100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Jaleo

No. 15 on this year's list.
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.

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. 

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
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 Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.