Food and Drink, The Features

We Love Food: Jaleo 2.0

You can in fact teach an old dog new tricks my friend. And very quickly at that. Jaleo, Jose Andres’ first ever restaurant in the District, has undergone a  makeover, and with its refreshed modern look comes a seriously delicious menu full of creative twists on Spanish classics. I went to Jaleo the day before it closed for renovations, and exactly a month following- the total time it took to revamp the place- I returned to a completely new experience. Hello Jaleo, Fully Loaded.

Jose Andres really had no idea that when he opened Jaleo in Chinatown as a mere 23 year old kid that he would be setting the foundation for an empire, one that would span across States and elevate tapas to the highest levels. With all of his success (such as making it to the shortlist of Time’s most influential people) Jose Andres continues to be an unofficial Ambassador of the District and of its culinary talent.  Right off the train from the James Beard Foundation Awards, Jose came straight to Jaleo and spoke with us extensively about the new restaurant, but furthermore, about our city, it’s food, and the people behind it. In his words, we need more “cheerleaders” – whether journalists, bloggers, or simply customers – that cheer on our chefs and those in the industry to build DC’s reputation as one of a food-town, and for its tasty offerings to no longer be an after-thought.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Jaleo’s 9th Annual Paella Festival

Photo courtesy of
‘Paella at Jaleo’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

We all know it’s been pretty hot out there, so tear yourself away from your kitchen and take advantage of Jaleo’s ninth annual paella festival.

Until the end of July, Jaleo’s paella festival has a variety of paellas made from recipes from Chef Rafael Vidal from Restaurante Levante in Benisanó, Spain. Vidal, for those of you who don’t know, is legendary in the world of paella and his family has served paella to the royal family in Spain for three generations. There’s no cutting corners with Vidal–he makes his paella over a wood fire in Spain and uses recipes that honor the traditions of Spanish cuisine.

A few of the paellas being featured include paella de verduras (vegetables), paella de Iberico de bellota (paella with Iberico pork belly and cauliflower), lobster paella, paella with octopus and garlic scapes and the traditional Valenciana paella with chicken and rabbit. Personally, I’d recommend the Valenciana and the “Fideo Negro con pulpo y ajetes” paella. The Valenciana is a classic, while the Fideo Negro paella might be right for those of you whose taste buds are a little more adventurous. The Fideo Negro paella has pieces of meaty octopus and is a deep, rich black from the octopus ink, topped off with that refreshing bite from garlic scapes.

For more information and the paella menu, click here.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Food Tweet of the Week

Photo courtesy of
‘Lobster Truck’
courtesy of ‘yostinator’
It’s funny how self-promotion can either come across as annoying and uneccessary or cute and endearing. Food trucks pretty much have to promote themselves to survive, and make sure customers know what they’re offering, when, and where.

In this case the popular Red Hook Lobster Pound was hoping to score another popularity title. After one month of food-truck matchups at Washingtonian, the championship round featured the lobster truck and Solar Crepes. Red Hook called out for help from one of DC’s (and Spain’s and Vegas’) most well-known chefs.
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The Daily Feed

Local Chefs Raise Money for Tsunami Relief

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Jing a Ling’
Get your credit cards out. Starting today, a series of donations will be auctioned off on eBay by more than 20 DC businesses. The money raised will support disaster relief in Japan. 

Earlier this week, KAZ Sushi Bistro Chef Kaz Okochi, who was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, reached out to the DC Chefs’ Club for help. The result? Chefs are auctioning off brunch, dinners, tastings, classes, and more on eBay. The auctions will last for one to two weeks, and the winning bids will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Starting off the auction is KAZ, offering a tasting menu for two people as well as KAZ private brand sake or beer. The bidding starts at $50. To bid go here.

Restaurants participating include:

The Tabard Inn
Restaurant Nora
Four Seasons
KAZ Sushi Bistro
Peacock Cafe
Food & Wine Co.
DC Coast/TenPenh/Ceiba/Acadiana/PassionFish
Jaleo/Zaytinya/Oyamel/Cafe Atlantico
Marcels/Brasserie Beck/Mussel Bar
Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Food Tweet of the Week: Chef Geoff Tracy

Photo courtesy of
‘shrimp n grits’
courtesy of ‘@heylovedc’
New (and even old-time) Tweeters can learn a thing or two from Chef Geoff Tracy.  With @chegeoffs, Tracy might not hold the record for the most tweets per day, but all the messages he sends out are either informative (specials of the day), enticing (pictures from the kitchen), or funny (as you will see below).

The famed chef from Chef Geoff’s and Lia’s writes on his Twitter profile “Don’t get pissy here.” Love it. Tracy has about 1,700 followers and is constantly telling them what’s on his mind and what’s coming up at his restaurants. His account is unique and personal.

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The Daily Feed

Plenty of Paella to Go Around!

