Capitol Hill’s Stylish New Spanish Cafe Is Your Next Date Night Spot

Joselito Casa de Comidas debuts near Eastern Market.

Joselito Casa de Comidas opens on Capitol Hill with an all-day cafe menu of Spanish specialties. Photography by Rey Lopez, courtesy of Joselito.

Spanish cafe culture has arrived on Capitol Hill courtesy of restaurateur Javier Candon and his new eatery, Joselito Casa de Comidas. The 70-seat spot near Eastern Market, named after Candon’s late father, channels a lively old world caféteria with marble tables and antique mirrors.

Servers shave slices of prized "jamon Iberico de Bellota" alongside fresh bread.
Servers shave slices of prized “jamon Iberico de Bellota” alongside fresh bread.

Madrid-born chef David Sierra comes from sister Spanish restaurant SER in Arlington. His menu reflects a traditional way of dining, with a large Andalusian influence from Southern Spain. Dishes are divided between hot and cold, and all can be ordered in three sizes: tapas, half-racion (entree-sized), or racion (family-style).

The food itself is more contemporary, with items like sherry-steamed clams, Iberian pork shoulder grilled a la plancha, or egg pasta tossed with crab, sea urchin, and shrimp butter. Anyone feeling the aftermath of last night’s sangria can return for Sierra’s reimagined hangover soup: a hearty chicken broth that’s brought to the table in a siphon coffee maker, infused with cured ham and mint, and served over a raw egg that’s gently cooked in the consommé.

The restaurant, named after the owner's late father, is hung with family pictures and antique mirrors.
The restaurant, named after the owner’s late father, is hung with family pictures and antique mirrors.

Starting next Tuesday, the kitchen will serve an all-day menu through lunch and dinner. Afternoon guests will find a few extras like sandwiches, while evenings will bring specials such as stews and paella. Deal-seekers should drop by for daily “Hemingway hour,” where everything on the menu is offered at a 20-percent discount from 4 to 7 pm.

A bountiful beverage list includes sangrias, Spanish cocktails, and Old World wines.
A bountiful beverage list includes sangrias, Spanish cocktails, and Old World wines.

The restaurant is still in its opening (i.e. learning) phase, and so it’s offering a 20-percent discount on food and beverages through Sunday, Jan. 15.

Joselito Casa de Comidas660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-930-6955. Regular hours (starting Jan. 17): Open Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to midnight. The restaurant is currently open for dinner only, starting at 5:30.

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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.