Jaleo in Washington DC

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2019)

After a little Christmas music (perfect for western swing dancing) at the Portrait Gallery’s courtyard jazz concert, we make a quick run through the adjacent Christmas Market.

Then it’s time to get something to eat.

We’ve been checking out the options all along the way, checking through the windows to see how busy all the restaurants are. (Pretty busy.) But I really only have one restaurant on my mind, and that is Jaleo. This tapas spot has long been one of my favorite restaurants in DC, going back to the days when it (and sister restaurant Café Atlantico) were about the only restaurants in this – now popular – area just off the mall.

Café Atlantico recently morphed into America Eats. (Although there seems to be a possibility that it will reappear elsewhere eventually.) Lane convinces me to check out the menu at America Eats just in case. Nope, not what I’m looking for. NOW can we go to Jaleo?

As noted, we’ve been peering in the windows to gauge how busy it is and Jaleo is no different except, where Lane looks in and sees “busy, but maybe there’s a table or two,” I see a (favorite) boss who is in town for some meetings of his own. I’m surprised to see him here (it’s not really the sort of place where I would expect to find him) and hesitate for a moment – will he think it’s weird that I am here too? – and then decide no one should be surprised to see me here! After all, I tell everyone how much I love this restaurant and I’ve taken other friends and colleagues here. Heck, I’ve probably told him to eat here on previous occasions!

We do get a table and have a lovely meal that includes a special dish of squid cooked in its ink that is so blissfully tender and delicious I’m tempted to order a second serving. Instead, we order dessert, in part because I am intrigued by the olive oil ice cream served with a grapefruit granita and candied orange.

While Lane’s Basque cake with semolina cream is delicious, my dessert is even better!


Next post: Christmas Lights on the Mall<

2 thoughts on “Jaleo in Washington DC”

  1. It is good and, because you can do small plates, you can keep it affordable.

    Congrats to Marcus! Shouldn't that get you two some free meals at one or the other of his restaurants?!

    I thought of you when we were in DC, but you are too far away now!

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