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘looseid’

A couple of nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending the kickoff to the 8th Annual Paella Festival at Jaleo in Crystal City, and I must say I was very impressed to say the least.  Between June 7th and 20th, all locations will be celebrating the traditional Spanish dish, so you have plenty of time to get a plate of your own!

Just to give you an idea of all the tastiness you can expect, let me run it down for you.  The featured dishes included Arroz con pluma ibérica y verduras de Alicante (Iberico pork paella with green garlic and seasonal vegetables), Arroz caldoso con cigalas (soupy rice with Norway lobster), Fideos finos tostados con bogavante (vermicelli paella with lobster), Arroz con verduras y setas de temporada (paella of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms), and Caldero de pescados con arroz finito a banda (fish stew with rice).

I didn’t forget the drinks either!  This week the Mazafrano cocktail is being highlighted.  It’s made up of saffron infused vodka, thyme simple syrup, fresh green apple juice and saffron garnish.  Trust me, you definitely want to make your way down to Jaleo pronto!  For more information, you can visit the website.

Food and Drink, The DC 100

DC Omni 100: #71 Gazpacho

Photo courtesy of
‘Chilled Soup, Hot Summer’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

It’s time for another item on the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

With warm weather hitting the area, palates and appetites turn from stews and comfort food to lighter, refreshing dishes in an effort to cool off during the summer. Gazpacho, a cold liquid salad, originating from Andalusia, the southern most region of Spain, is a thirst-quenching option that should definitely be on everyone’s mind.

Typically, Gazpacho includes hard bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar of wine, onion and salt. However, there are many modern variations of gazpacho, often in different colors and omitting the tomatoes and bread in favor of avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood, and other ingredients.

A good gazpacho’s viscosity should be a tad short of a thick tomato sauce and the ingredients should be completely blended. And in my opinion, there’s nothing worse than getting a gazpacho that’s watery and filled with cubed peppers.  This should be a substantive, cold soup. Continue reading

Entertainment, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Paella Sundays

Photo courtesy of
‘two types of paella’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

The Crystal City branch of Jaleo, José Andrés’ award-winning tapas restaurant, is hosting Paella Sundays from 4pm to closings.  Diners can experience a traditional Spanish Sunday Supper complete with gazpacho, salad, paella and flan for $18 per person (excluding of tax and tip).

Every Sunday, guests can enjoy unlimited servings of two daily paellas including Paella de pollo y setas silvestres, a traditional paella of chicken and wild mushrooms as well as a Chef’s Selection Paella, a vegetarian paella featuring seasonal produce.

This is a fantastic way to spend a Sundays  with family and friends, and your meal can be enjoyed inside and outside. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (703) 413-8181.

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, We Love Food

Eat Like Me: June’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
‘this is generally what my life looks like at 6:30 p.m. any given day’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

People ask me all the time if they can have my job. NO! Mine. Well, you can have my day job, but you’d have to fight me to the death for my foodie blogging job. And it would be your death, not mine. Along the way, through press dinners, media previews, nights out with friends, and places I’m reviewing for our We Love Food feature, I run into some damn good dishes (for up-to-the minute reviews, follow me on Twitter). Forkful after forkful, I wind up eating some dishes that make me think back with ultimate fondness, and leave me longing for them. Last month I told you all about with them in a little piece I called Eat Like Me. It was so popular with you guys, and I enjoyed writing it so much, that I decided I’ll do it every month. Sort of like a what’s worth it of my food intake – a satoralist of food, if you will.

So. June. It was rainy, right? Ugh. But it was also chock full of food for me, my calendar was overwhelming. June is a busy month in the foodie world. New warm weather menus come hot off the presses, restaurants open their doors to hungry summer crowds, and my friends want to eat out more. It’s pretty glorious. So, click on through to see what made the cut.  Continue reading

Entertainment, Food and Drink, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Squid, Shrimp and Veg, Oh Mai!

Photo courtesy of
‘two types of paella’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

Monday night, I headed over to Jaleo in Crystal City for the kick-off of Jaleo’s annual Paella Festival. While Jose Andres and company were spotted at the Dupont Farmer’s Market last weekend cookin’ up a big old pot of the stuff, Monday marked the first day of the official festival. This year, Jose’s cooking buddy, Chef Quim Marques of El Suquet de L’Almirall, Barcelona, Spain, joins him to help Jose whip up tasty rice creations. So this year’s festival features paellas based on Marques’ recipes.

So how was it? There were some I loved, and some I wouldn’t care to try again. I’ll tell you what’s what. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Foodie Round-Up (May 25-29)

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘lorigoldberg’

I don’t know about you, but Fridays are fast becoming my “I need caffeine STAT” days. So, all the news fit to eat in the District, your-author-is-hopped-up-on-chai-tea edition. We’ve got Chef Ripert, new salad choices at Chop’t, the 9:30 cupcake, and paella! Continue reading