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Estadio, 14th and Church Street in Logan Circle - Spanish Tapas with Chef Ruffino Bautista, GM Matt Wright Replaces Justin Guthrie (Who Is Still With The Company)

14UP Spanish Tapas Wines Cocktails Mark Kuller

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#1 youngfood

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 03:27 PM

Details from Sietsema & Metrocurean



#2 hmmboy

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:36 PM

I was wondering if there are any DR Board members who would be willing to help me out with something relating to Estadio. As expected, there are residents in some of the adjoining buildings who are putting up a real stink about our project - the usual concerns, noise, smells, rats, rowdies,etc. My Voluntary Agreement with the local ANC (2F) is up for formal consideration this Wednesday at their monthly meeting:

http://www.anc2f.org/

I need a few local residents to show up in support and perhaps take the floor to refute the dissenters (whom I expect to be vocal) and say a few words about why Estadio would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. in a perfect world, I would love it to be residents of Lofts I or II, or Cooper Lewis, but any resident in ANC 2F (Logan Circle, Thomas Circle, Old City, Blagden Alley, Franklin Square, and parts of Shaw) is fine

Anyone who might be willing to assist should PM me. Thanks. Mark
"I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm so tired - I'm oh so tired. But I'm trying to keep my customers satisfied. Satisfied." Simon & Garfunkel

Mark A. Kuller
Proof, Estadio, doi moi, & 2birds1stone

#3 kat6185

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 04:35 PM

Following a terrific wine class at Cork Market, I took a few minutes to wander down 14th to Estadio...hoping for a peek inside. My efforts were rewarded! Estadio was in full swing, preparing for a "private party" this evening -- perhaps a soft opening? (And - how do I get on the invite list for these things? I promise to be good!)

The space looks wonderfully rustic without being rough. Lots of wood and wrought iron, plenty of seating but not on top of each other. In the center of the space it looks like there is a serving bar stocked with all kinds of lovlies. Sadly, no menu posted yet. I'm looking forward to checking out Mark's new place... for the time being, I'll just have to go into training at Proof. :-) It's a tough life.
"Don't complicate things. we plan to seek oompa loompas to help with that portion of the business." - Dan D.

#4 Joe Riley

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:57 PM

I went to that soft opening last night and I promise to post some of the menu. It was and will be awesome. With Justin Guthrie and Max Kuller managing, with Sebastian doing the wine list and Adam Bernbach doing cocktails, they cannot fail. I am anxious for them to open!

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#5 kat6185

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:31 PM

I went to that soft opening last night

Color me green with envy! Joe, I know we've never met but if you need an extra set of tastebuds...give a shout! :-)
"Don't complicate things. we plan to seek oompa loompas to help with that portion of the business." - Dan D.

#6 Joe Riley

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:47 AM

I had a Jamon Wrapped Fig, stufffed with Cabrales, Salmorejo "Chilled Tomato & Bread Soup" with Jamon, and Duck Breast with Rainbow Chard & Quince Sauce. All wonderful to me :)

I also enjoyed a taste of Sherry Glazed Halibut with Smoky Romesco.

Oh, for dessert, I shared Crema Catalina with Raspberries (Crčme Brulée) and Almond & Citrus Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. As lovely as you would expect.

Beverage-wise, I started with a Barcelona beer called Moritz, which was suggested to me by Mark:

Posted Image

And then I had a nice, cool Slushito, made with quince, paprika, lemon, Sherry, and Scotch:

Posted Image

Yeah, they're going to hit the ground running, and be a great success, I think. I can't wait until they are open and I can go back and try some other dishes and cocktails, and perhaps even try something wonderful off of Sebastian's wine list.

This is a great addition to the already-vibrant dining scene on 14th St. I'm very happy for them, and especially my friends who are involved with it. Kudos to all concerned!

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#7 jparrott

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 07:28 PM

Go. Nuff said.

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#8 DanielK

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:20 PM

...turn on the website, peoples...

