Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tapas and Wine on Monday Night

My friend Steph and I had been meaning to catch up and ended up doing so yesterday evening at Jaleo in Penn Quarter. Always a favorite of mine, it was somewhat slow last night, and it was nice to have plenty or room to dine and chit chat at the bar. Service is almost always friendly and well-timed, and was no different last night. I started the evening with a glass of Higueruela, which was a really nice blend made mostly of granacha. The nose was of underripe cherries, or fruity but not too fruity, and the finish was velvety and delicious. An easy-drinking wine, this would go with most items on Jaleo's extensive menu. Steph got a glass of red sangria which comes with a nice amount of fruit but avoids being too sweet or syrupy. We started off with Tortilla con Calabacines y Queso, or a traditional Spanish omelet with squash, caramelized onions and cheese. The omelet was moist and the caramelized onions and creamy cheese gave it a really rich taste. The squash was zucchini which was finely slivered and gave the dish a bit of pretty green color throughout. For my main, I had Pollo al Ajillo con Salsa Verde, or grilled chicken with green sauce. The chicken was served in nice size chunks of breast meat, and was moist and well-seasoned. The green sauce was somewhat like a pesto but tasted like it had a bit of sherry or balsamic vinegar added to it. It went perfectly with the chicken. Steph had Vieiras con Romesco, or scallops with Romesco sauce. The scallops were tender and lightly browned on each side, and not at all chewy or overdone. Romesco sauce is usually made with made with tomatoes, chile, almonds and/or hazelnuts, and olive oil, and last night's version was slightly sweet and had a tanginess that matched nicely with the richness of the scallops. There were a couple of specials that I wanted to try as well, such as Melon con Jamon Y Vinegreta de Jerez, which is Serrano ham with cantaloupe and sherry vinegar, which makes sense if you read my blog regularly as I have a bit of a penchant for pairing wrappable meats such as prosciutto and ham with fruits and veggies. But, after sharing the omelet and enjoying our mains, we just finished up our drinks and called it an evening. A nice way to start the week for sure.

Jaleo (Penn Quarter location)
480 7th Street in NW DC


Sonadora said...

I haven't been to the one over there....do they have a Spanish wine shop in that one? The one here by us in Crystal City has a Spanish wine shop and does tastings and stuff. I'm always meaning to check it out, but never have.

Leah said...

Nope - no wine shop in the DC location, but I do prefer the general ambiance at the one here, so do check it out ....