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
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.