Well..... Estadio

Yeah, but all it has is the address. No hours, menu, etc. I would have thought that putting the basics up would have been part of the launch checklist...

#9 xcanuck

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 03:26 PM

Anyone know if Adam is splitting his time between Estadio and Proof? Or is he at Estadio pretty much full time until things get rolling there? His presence would be a major draw for me, as I'm such a fan of his drinks.

#10 jparrott

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 03:39 PM

There are a few drinks with Adam's sensibilities on the menu at Estadio, and the fellow banging them out the other night was more than competent.

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#11 Rhone1998

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:54 PM

Anyone know if Adam is splitting his time between Estadio and Proof? Or is he at Estadio pretty much full time until things get rolling there? His presence would be a major draw for me, as I'm such a fan of his drinks.

I was there Tuesday and asked Adam this exact question. He said he would be splitting his time, but mainly based out of Proof.

I am so excited about this place. The atmosphere is a lot of fun, it was great to see so many friendly faces from Proof, and all of the little bites I tried were delicious.

--
Dan


#12 petunia

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:02 AM

Ate here on Friday night. Found it to be a nice, solid addition to the neighborhood, but was not blown away. I liked the decor, and appreciated that the wine list offers half glasses which means many options in the $4 range. Ate boquerones, bread with tomate jamon and manchego, octopus, mushroom croquetas, sweetbreads with scallions and tomatoes, and jamon wrapped figs with almonds. All were quite good, yet none were amazing. The bread with jamon and manchego needed some more manchego, although the bread was nicely grilled. Octopus was slightly chewy but good flavor. Did not love the accompanying potatoes. Sweetbreads were good, but somewhat overcooked. In each case, the dishes were not quite as innovative in their flavor combinations as I was hoping for. I guess in part I am comparing this to Casa Mono in NY (which I find to be consistently extraordinary), and to Proof (which I think is consistently excellent). Estadio falls well short of Casa Mono, and also in my view somewhat short of Proof as well. But evaluating as a pure stand alone, it is a nice addition to the area, and a fun atmosphere. And given that I went in the first week, I would certainly give it another try.

#13 porcupine

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:40 AM

A few observations:
The octopus is the first I've ever actually enjoyed eating.
The hanger steak is better than RTS' (sorry, Michael; at least it's the only one that's better than yours).
Who'd've thought that a slushee containing scotch and sherry could be so awesome? A slushee, fer chrissakes.
That kitchen must have one awesome ventilation system.
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#14 Joe Riley

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:49 PM

The hanger steak is better than RTS' (sorry, Michael; at least it's the only one that's better than yours).
Who'd've thought that a slushee containing scotch and sherry could be so awesome? A slushee, fer chrissakes.

Never tried the hangar steak at RTS, but my standard for great hangar steak was always Les Halles (gone, but not forgotten!) I'll have to try it the next time I visit.

Slushito's are all kinds of awesome, aren't they? :)

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#15 weinoo

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:09 AM

Last night, my wife (Significant Eater) and I had a very fine meal at Estadio. Arriving early, we were able to grab seats at the bar without any problem at all. When we left, there was a mad scrum for those same seats...and lots of girls in their summer clothes were walking in as we were walking out.

Mr. B. was indeed behind the bar - and in front of it as well, and it was nice of him to remember us from our one visit to Proof months ago - certainly, that's what a good tender does. He offered me a slushee (must've seen me sweating), and if any of your friends have trouble with Campari, that drink will melt those troubles away. The Reir - a Rickey style tall drink comprised of bourbon and salt-cured orange soda also is a drink to be reckoned with...at first sip strangely medicinal and then finishing all bright and thirst-quenching. The Bamboo, a cocktail of sherry, dry vermouth and bitters (iirc), makes me think that we'll see more high-end cocktail places using wonderful sherries- Death & Co. has been making drinks with sherries for a while, and it's a good trend.

