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Haidar Karoum’s Spanish-influenced cooking doesn’t flaunt whiz-bang techniques or trendy ingredients–it’s made for everyday eating. Still, he’s making some of the most exciting food we’ve had this year.

The Logan Circle hot spot recalls Spain, from the charcuterie stand to the porrons, the glass wine vessels. Plenty–patatas bravas, blood-sausage sandwiches–is done the old way. But Karoum punches up many dishes with unexpected ingredients including labneh, the Lebanese yogurt he uses to marinate chicken. We like to start things off with a boozy slushie, then dig into dinner at the end of the marble bar, where you get both a window seat and a view of the kitchen (it’s owner Mark Kuller’s seat of choice, too).

What to get: Fava-bean spread; toothpick skewers of artichoke and boquerones and chorizo, Manchego, and quince; grilled squid; hanger steak; grilled scallions with romesco and sheep’s-milk cheese; Manchego cheesecake; sherry float.

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

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.