Terry, as I may have mentioned, lived for four years in the DC area. He hadn't been back in about five years, so he was really excited to go back and try all of his favorite restaurants again. I told him that one of my readers (hi, Liberal Foodie!) had recommended Jaleo, a tapas place, and he said, "Oh! I love tapas. There's a tapas place I used to go to... let's find it!"
We tried to go to Jaleo the first night, but our hotel's concierge got the closing times wrong for all of the restaurants within walking distance, so we ended up back at the hotel eating mediocre hotel food. Yuck. We ended up at Jaleo on Thursday, after trying (unsuccessfully) to get tickets for the International Spy Museum, which is off of the same Metro stop in Chinatown. Terry didn't know what the name of his favorite Tapas place was, so we found our way to the Shakespeare Theater, and it turned out that it was Jaleo.
Jaleo's original location is the one near the Shakespeare Theater, though there are others in Crystal City and Bethesda. It was rated by the Washingtonian as one of the best restaurants in the city, due to both the executive chef, James Beard award nominee Jose Andres, as well as the young, promising chefs he brings in from Spain.
We were seated quickly, and each ordered a drink: Terry got a beer, and I grabbed some sangria. There's nothing better than sangria on a hot day you've just spent walking from Arlington Cemetery to the Mall to Chinatown.
I made Terry order, since he'd been there before. And this is what we got.
Endive with orange, goat cheese, scallions, almonds and sherry vinaigrette. This was so very simple but very good. I may try to interpret this at home, it was such a lovely blend of sweet, creamy, sharp and nutty.
The next dish was one of Terry's old favorites: a Spanish omelet. Again, very simple: egg, potatoes, onions. That's it. Delicious.
We also had some excellent salmon with a simple sauce of capers, olives, and shallots. Perfectly cooked, tender, and delicious.
The portions were plenty for two people who were fairly hungry after a long day of walking. This is a great place to go with a big group of friends-- the service is not hurried, and you can try a ton of dishes between everyone. Definitely recommended.