Jaleo - Penn Quarter
480 7th St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Spanish/Portuguese, Tapas/Small Plates
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.
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Rowdy
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.
Scene: Food Specials, Outdoor Seating
After nearly two decades, José Andrés’s DC flagship no longer delivers the shock of the new—its small-plates/clamorous-setting aesthetic has become the default for many restaurants, and even occasional restaurant goers know about aïoli and esplette. But the DC Jaleo remains one of the best dining values in the area—and one of the most consistent meals, too. A recent renovation has given the dining room a shot of Vegas excitement and resulted in fresh takes on familiar dishes—the croquettes now come in a resin shoe, and the dessert menu has been overhauled to showcase, among other things, the chef’s love of gin-and-tonics (a bracing, boozy sorbet). Don’t miss: Tomato bread; gazpacho; garlic soup with 63-degree egg; fried egg with caviar; sausage with white beans; potatoes with mojo verde and mojo rojo; chocolate flan with brioche ice cream. Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.