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  • Writer's pictureNina Dudko

Restaurant Round-Up: Estadio

Have you ever heard of the comedian Iliza Schlesinger? She’s brilliant and one of my favorite comedians. Her jokes are intelligent, but she loves to make fun of the stereotypical “basic” girl, which I find absolutely hilarious because I relate to them so much. One of my favorite jokes is about girls and food our eating habits. When deciding what to eat there’s always that one friend who throws out tapas as a potential food option (watch her whole segment Freezing Hot on Netflix, it’s side-grippingly funny). Well I am that one friend who suggests tapas every time. I love tapas, even if they can be on the overpriced side.

Getting tapas with a bunch of friends is a foodie experience. It’s meant for sharing so if you have a friend that doesn’t like to share their foods maybe don’t do tapas. Since the plates are such small portions everyone at the table can order something different and everyone can try a bite. You get a wide variety of tastes and end your meal feeling pleasantly sated.

There are a few tapas places in DC that I’ve tried, but I recently ventured to Estadio in Logan Circle. My close friends Ryan and Ashley joined me on this dinner escapade (actually Ryan suggested this restaurant). This was a last hurrah before Ryan traveled to Africa for a temporary assignment for a few months and what a wonderful experience this dinner was.

I arrived at the restaurant a bit early and walked all the way from Foggy Bottom after work. Admittedly I was a bit sweaty since it decided to be sunny and hot on my walk over and I wore pants (aka leg prisons). I grabbed a seat at the bar and patiently waited for my friends to arrive. And the best way to wait for your friends is to grab a drink!

Ryan mentioned this place has incredible gin & tonics and while I’m not the biggest gin drinker, I try to broaden my horizons every now and then. So I ordered the Anniversary since it was only available for a limited time. All their gins are house made and very smooth. I think gin and my brain shocks me with horrors of undergrad drinking Traveler’s Club, but this gin was smooth, mellow, and delicious. A bit spicy and citrusy, the Anniversary hid the gin flavor very well. It was slightly difficult to determine the gin’s presence, which I guess could be both a good and bad thing. Regardless, it was a delicious cocktail.

Once we sat down, drinks were in order. I ordered a glass of red wine, Ashley ordered the blueberry slushito and Ryan ordered the pumpkin slushito. What’s a slushito—A grown-up slushy that more than one of can be a bit dangerous. I tried a sip of both of theirs and the blueberry tasted just like summer—very fresh and sweet with the tinge of tart. Ryan’s tasted just like pumpkin pie. Absolutely splendid.

Food time. We ordered our food in rounds, since the plates are so small. First round we ordered ham wrapped dates and chorizo and Manchego cheese skewers. The dates were covered with a generous spread of valdéon cheese (which is a bleu cheese). The single bite was smoky, creamy, and sweet. Spicy and mild simultaneously, the chorizo skewers turned up the heat of our first round, but couldn’t honestly compare to the dates.

Second round we upped the ante some veggies: roasted cauliflower and roasted corn. Overall, I’m not cauliflower’s biggest fan—it has a weird texture and can be grainy for me. I gave this a try and I’m of the mindset now that you can roast near any vegetable and I’ll love it. I mean when you roast anything with garlic, olive oil, and parsley, it’s hard to not enjoy it.

I’m also weird about my corn for some reason. I don’t like corn off the cob. It reminds me of baby food (don’t judge me), but the roasted corn broke my rule. Covered in melty savory cheese, these crunchy and spicy morsels with a burst of lime left me with giant scoops on my plate and I almost didn’t want to share.

Third round were the heavy hitters—protein and carbs. We ordered classis patatas bravas, seared scallops, and seared foie gras, . First, let me tell you about these potatoes. These are the second best patatas bravas I’ve ever eaten in my life—the best being in Barcelona at Lolita Taperia. Perfectly fried yet fluffy and generously coated in a garlic aioli, these are the carbs of my dreams. I could eat these patatas bravas for the rest of my life and be perfectly content (though my waistline would not).

The scallops we enjoyed were the table favorite. Hands down this tapa won as table favorite. Cooked to absolute perfection, the scallops with their salsa gallega, a peppery orange cream sauce, the scallops were airy and oh so delicate. This tapa even got me eating mushrooms and I also do not like mushrooms. *Okay so I’m sounding like a super picky eater right now, but I swear I’m not!*

The seared foie gras personally was my favorite. I love foie gras when it’s not seared so the concept of searing foie gras is perplexing. I needed to try it. My life is forever changed. Served with a strawberry gastrique, the foie gras tasted berry sweet (sorry not sorry) and buttery. I’m a glutton for foie gras and I have no inclination to change that. I mean—why would you?

Dinner at Estadio was incredible. I had lovely company and a wonderful experience. Our waiter was attentive, but not to the point where it became overbearing. Price wise, their dishes vary. Since the plates are fairly small you need to order maybe 3 or 4 at least to sate your hunger. The tapas range from $6 to $15, so your bill may be a bit on the spendier side depending on how much you order.

The only downside is that there is no direct metro to Estadio. The closest metro would be either U Street or McPherson Square, and even then the restaurant is a 12-15 minute walk. There are plenty of buses that go up 14th St NW, so public transportation is still viable—just a little difficult to get there. Regardless of how you get there though, you should definitely take a trip to Estadio. Might not be Spain, but it's pretty darn close.

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