Written by Anita

February 13, 2011

Photograph 2 courtesy of Jaleo

Jaleo Bethesda is turning 10 years old, and is making sure that everyone can join the party! Start the celebration with one of Jaleo Bethesda’s special cocktails. La Perla, a cocktail designed especially for Jaleo’s 10th anniversary, mixes two types of Perucchi Spanish vermouth (dry and Reserva sweet) with Lustau Almacenista Palo Cortado sherry and Ketel One vodka. It’s finished with a spherified horchata “pearl” (this is a Jose Andres joint, after all!) Other celebratory libations include the Golden Boy (cava, Hidalgo Amontillado sherry, and gold powder) and Jose’s favorite G&T (Hendrick’s gin, juniper, lemon, and Fever-Tree premium Indian tonic water).

Then, settle in for the special anniversary menu (available throughout February), which includes fragrant marinated olives, three of Jose Andres’ classic tapas, dessert, and a cava toast—all for $30. Choose from a list of four tapas frias (cold tapas) or eight tapas calientes (hot tapas), skillfully executed by new head chef Paul Yeck. To start things off with a bang, sample the gazpacho estilo Algeciras—a bright orange chilled soup packed with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers and finished with Sherry vinegar and firm chunks of bread. We also enjoyed the ensalada rusa, a Spanish-style tuna salad of potatoes, imported tuna, plump peas, hard-boiled egg, and roasted red peppers. From the hot tapas menu, we recommend the gambas al ajillo (tender shrimp sauteed with plenty of garlic—just make sure to keep the mints handy!) and datiles con tocino ‘como hace todo el mundo’ (fried dates, wrapped decadently in crisp bacon). Vegetarians can celebrate too—Jaleo’s menu includes some terrific veggie specials like the espinacas a la catalana (tender sauteed spinach, pine nuts, raisins, and apples) and the trigueros con romesco (smoky grilled asparagus atop a fiery red romesco sauce). Dessert includes a choice of impossibly creamy flan al estilo tradicional de mama Marisa con espuma de crema Catalana (served with juicy orange segments) or espuma de chocolate negro co bizcocho de cacao y helado de avellana (a deep chocolatey mousse topped with a dense chocolate sheen served with cocoa sponge cake and creamy hazelnut ice cream).

Want to keep the party going? To thank its fans, the restaurant is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, March 1st, which will include complimentary light tapas, sangria, wine, and beer. Sign up now to make sure you are on the guest list. Happy Birthday Jaleo—here’s to many more!

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