480 7th St., NW (E St.) washington dc


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At Jaleo (the name is Spanish for “merrymaking”), plates are small and flavors are big, bold and altogether mouthwatering. The menu contains more than sixty dishes, including both traditional Spanish tapas such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp sautéed with garlic and guindilla pepper) and more modern selections, like chistorra (chorizo wrapped in crispy potato). I particularly love the butifarra Daniel Patrick Moynihan, homemade pork sausage served with garlicky sautéed white beans (a favorite of the late senator’s), and the rossejat, thin pasta “paella” with monkfish and shrimp. Other treats: fried dates wrapped in bacon, watermelon with goat cheese and pistachios, and a charcuterie plate that includes ibérico ham, from the famous acorn-eating pigs. Because it’s open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, Jaleo, located in Penn Quarter, is a great spot for late-night dinner or drinks. This was the first restaurant in what is now chef José Andrés’ D.C. empire: Minibar, Zaytinya and Oyamel.

Written by Eliza Harris

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