100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Jaleo
No. 15 on this year's list.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Jessica Voelker, Anna Spiegel
Full of Spanish-made art, music, furnishings, and, of course, food, Jaleo Penn Quarter shows off José Andrés’s commitment to his home country. Photograph by Jeff Martin.
Comments () | Published January 28, 2014
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Jaleo - Penn Quarter
Address: 480 7th St., NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-628-7949
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Spanish/Portuguese, Tapas/Small Plates
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday 11:30 AM to midnight; Sunday and Monday 11:30 AM to 10 PM; Saturday and Sunday brunch til 3 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Rowdy
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Stone-size boiled baby potatoes with a mojo verde sauce; a good and garlicky gamba al ajillo; house-made grilled sausage with white beans; bacon-wrapped dates; beet salad with pistachios.
Price Details: Tapas $7 to $15; entrées $7 to $60
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Weekend Brunch, Party Space, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups
Scene:
Food Specials, Outdoor Seating

There is no laurel-resting in the José Andrés empire—his color-splashed Penn Quarter tapas house has been around since 1993, and each year it seems to get a jolt of new energy. The cocktail menu, now presented on an iPad, is better than ever, and the grapefruit-scented London Dry is a candidate for best gin-and-tonic in town.

When it comes to small plates, mix the reliably wonderful classics (goat-cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, extra-crispy tomato bread with Manchego) with newer dishes such as fried shrimp with caper mayo, thin toast with sea urchin, and Ibérico-pork sliders. Speaking of the famed Spanish pork, it now shows up in platters of simply grilled ribs, which make a nice centerpiece for the meal. 

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t miss: Bacon-wrapped dates; patatas bravas; shrimp with garlic and olive oil; rabbit confit with apricot purée; gin-and-tonic dessert; rice pudding. 

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