Jaleo, at age 26, is ancient in terms of restaurant years, but sure doesn’t act it…or look it. A creative redesign added artwork by contemporary Spanish artists, foosball tables with chairs made from Vespa scooter seats, “love tables” closed off by metal curtains, and other whimsical touches, even in the restrooms, where photographed faces smile up at you from the floor. Chef extraordinaire José Andrés is 26 years older as well, and in that time has grown into a culinary and personal phenomenon, with restaurants here (Zaytinya; Oyamel; China Chilcano; Beefsteak), America Eats, Minibar by Jose Andres, and elsewhere, a cooking show, courses at Harvard, and a number of cookbooks. Not to mention his humanitarian work in fighting world hunger, for which the James Beard Foundation named him its 2018 Humanitarian of the Year. Yeah, amazing. But it all started here at Jaleo, when Andrés introduced his version of Spanish tapas to the capital. Andrés and his staff may fiddle with the menu of some 60 individual small plates, but you always know you’re enjoying the best tapas in the city (some say in the country). Look for fried dates wrapped in bacon and served with an apple-mustard sauce; mini-burgers made from acorn-fed, black-footed Iberico pigs; and roasted sweet onions, pine nuts, and Valdeón blue cheese. Be adventurous.
Washington, D.C.› Restaurant
480 7th St. NW (at E St.)
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown & Penn Quarter Hours Sun 10am–10pm; Mon 11am–10pm; Tues–Thurs 11am–11pm; Fri 11am–midnight; Sat 10am–midnight Transportation Metro: Archives–Navy Memorial or Gallery Place–Chinatown (7th and F sts. exit) Phone 202/628-7949 Prices Lunch: Sandwiches and salads $9–$10; 4–course “quick lunch" $20. Dinner: Tapas $4–$25 (most $10–$16), “big plates” and paellas $40–$55; tasting menus $55 (classic), $70 (the Jaleo Experience), $95 (José’s Way); pre-theater menu (Sun–Thurs 5–6:30pm) $30 Cuisine Type Spanish Web site Jaleo Other Reservations recommended
Map480 7th St. NW Washington, D.C.
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