Food wise, everything we ate was pretty damn good. Pintxos of artichoke, boquerone, manchego and bread were delicious; the only thing that could possibly make them better would be if they were slightly smaller so that all of the flavors could be enjoyed in one bite as they are in the chorizo/manchego/quince pintxo. Squid a la plancha was tender and juicy. Jamon croquettes, perfectly fried, come four to an order, so no fighting over the dreaded "extra" one. Patatas bravas were textbook and make me forget all about french fries, since french fries are so often horrid. Roasted mushrooms is a dish that I'm trying to perfect at home; they won't be this good, but I'll keep trying.

We finished up with a selection of 3 cheeses, and if I have one complaint - well, it's not about the cheeses, which were all good, but the fact that they only serve them with 2 measly slices of bread which runs out way before the cheeses do. That's a minor fix, and I'm sure if we had asked for more, they'd have gladly brought some over.

Since it appears that one of the inspirations for Estadio is Casa Mono, the Batali/Nusser collaboration in NYC, I wonder if we'll see some more "challenging" items appear on the menu as they work out their opening. No matter to me though, as a room this nice, along with drinks and food this tasty, would be welcome anywhere.

#16 chaofun

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:10 PM

Finally able to post on Danielk, Lydia R, jchao, and I's post DCCK visit to Estadio. Been a busy week....

First off its a beautiful space. Its on the smaller side, there was a 30 minute wait for a table, so we had a drink at the bar while we waited. We had a little trouble once we were seated getting service, they seemed a bit out of sorts still as they are getting thier legs. We opened up with pintxos and patatas bravas. I had a Pintxo Gilda which is anchovy, olive and pepper. It was pretty good. The Patatas Bravas we all agreed was not as good as Jaleo. That said the plate was emptied so they were not too bad. Next we ordered a round of Coquetas de Jamon with pickled cucumbers. Very good plate.

Then we started getting to the really good stuff. In the next round we started with the Beet, Endive, orange and sheeps milk salad. I really liked this. It's different from Jaleo's but still very good, I'm a sucker for beets. The Morcilla con Cabrales Bocadillo, or basically a blood sausage and cheese slider was next. Oh man this was good, like the highlight of the night for me. It tasted very mexican chorizo-ish, in a good way. Also there was the Smoked Salmon on Toast with yogurt and honey. I have no recollection of this at all. Must not have been that memorable. Last two things in this round were the Warm Lionesa, with Triple creme and Bacon and the sweetbreads. Sweetbreads were great, well cooked , crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside. The Lionesa which is a puff pastry, was strangely disappointing. It was not well balanced it seemed overpowered by the bacon.

In the final round we had the other slider, Chorizo picante con Idiazabel, which was also amazing. I give the blood sausage slider the edge however. We also got the Tortilla Espanola, which was a very heavy dish to end on, but very delicious. Oh we also got the Roasted wild mushrooms. This was way too salty, not what I expected.

At the end of the night we had a nice meal, really not too expensive, and we were all satisfied. Sounds like a good night to me. The Menu if you care to see it is attached.

Attached Files



#17 DanielK

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:57 PM

Spot on review. I would only add that while there were super-salty bites in the roasted mushrooms, there were also strangely unsalted bites, so it seemed more an uneven hand in the kitchen than an oversalting problem.

I could have ordered 20 of the blood sausage sliders.

Also, while we did have problems at the beginning of the meal with service, after that first 10-15 minutes, everything ran perfectly smoothly. Food came quickly, waiter stopped by often (and apologized appropriately for the slow start), and water glasses constantly refilled. Floor manager Justin was on top of things the entire time, and unnecessarily knocked something off the check at the end.

Total for a moderate sized meal + 1 drink, before tax/tip/discount, was about $35pp. Quite reasonable, and I will certainly return.

Note: food comes out quickly, like Jaleo, so don't place your whole order up front. Order a few things, nibble, order some more, etc.

#18 weinoo

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:56 AM

The unevenness of a newly opened kitchen rears its ugly head. And for some reason, salt always comes into play; one bite of a mushroom dish is barely edible unless you're looking for a salt lick, and the next bite is strangely bland. Sounds like a wet hand was used to improperly apply the salt.

