One Year Later: Estadio

Photo courtesy of
’14/365′
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′
Estadio celebrated its one year anniversary back in July (yes, I’m a little late), and 14 months after it opened, this restaurant continues to draw in the packed crowds.

The most important part of any restaurant is, of course, the food, and Estadio shines here. It’s a member of the tapas crowd serving Spanish small plates, but unlike some other tapas restaurants you will not leave the Logan Circle restaurant hungry.


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The scallops dish might be one of the best in DC, contending with Zaytinya and Bistro Bis. They are huge and lightly blackened on top.  They have so much flavor that you could even do without the sauce. The cauliflower in the middle is just as good.

My other favorite is the Spanish tortilla. The presentation here won’t wow you by any means, but I don’t actually know if there IS a special way to present a tortilla. Cut into four (actually nicely sized slices) this dish is as close to “comfort food” as you’ll get at Estadio. I love eggs so this is one of my favorites – simple and filling thanks to the onions, ham and asparagus.

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General Manager Justin Guthrie recommends the Chorizo Pintxo: Manchego, chorizo and pistachio encrusted quince paste served on a toothpick because it “captures the concept and spirit of the restaurant: small, straightforward and really good.”

Now let’s talk service. When I went here sometime last year a few times, the service left much to be desired. This year everything has been the opposite- the bartender during my last trip was probably the most polite person I’ve ever encountered, even though I think I scared him with everything I ordered.
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My third rec here goes to the shrimp. You just can’t leave Estadio without trying the sauteed shrimp.

What you’ll see all around Estadio is bottles of wine. Guthrie says more hard-to-find Spanish wines are coming to the bottle list, as are some neat beers.

Of course my final thought is always the decor. No matter how many times I go to Estadio I always walk past the door! The bar is beautiful, but I’m not a big fan of the bar seats. Also, be ready to talk in a loud voice and strain a bit if you want to hear the people you are with. This hotspot is always hopping – and it’s part of the fun.

Estadio is located at 1520 14th Street NW. The closest metro stations are U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (yellow line) and Dupont Circle (red line). For more information, call 202-319-1404.

Tricia is a native Washingtonian, born and raised in Columbia Heights. She loves DC so much that she was only able to leave the city for one year after college and immediately came running back. Tricia works in PR during the day, and spends her nights trying out new restaurants in DC with friends or watching The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Tricia recently decided to eat her way though all of Zagat’s 2011 restaurants until she realized she would be old and broke by the time she finished. Follow her on Twitter and email her at Tricia (at) welovedc.com.

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