Jaleo is a local tapas place, partly put together by Jose Andres, the man behind many James Beard awards and nominations AND some of the most fantastic and innovative restaurants in the area. You (collectively, or at least E, who is reading) know I cherish the opportunity to try a bunch of things instead of being limited to one dish. I'll tell you what T and I had on a recent visit, whether the dish stood out, and if I'd order it again.
Manzanas con hinojo y queso Manchego: Sliced apples and fennel with Manchego
cheese, walnuts and sherry dressing
This was fresh and crunchy; if it had a little more apple and a touch less fennel I'd order it again.
Coles de Bruselas: A warm salad of Brussels sprouts, apples, apricots, grapes and Serrano ham
Despite my attempt to avoid the ham in this dish, the smell of it was overwhelming. Sadly, the aroma transported to me to when I'm in my mother's pantry and open a cookie jar full of Sophie's dog treats--I suppose they are made of the same material. I didn't really catch anything but sprouts and ham, the fruits were lost to me. I wouldn't order it again.
Coliflor con olivas y frutos secos: Sautéed cauliflower with green and black olives and dried dates
This was yummy--the cauliflower florets were tiny and not soft enough for my liking, but the sweet sauce derived from the dates was REALLY good, especially when sopped up with bread. Order on!
Rape con puré de berenjenas: Seared monkfish over an eggplant purée and finished with black olive oil
The monkfish was tasteless, but the eggplant puree beneath was AWESOME--I wanted just a bowl of that and some bread! Don't order again as long as the monkfish is still the main to-do.
Salmón a la plancha: Seared salmon with a relish of green olives and capers
This was good, but tiny and not super memorable.
Seared scallops with a traditional sauce from the Canary Islands
This sauce was yum. Order it!
Pastel Vasco con helado de leche merengada: Basque cake with semolina cream, cinnamon-vanilla sauce & ice milk
THIS WAS MY FAVORITE THING THE ENTIRE NIGHT! I love dessert, but it's not usually my favorite part of a meal at a restaurant, because many restaurants have scrumptious dishes and "OK" sweets...it's not their specialty, and I have high standards. This cake was divine. We were hesitant about the cream because we didn't want anything to heavy, but Spanish desserts are customarily very light. The sauce, the ice milk (as opposed to ice cream), it all came together beautifully. It was such a perfect ending to a meal that was otherwise interesting, but not to-die-for.
I think I want to go to back with a group of friends and order all of the desserts--I wanted the hazelnut chocolate torte, too! Who's in?
Arlington, Bethesda, DC
Metro: Blue/Yellow Line to Crystal City, Green/Red/Yellow Line to Gallery Place/Chinatown, Red Line to Bethesda