Great New Restaurants 2010: Estadio

25 places that are making the Washington dining scene better than ever

From the “slushitos”—craft cocktails in the form of Slurpees—to the sherry-doused ice-cream sundaes, this Logan Circle hot spot shows a devotion to detail. Owner Mark Kuller and chef Haidar Karoum—the team behind Penn Quarter’s wine-centric Proof—have assembled an impressive tapas menu that showcases the duo’s selective shopping. You can taste it most strikingly in the pintxos, skewered one-biters that include the likes of marinated white anchovies and blue-cheese-stuffed figs, and in the fine Spanish meats and cheeses. The duo also understands the rootedness essential to good Spanish cooking. The best dishes, for all their crispness of execution, never lose their soulful rusticity. Which also pretty much describes Estadio.

Don’t miss: Salmorejo, a thickened gazpacho; tortilla de camarones, a shrimp pancake; miniature tuna sandwich with roasted peppers; patatas bravas, fried potatoes doused with a spicy tomato sauce; squid a la plancha; hanger steak. 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.