Early in the week, all of our dishes were properly seasoned and, of course, early in the evening the kitchen wasn't slammed.

#19 leleboo

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

Early in the week, all of our dishes were properly seasoned

Not disputing what you're saying, but also note that the review above is of a dinner on Monday night, which could also be considered "Early in the week" ...

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#20 weinoo

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:25 AM

Not disputing what you're saying, but also note that the review above is of a dinner on Monday night, which could also be considered "Early in the week" ...

I sure hope Monday is early in the week :) . More importantly, as far as our dinner was concerned, was the fact that it was pre-rush. In either case, improperly salted food is a no-no.

#21 marketfan

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

Never tried the hangar steak at RTS, but my standard for great hangar steak was always Les Halles (gone, but not forgotten!) I'll have to try it the next time I visit.

Slushito's are all kinds of awesome, aren't they? :)

they seem to be testing flank steaks instead of the hanger steak. I had that Thursday night and it was very flavorful.

#22 youngfood

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:13 PM

How crowded has Estadio been? Reservations appear to be taken for seating up to 6 p.m., but later only with parties of 6 or more. Would it be a little nuts to try to try for a table for 4 on Friday or is there ample room to sip slushitos while we wait for seats?

#23 DanielK

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:01 PM

There are about a dozen seats or so at the bar, but this is a pretty small place. Not a lot of tables, either. If you're showing up early, you'll probably be fine, but after work? You'll be waiting for a while, and possibly crammed in standing near the bar.

#24 Rhone1998

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:14 PM

There are about a dozen seats or so at the bar, but this is a pretty small place. Not a lot of tables, either. If you're showing up early, you'll probably be fine, but after work? You'll be waiting for a while, and possibly crammed in standing near the bar.

There are also fewer bar seats than there might appear to be, as the stools in the back along the kitchen are reserved for dinner. Yesterday I called around 3:45 to see if there was a table for 2 available around 6, and was told no. Estadio has gotten pretty popular pretty fast.

--
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#25 DanielK

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:18 PM

There are also fewer bar seats than there might appear to be, as the stools in the back along the kitchen are reserved for dinner. Yesterday I called around 3:45 to see if there was a table for 2 available around 6, and was told no. Estadio has gotten pretty popular pretty fast.

Well, my understanding is that they don't take reservations for parties under 6, so perhaps they just weren't clear when you called.

#26 Joe Riley

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 07:19 PM

Went last night and really enjoyed the Hangar Steak. Beautifully prepared, cooked to perfection for me.

At 9:00-ish, the place was packed, which speaks well for them on a Tuesday, but of course their novelty is certain to last a good while.

As a beverage-enthuisiast, I continue to be seriously impressed by their selection of potables.

The Niftyfeet-Red, Cachaca, Lime and Mint Sangria is just so interesting to me. Refreshing, too.

The Pelacios Bierzo is a most compelling red that, at first, was a little muted but then really seemed to open up shortly after being served.

The Reir-Bourbon and salt-cured orange soda was a brilliant , tall refresher. I CANNOT recommend that highly enough, and it's made with Four Roses Bourbon, which is a PERFECT choice for the Bourbon base. I hope that will be available year-round. It made for a terrific starter drink.

Special mention has to be made for the Pourron offerings. Those are in what I can only describe as a glass decanter with a side pouring-spout, and they offer three different drinks from it. I believe I tried the Txakoli, Lemon Soda and Orange Bitters, courtesy of a chance encounter with Brian Miller, who was kind enough to offer it, and that's some enticingly cool beverage service right there. You'll need at least two people to finish one, but it's well worth it. A very fun way to consume a compelling drink.

I'm starting to think that I'll be happy with whatever I eat or drink at Estadio. This is no casual observation for me, either. I definitely have a "comfort zone" when dining out, and it takes a modicum of effort to move me out of it. I like to think that I'm an adventurous diner, but when I'm in less familiar culinary territory, I appreciate the assistance that a well-trained server can offer to me. Of course, I do have to remind myself sometimes that the kitchen staff is talented and enthusiastic, and I just prod myself with the old, "Really, how bad can anything be?"-way of thinking and I usually find that I enjoy what is served to me. But Estadio is making this VERY easy and quite a lot of fun for me.

If I lived nearby, they would see me quite often. As it stands, I'll try to go as often as I can. Yep, color me an enthusiastic fan.

Oh, and it was a pleasure to read what Sietsma had to say about them in today's Washington Post. They ought to be very busy for the foreseeable future.

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The BEST cocktail in Washington, D.C., courtesy of Tom Brown at The Passenger

Visit my Nats blog, which will surely be updated someday! Nationals Power


#27 Rhone1998

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:56 PM

Well, my understanding is that they don't take reservations for parties under 6, so perhaps they just weren't clear when you called.

No, they do, between 5:00 and 6:00. They were just full that night.

--
Dan


#28 hmmboy

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:24 PM

There are about a dozen seats or so at the bar, but this is a pretty small place.

The whole place is only 2800 sf but there are actually 19 bolted seats at the booze bar and an unstooled high top for 2 or 3 more.
"I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm so tired - I'm oh so tired. But I'm trying to keep my customers satisfied. Satisfied." Simon & Garfunkel

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Proof, Estadio, doi moi, & 2birds1stone

#29 Miami Danny

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:31 AM

The whole place is only 2800 sf but there are actually 19 bolted seats at the booze bar and an unstooled high top for 2 or 3 more.

First, I would like to compliment the barstaff on their graciousness, particularly Adam and Nadia. I was able to snag two bar seats at about 7:30, and it seemed, although the place was full, that people were coming and going, and that bar seats were definitely changing hands as people waited for tables. The slushitos my barmate and I ordered weren't ready yet, so we took in the surroundings while we waited for the slushy machine to chill the beverages. The place is an interesting simulacrum of a Spanish tapas joint, with all of the pieces of the puzzle in place; but something seemed to be missing. Maybe it is just too new to look and feel authentic. The tortilla espanola was ok, too much egg, not much potato flavor, more like on omelet, although the peppers on top were a nice touch. I wonder if they are homemade? I also had the deviled eggs which didn't do much for me, either, although they were definitely different-more like a chunky egg salad filling then a traditional smooth mixture. The slushito was great, however, the one with gin-like from a frozen margarita machine made at Wet Willie's except with excellent ingredients and good gin. Brought me back to the beach. Really nice. I also had a few House gin and tonics, which were made with Plymouth and Fever Tree. Also the big ice cube. Nice touch and all-around delicious. Probably will go back soon to try other dishes-do they do a happy hour? That would be awesome.

#30 brr

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 07:40 AM

Being a fan of Proof I expected great things from Estadio and it generally did not disappoint. 6 of us had dinner there last night with way more hits than misses. I started with the Scotch slushito which as others have noted is very tasty indeed. At a later point in the evening I tried the Gin one and did not like it at all, finding it very bitter and astringent. Others had the little "shot-like" cocktails on the top left hand of the menu, which were undoubtedly tasty but seemed a little lacking in volume for the $9 price tag.

We rampaged through the menu, trying cured meats, several pintxos, the country bread, the squid, the octopus, the smoked salmon, the croquetas, the steak, the mushrooms, the fried squash blossoms, the torta, the duck and perhaps one or two others that I am forgetting.

Everything was very good, a few thing were excellent - the torta does not seem to be a traditional one, its wetter than others I've had, but its incredible and infused with some kid of eggy cream that makes every bite a pleasure. Its also got a nice little kick to it. The jamon croquetas are equally creamy and equally great. Desserts seemed like the only weak spot but our sample was small - a decent panna cotta and the one clunker of the night, a stodgy, lukewarm, generally unappealing chocolate cherry bread pudding - not good.

Service was pleasant and the corkage fee is only $15 (Thanks Mark!!).

Dinner for 6 was a shade over $300 bucks which we all thought was very very reasonable given prevailing DC prices and the face that we left feeling nicely satiated. Bringing our own wine helped a little but I still thing this place is reasonably priced.

Oh, and its a beautiful spot. We intend making this a regular on our rotation.

#31 ema

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:28 PM

So...I have a question. Are the pickles and olives served in Estadio, house made or can I purchase them at a gourmet store somewhere? They had a distinct savory taste that I didn't expect pickles can have. Maybe its my pregnant woman sense of taste, but I can just drink that pickle juice. :) I enjoyed the other dishes too and watch tapas being made in the open kitchen was thoroughly entertaining.

#32 sandynva

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:19 AM

I had dinner with dear friends at Estadio Friday night. While the vibe of the place, our lovely waitress, and the company were all great, I was underwhelmed by the food. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. I think the unevenness, particularly with salt, might be part of the issue -- in my view, almost everything we had would have benefitted from a bit more salt, or extra acidity.

The tortilla Espanola was fine-as others have mentioned, it's a bit different than what you usually get. Ours was like a layer of egg sitting on top of a potato gratin--below the top layer it was mostly nicely cooked layers of potato, with very little egg. It was pleasant though could have used more seasoning.

The mushroom croquetas were a hit--a nicely fried shell filled with soft cheese and mushrooms.

The squash blossoms filled with cheese and spinach were a bit disappointing--nicely fried, but the filling inside had the distinct flavor of frozen chopped spinach that hasn't been cooked long enough, and the filling was missing something...salt maybe, or something to give it more flavor besides the spinach.

The heirloom tomato salad was nice, well seasoned and not too complicated.

The patatas bravas were disappointing. They are tiny fingerlings split in half, browned, and lashed with red sauce and aioli. I enjoy jaleo's version, but these were just...bland. the tomato sauce lacked much flavor. Salt, or some acidity, just anything that would give it zip would have been helpful. Between three hungry people, we left at least half of the plate uneaten.

The chocolate cherry bread pudding was just ok, not enough chocolate flavor, and not as moist as it could have been.

I didn't have any of the other plates--the figs with jamon, the sweetbreads, flank steak, or razor clams. I believe my friends enjoyed all of them, except the razor clams. These were so chewy as to be hard to cut, and were therefore left uneaten, the waitress kindly took them off our bill.
The drinks were nice, so I may go there for happy hour again, but if I'm in the mood for tapas, I'd definitely rather go to jaleo.

#33 dcandohio

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:28 PM

Saturday, 5:00. Just happened to be near Estadio and with nothing better to do, we went in. First impression: Hostess told us and two groups just behind us that we were "too early" and that they were not ready for us. Honestly, we only were kept on hold at the door for a minute, so why not just let us in to sit? She said, "someone left the door unlocked," as if it would have been preferable for us to wait outside in the searing heat for one minute more...

We sat at the fixed stools at the center bar. I know there has been some discussion of these stools. My problem is that I am vertically challenged, and I am too short to rest my feet on the footrest. There is no bar rail, so my legs had to dangle the entire time, assuring cessation of circulation to my feet. Who tests these things out? Does anyone ever ask a petite woman to get comfortable in one of those stools?

Bartender was sweet, but clueless. We asked for a wine by the bottle list. After perusing the whites, my better half asked a question about one of the varietals. He stammered around for a bit and finally said, "that's a red wine." No, dude, it isn't. It's listed right here under the "blancos" and among other white varietals. So I said, "No, this is the white wine side of the page. I know this is a white, I just don't know anything about it." His brilliant reply? "I mostly sell glasses so I'm not up on the whole bottle thing. I'll get the sommelier for you."

The sommelier came over. It's hard to take a guy in a pork pie hat seriously as a wine expert. Anyway, he was slightly more helpful, assuring us that a wine we were considering was his "most popular" white. He fetches the bottle for bartender, who has a moment of clarity and says, "Oh, yeah. We DO serve a lot of this..." OK, so far, we are not digging the place.

We didn't dig deeply into the menu, but the food we had was better in every respect than the stupid service would have lead us to expect. We did not challenge the place, ordering only the spicy almonds, the heirloom tomato salad and two of the open faced sandwiches. The tomatoes were just gorgeous - perfect examples of everything that is right about summer. They were overdressed, which I did not mind as I sopped up the dressing with the crusty ends of the open faced sandwiches. The sandwiches had a base of nice chewy bread, with a good balance of fresh ingredients. One open faced sandwich would make a nice light lunch. But the food we tried was mostly just good ingredients, assembled competently. So I'm not raving yet about the food.

Estadio is good theater - a little piece of Barcelona on 14th street with Spanish-inspired furniture and vintage soccer videos, the servers in their precious matching black Chuck Taylors, the wine guy in his pork pie hat, the oversized heterosexual eye candy on the bathroom walls, the mad crush of patrons - and I hope it does well as there is a lot (and increasing) competition on the 14th street corridor. But I'm not inclined to rush back. The place feels corporate, mechanized. I compare this experience (not that it's at all relevant or fair) with our Wednesday evening meal at Dino, and to me the difference is that Dino has a heart and a soul, while Estadio has a theme.

Shut up and pour another glass of wine, please.


#34 Heather

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:01 PM

I've been trying for a couple of days to make a reservation and feel like I'm trapped in the movie Groundhog Day. I dial, and get a recording saying to press 2 to make a reservation or speak to someone. I press 2, it rings a few times, then I get the same recording asking me to press 2. :( I tried Open Table, but it won't accept a reservation for 6 people after 6 PM, which is when it says larger parties can make reservations. I get a message saying that reservation is over the limit for Open Table, and to call the restaurant. I'm on the verge of calling my friends and going somewhere else.

#35 Heather

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:33 PM

Thank you, Mr Kuller, for checking to make sure the phones were working correctly & sending me a PM. I was able to get through finally and made a reservation. :( Looking forward to dinner tonight.

#36 DanielK

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:24 PM

Congrats, Mark, Haidar, Sebastian, Adam and the rest of the crew - 2.5-star review from Sietsema.

#37 porcupine

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 11:31 AM

Dinner at Estadio can be quite entertaining. Ask for a seat at the kitchen bar, order a drink and a few pintxos, then sit back and watch the chefs do their thing. That way you can see how a dish is plated and cooked before you order it.

The problem with this approach is that it's easy to over-eat:
"We should get some seafood."
"Agreed. I was thinking the scallops."
"What about the shrimp?"
"I'd rather have scallops."
"Okay. What's that being plated right now?"
"Looks like the shrimp."
"Hmmm..."
"OK, we're getting the shrimp, too."
"...oh, look - is that the hanger steak?"
"Hmmm..."
...and so on.

Happy to write that we experienced none of the issues reported above. Everything we ate was delicious and well-prepared, and the service was friendly and efficient.

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#38 RissaP

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:03 PM

With Justin Guthrie and Max Kuller managing, with Sebastian doing the wine list and Adam Bernbach doing cocktails, they cannot fail. I am anxious for them to open!

It’s actually a bit of a late response but can’t forget a nice, pleasant experience.
With the whole A-Team behind Estadio, no doubt they’ll do very well. I was super happy to see the gang again (though sorry to have missed Mark and Haidar). Justin, Sebastian and Adam were definitely patrolling the room to ensure smooth flow all around, which I love seeing managers do! For just two people, we wanted to enjoy a bottle of wine that would stand up to different things. We couldn’t decide so we appreciated Justin letting us taste Viura, Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, go-to vino blanco for all around small plates. But we were in the mood for red, so loved, loved Justin’s perfect suggestion of a bottle Jose Palacios Petalos Bierzo. Gotta have the mixto, roasted beets, boqueron and grilled octopus that were also suggested by our server, Michael, who was so wonderful and patient with us. He gave us spot on service. Yep, order, taste, order, enjoy! We just left everything in their hands and we were happy and content. Also loved the goat cheese ice cream. It was served as a dessert side, but I could have a bowl of just that! Went on a week night and pace was perfect with a nice full crowd. And I do like decor that is warm and not overly done. I will definitely be back because there’s so much more to try and much more Spanish wines to drink! Definitely a nice addition to the ever-growing 14th Street neighborhood!

