Ever since I came back from Portland, Oregon in late August, I have had this weird craving for tapas. It may be because I am obsessed with the cute portioned sized plates, developed my love of specialty gin drinks (which every exceptional tapas place has), or have just been severely in the mood for Spanish flare.
Anyway, the place I went to in Portland was Toro Bravo, but I will post about them later…
This post is all about Estadio in Washington D.C. I have a few bones to pick with Estadio but also a few praises to give out too. Overall, the experience was somewhat of a mixed bag, so let’s start at the beginning of the dining experience…
Tanqueray 10 & Elderflower Citrus Tonic ~ 12
White & Tequila, Apple & Rosemary Sangria~ 6
I’m totally a cocktail lover. It originally was an inseparable wine love affair, but then I drank way too much of it in Italy…so the entire summer has been me hooked on cocktails, specifically gin. Estadio has a solid amount of specialty drinks, varying with different alcohols and flavors. I started off with the Tanqueray and Elderflower Tonic, (whenever I see elderflower and gin together on a menu I absolutely can not resist.) However, from being a veteran in this department, it came up short.
During my first sip I was inundated with extreme citrusy flavors. It almost tasted just like a mimosa, which necessarily isn’t awful but it was definitely not the flavor I was looking to enjoy. I guess I underestimated the citrus when ordering…because it actually tasted like orange juice and it was even topped with an orange curly-Q. In addition to the disappointment, Estadio serves their cocktails not with multiple ice cubes, but with one giant block of ice-which takes up the majority of the glass. I pulled the whole ice cube out of my short glass and actually saw how much I was getting for $12…(see below.) It sucked.
The Sangria was much more affordable and had a unique and refreshing taste. I would order it again for sure.
Now onto the plates! (It gets better don’t worry.)
Manchego, firm, sheep:
Murcia al Vino, semi-soft, goat
Valdeón, semi-soft, blue
All the cheese was amazing, no complaints here. I don’t like any cheese that resembles bleu cheese, so I stayed away from the Valdeón.
Chorizo ~ 7
Lomo Embuchado ~ 9
Jamón Serrano ~ 12
I tried something a little different this time around…dried Pork Loin (Lomo Embuchado) which was spectacular and happened to be my favorite. The other meats, Chorizo and Jamón, were satisfactory. It was a delicious charcuterie board, and it always makes me happy when it comes with sweet honey, pickles, peppers, and fresh bread. But it was not the best in my book.
Wild Mushroom Croquetas, Roasted Red Peppers ~ 8
Croquetas de Jamón, Pickled Cucumbers ~ 8
Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onions, Pine Nuts & Currants ~ 9
Soft Shell Crab, Spinach & Gazpacho ~ 14
Crispy Pork Belly & Pickled Shishito Pepper Alioli ~ 5.5
Croquettes are exceedingly hard to master and fry correctly. I can’t tell you how many I have tried and how many times I have been disappointed. They are super complicated to perfect. Estadio has a few renditions of croquettes including ham, mushroom, and even shrimp. We tried both the mushroom and ham, and my mind was utterly blown. These were THE BEST I have ever tasted (outside of Miami of course). I’ve never tasted mushroom croquettes before, and honestly I’ve never even seen it on another menu. They were outstanding. The ham ones were also near perfection, but not as good as the mushroom. I wanted to order another plate, all for myself.
The brussels sprouts were out of this world, and the mini crispy pork belly bites were really nothing to remember. And lastly the soft shell crab came up with poor reviews. I was too weirded out to try any, but I guess it tasted fishy and not fresh. We don’t recommend this one.
Churros Espanoles, Chocolate Caliente ~ 9
Roasted Pistachio Crema Catalana, Dark Chocolate Feves ~ 9
Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream ~ 9
The desserts were delightful. You can’t go wrong with fresh churros and hot chocolate sauce. However the star of the meal was the Roasted Pistachio Crema. Think of it as a different take on Creme Brûlée, with new flavors and a new texture. Soft and smooth, with subtle hints of pistachio, colored a nice mild green, and topped with pistachio nuts and dark chocolate chunks. It was a sweet ending to a experience that was definitely all over the place.
Estadio, 1520 14th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20005 Website: http://estadio-dc.com Phone: +1 202-319-1404
TripAdvisor Rating: ★★★★ #27/2,498 of Restaurants in Washington DC. $$$