A little taste of Spain in the District.

24 Apr

Image Credit: ©2010 Estadio - http://estadio-dc.com/gallery/

To thank us for dog-sitting Shadow in March, my friends Mike and Betsy treated Alan and me to dinner last night at Estadio, a tapas restaurant in Logan Circle. I’ve often walked past and drooled at the offerings through the window, but I’ve been slow to pull the trigger on a meal there because I’m a) frugal and b) a bottomless pit, which makes tapas a doubly-expensive proposition.

But I’m so glad to have generous friends with good taste, because we were treated to an exceptional evening. I’ll do my best to recreate the meal, just to make my foodie friends hungry…

Image Credit: ©2010 Estadio - http://estadio-dc.com/gallery/

We started with a 3-cheese sampler from the Queso section of the menu: Idiazábal (a firm sheep’s cheese), Mahón Reserva (a smoky cow’s cheese), and Manchego, which I decided should be included in as many courses a humanly possible. Their portions of cheese were more generous than what you typically receive in a wine bar. We paired the cheese with the Jamón Iberico — a pile of shaved, melt-in-your mouth cured ham. Uh-maz-ing.

To shift gears, we  each tried a pintxo – a small skewer of Chorizo, Manchego & Pistachio Crusted Quince. It was a great blend of sweet and salty flavors, though we all commented that that chorizo was more like a slice of pepperoni than a traditional hot sausage.

We tried to balance the meat and cheese with a bit of green, so we shared a salad. It’s not on their online menu and I can’t remember exactly what was in it (other than manchego and roasted squash) but it was fantastic.

Something else that was fantastic? The Patatas Bravas — fried fingerling potatoes served in a tomato sauce with melted cheese. Kind of like a Spanish version of potato skins.

I’ve decided that I could very contentedly pass an evening sitting at their bar, nursing a glass of sangria while eating those potatoes and downing a montadito (open faced sandwich) – specifically, the one made from Grilled Country Bread, Tomato, Olive Oil & Salt with Jamón Serrano & Manchego. Pure Heaven.

I know, you’re probably thinking we would have exploded by this point, but we didn’t. We kept eating. Everyone raved about the Tortilla (which looked like an egg frittata), but because I’m not an egg person, I’ll just have to take their word for it.

What I will vouch for, however, are the shrimp. I’ma sucker for shrimp sauteed in garlic, lemon and olive oil with a dash of red pepper flake, and these did not disappoint. The shrimp were perfectly cooked, tender enough that they actually popped when I bit into them. Just be sure to get an extra order of bread to sop up the extra olive oil.

We wound down with an order of Sautéed Pea Shoots, along with Duck Breast served with Baby Chard, Quince & Ginger Sauce. The pea shoots were similar enough to the chard that accompanied the duck breast in both flavor and texture, that we all agreed in retrospect that we might have ordered something different for variety, had we known.

Other than that one small revision, the meal was absolutely perfect. We worked through a bottle of Tempranillo and a Rioja, then capped off the meal with a shared glass of port.

I think the word I’m looking for is “perfeccione.”

1520 14th Street NW | Washington, DC 20005
202-319-1404 – definitely make a reservation

3 Responses to “A little taste of Spain in the District.”

  1. Barbara April 25, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Sounds delish! If you and Alan ever make it down to visit, hopefully when I’m not preggo anymore, we’ll take you to our favorite tapas place here in Richmond to enjoy some similar dishes and great wine 🙂

  2. Michele May 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    While I thoroughly enjoy your blog, this is a post I would have rather not read. Thanks to you, my preggo self is sitting at my desk drooling! I am sure it doesn’t look good!

    • pithypants May 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

      It makes me hungry too, so I can only imagine what it does to someone whose hormones are in full-on attack mode! Hang in there!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: