. Sadly, I was disappointed. The fish was sliced very thin, then overcooked. It needed to either be cut thicker, or just flash seared on the plancha for a matter of seconds. Luckily, the tomatoes somewhat salvaged the dish. They were lovely scooped onto some bread. I don't have specific memories of the bread itself, which suggests is was probably fine, but not outstanding.

Esparagos Trigueros - These were svelte asparagus spears, thinner than pencils, grilled and served with a smokey sauce. I think the literal translation of trigo is "wheat," which explains the thinness. We were both very impressed. The asparagus were tender but not limp, and the sauce exuded the aroma of roasted red peppers.

For beverages, we began with a couple of glasses of the house Rioja at the bar. I didn't catch the name of the producer, but it was a pleasant, easy-drinking young Rioja--just the thing to go with tapas. We stuck with it, ordering more with dinner. For those with a more serious interest in Spanish wine, the list has some gems. The crown jewel is a 1981 Vega Sicilia Unico. I've never tried this myself, but I have heard it is a phenomenal example of what Rioja can achieve. For $280 a bottle, it's yours to try at Jaleo.

Later, I switched to sherry. I mistakenly ordered a sweeter sherry than I had intended. It was well into the tawny port part of the color and flavor spectrum. Next time, I'll be sure to stick with a drier fino.

Sangria was immensely popular at the bar, although we didn't try any. One bartender appeared to be making an intriguing looking version with cava instead of wine. Unfortunately, our table was ready before we got a chance to ask him about it.

To finish off our meal, we went with a couple of old standbys, flan and crema catalanya. The former disappeared before I had a chance to taste it, but I am assured that it was excellent. The crema catalanya (a.k.a. creme brulee in most of the world outside Barcelona) was advertised as a updated version suited to modern tastes. Instead of the traditional shallow ramekin, it was served in an upright parfait glass. The standard glassy crust was replaced by a wafer of caramelized sugar inserted vertically into the custard. Within the main body of the dessert, there were two distinct layers of flavored syrup, on cinnamon and the other tart and citrus, almost like a key lime.

On the whole, we were happy with our visit. Next time, I'd like to sample some of the more traditional tapas on offer and see how they stack up. I'm talking about things like tortilla, patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo, bacalao, croquetas, and jamon. If I remember correctly, most of these are on the large menu.

Watch this forum for further updates. If you have other dishes to recommend, please follow up.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe their house Rioja is a Bodegas Breton Lorinon Crianza (at least that's what is was several months ago when I went there with the L'il Varmints).


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did get to the Jaleo in DC again.

So...my favs so far are the spinach with raisins and pine nuts, tomato bread w/anchovies, and the blood sausage. The garlic shrimp was good as well..but there is a slew of garlic shimp dishes I'm comparing it to. :)

They had a great dessert with caramel mousse, nuts and chocolate. Their strawberry sorbet was good.

I wasn't thrilled with the sangria.

I'm not really on this site anymore...but you guys have been great with the suggestions so I wanted to make one followup post thanking you all.

Thanks all. :)

-Jayask (Jason)


-Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We managed to duck in for a quick second bite. Tortilla, croquetas, and gambas al ajillo were all outstanding. Patatas bravas were very good. The ensaladilla rusa was a disappointment relative to the first visit. It had very few peas, but lots of carrots, which didn't add much.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep hearing about this place, so on an upcoming trip to see family in DC, we are going. There will be 4 of us. We plan to go to dinner on a Saturday night. Evidently, you can't make reservations after 6:30. If you go there at 8:30 on a Saturday night, how long will you have to wait for a table for 4?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you go there at 8:30 on a Saturday night, how long will you have to wait for a table for 4?

I would guess 30-45 min. The bar gets crowded, but it's a decent place to hang out.

When you go, tell them to consider getting on opentable.com. I don't want to be the only one who keeps bugging them about it.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I waited 30 minutes on a Saturday night awhile ago, worth the wait though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question.

I have not been to this particulaar corner of DC in awhile. I get the sense that Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, and Zaytinya are all close by. Say you ate an early light dinner at Jaleo, would it be convenient to walk to one of the other restaurants and eat more? Could you eat an appetizer only at the bar of one place, have a meal at another, and have dessert at a third? If so, what would be the ideal way to coordinate and structure such an event on a Saturday night?

Thx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another question.

I have not been to this particulaar corner of DC in awhile.  I get the sense that Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, and Zaytinya are all close by.  Say you ate an early light dinner at Jaleo, would it be convenient to walk to one of the other restaurants and eat more?  Could you eat an appetizer only at the bar of one place, have a meal at another, and have dessert at a third?  If so, what would be the ideal way to coordinate and structure such an event on a Saturday night?

Thx

Is Jaleo the Adria graduate who did smoked air tacos.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...