Estadio, Washington, D. C.

by Stevie on January 9, 2012

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Hegui and Devaki at Estadio

Hegui and Devaki at Estadio

We had the singular pleasure of dining with fellow food blogger, Devaki, from Weave a Thousand Flavors, and her delightful husband at this remarkable Spanish-inspired place, Estadio, in Washington D. C. over the winter holidays. D had researched it extensively and was completely excited by the chef, the menu and I think the company. After a truly memorable lunch here, we were too.

welcome to Estadio

welcome to Estadio

Estadio exterior

Estadio exterior

The web site says the restaurant is in the Logan Circle neighborhood. Of course, since I’m from San Francisco, that’s like speaking in a foreign language to me. It was vaguely near U Street and 14th, which I only recall because we went on a bar crawl around there the night before with Hegui’s niece, Juliana, and our friends, Callie and Elizabeth. It was pouring rain the day we lunched at Estadio, but that didn’t keep us from feeling warm and snug inside.

The interior has a stunning design which I can only characterize as “Spanish fantasy.” There were the usual dramatic tiles and cast iron metal work, uncomfortable dark rustic wooden chairs, and large TV screens showing various Iberian soccer matches, of course. The bathrooms were fun, displaying a sexy-comic stereotypically fierce heterosexist vibe: in the Men’s was a huge floor-to-ceiling image of what looked like a scantily clad female model; and in the Ladies’, some shirtless soccer players flying the colors of Spain. I wish I’d taken a picture.

rainy street from the window of Estadio

rainy street from the window of Estadio

stunning details of Estadio interior

stunning details of Estadio interior

It was not particularly crowded at 12:30PM on a Tuesday just after Christmas, though I can only imagine that it gets packed. They’ve an extensive wine and cocktail list, which unfortunately we really couldn’t explore as we planned to go to the National Gallery of Art post meal. It would be worth it to go back some evening to try the drinks.

Since everything’s basically tapas-style, we ordered lots of small and medium sized plates and more-or-less shared it all. As we ate, we got to know one another better, and I hope, began lasting friendships.

Cantabrian anchovies in olive oil

Cantabrian anchovies in olive oil

bacalao crudo, jalapeno, avocado, orange and olive oil

bacalao crudo, jalapeno, avocado, orange and olive oil

grilled octopus, potato and caper salad

grilled octopus, potato and caper salad

Rhode Island calamari a la Plancha, Salsa Verde

Rhode Island calamari a la Plancha, Salsa Verde

smoked salmon with yoghurt and honey open faced sandwich

smoked salmon with yoghurt and honey open faced sandwich

First to arrive were the Cantabrian anchovies in olive oil with some bread. In a word: delicious. In short order we enjoyed the smoked salmon with yoghurt and honey open-faced sandwich; the amazing bacalao crudo with jalapeño, avocado, orange and olive oil; grilled octopus with potato and caper salad; and the Rhode Island calamari a la Plancha with salsa verde.

Next we tried the lovely sherry glazed halibut with smoky Romesco and scallops with roasted cauliflower and salbitxada. We had sides of grilled scallions with more Romesco and Idiazábal and fiery sautéed red kale with garlic, sherry and chili flakes.

sherry glazed halibut, smoky Romesco

sherry glazed halibut, smoky Romesco

scallops, roasted cauliflower and salbitxada

scallops, roasted cauliflower and salbitxada

This perfect repast ended on the sweet, as we shared an order of the unusual and tasty Manchego cheesecake with quince and pistachio granola.

The service was attentive but not hurried. As I’ve already alluded to, the ambience was super. This is a restaurant that we would definitely visit again. You Washingtonians are lucky. Thanks for treating us to Estadio, Devaki and Shamit!

Manchego cheesecake, quince and pistachio granola

Manchego cheesecake, quince and pistachio granola

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Yossef Cohen January 9, 2012 at 12:57 am

Not many people, especially outside of the U.S finds Washington as a tourist location, beside the White House most people would rather just keep on visiting New York and Las Vegas, Miami, and San Fransisco (many thanks to Cascada with their recent song).
You are showing me what a great tourist city it is although it doesn`t got a big name for as tourist location, visiting U.S next month, added Washington D.C to it.
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Barbara January 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

Great review…love all the seafood dishes. Hope the octopus salad was as good as it looks….it’s my favorite!
Happy New Year, Steve!
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Alaiyo Kiasi January 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I loved your review about Estadio. I live in the Washington, D.C. area, so I’ll have to visit. The food looks amazing, and I enjoyed reading about your experience. Lovely, descriptive writing (your photos are the bomb too)!

Glad you enjoyed your visit!
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Magic of Spice January 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm

What a fanatic review…the food look glorious and the decor looks very comfortable. Again, how I hope to someday hang our with Devaki and you guys…such fun!
Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s for dinner? Truffled Mac n Cheese with Shitaki Shrooms and Spelt NoodlesMy Profile

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors January 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Dear Stevie & Hegui – Hubby and I will always cherish our time in D.C.

Lasting friendships? You bet 🙂 As for us ESTADIO has forever ruined us! We recently went to the competitor’s Jose Andres’ place Oyamel – oh dear – wait till you read that review! Reliving the food through your pics is killing me Hegui – i can’t wait to go back soon 🙂 Better still, come back so we can do this again!!

hugs! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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OysterCulture March 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I used to live in DC (well Arlington, just across the river) and I loved it. The restaurant scene only got better, as you proved here with these incredible photos. I do not think that restaurant was open when I was there otherwise I cannot believe I missed it! I get back at least once a year and this place is on the list.
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