We take Jaleo for granted. We do. Chew on this for a second: Jaleo has been around almost a quarter century. And how about this? The small-plates craze that you’ve maybe grown tired of but can’t possibly ignore? Jaleo birthed it. But the Dorian Gray of restaurants is still youthful and lively, with a menu that evolves in exciting ways. If you haven’t been in years, you’ll find an excellent selection of Spanish hams (including Ibérico, the ultimate in depth of flavor), along with several shiny new baubles (among them, a dish of uni with trout roe, a delicious means of conveying the salinity and sweetness of nature’s custard). As for the old standbys, such as garlic shrimp or fried cod fritters? Good as ever.
Don’t miss: Egg with caviar; potatoes with mojo verde; jamón Ibérico-And-Manchego sandwich; chorizo with potatoes; flan; Basque cake.
See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.