#39 Lori Gardner

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:54 PM

I absolutely loved Estadio- the food, the atmosphere, the service...everything about it was top notch. The only thing that I don't love is the no-reservations policy, except for parties of 6 or more. I was forced to eat an early dinner and while that was probably preferable in terms of it being quieter, I probably didn't get the full experience. But I can't wait to go back.

Here's my review on my blog:

http://beenthereeate...-que-bueno.html

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#40 TedE

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 11:17 PM

I'll just add that the cocktails here continue to be top notch. Definitely the house gin & tonic. I forgot to ask the bar staff what goes into the house mix, but it was totally unexpected and delicious.

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#41 weinoo

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 11:31 AM

Had dinner at the bar this past week. Food still good, drinks still fine (though they were out of a Fino sherry and couldn't make one of the cocktails on the list). How are you out of Fino sherry at a Spanish tapas place?

But here's the thing - and my major complaint. I spoke to the manager about it. Why can't the bartenders keep track of who is waiting for seats at the bar? If I'm standing and drinking and waiting for 30 minutes for a seat, and someone else walks in and happens to be next to someone who is just leaving, why do they get that seat?

Is it really that hard to keep a list of who is waiting for a seat to open up at the bar? They do it at Otto and many other busy places in NYC without a problem. It just seems kind of lame to me that the alleged reason is that they don't want to start any fights. Well, how do you start fights by keeping a list? And then when a seat opens up, telling whoever thinks they're getting the seat that someone else is ahead of them? I think it's pretty easy to do.

#42 JLK

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 10:49 PM

Cranberry slushito, tortilla Espanola, croquetas, patatas bravas, crema Catalana. Not a miss in that bunch tonight.

My date and I arrived at 6:30 and easily scored seats at the bar. Within an hour, the joint was jumpin'.

PS Maialino in NYC has a wait list for bar seats. I vacillate between thinking it's off-putting and wise.

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#43 goodeats

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 09:29 PM

The best plans sometime are those made spontaneously. The other best plan is to only dine in this area on December 24, 25, 26, when there is nary a soul in this area and you can score the best seats around the bar here. No waitlist, no fighting, just some good company from Chris and Aaron and of course, ulysses.

It must be in the winds of fate that landed Merry Mary and I here tonight; I feel quite blessed, as I am convinced that we sat a mere 30ft away from a famous 3-star michelin celebrity chef and his family and friends. <swoon>

BUT more importantly, the attention should really be paid to the innovative beverage menu. From Yoohoo ($4) to Dublin Dr. Pepper ($2.5) to an Old Raj Gin and housemade tonic ($11 superbly worth it dollars to try), I feel there is truly something for everyone and not just the slushitos that many rave about. It is very thoughtful (especially the $9 cava + honey + anisette).

Ulysses shines his best here - making sure everything runs smoothly and is still as charming and dashing as ever. Although I miss him behind the bar and his innovations, his knowledge and command-leadership capabilities are such gems. Rare diamonds really.

Merry Mary and I really nibbled only on cheeses and bread while trying various drinks from the expansive selections. Many thanks to Chris for being such great company and having the patience to tell us what was in each drink. We both commented on how wonderful the cheeses and bread here was--not to mention the really great olive oil used as a dip.

However, the celebrity chef really topped the cake here. Wow. What a wonderful way to end this adventurous weekend. </swoon>

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#44 Joe H

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:57 PM

I've not been to Casa Mono but I have been to Jose Garces' Amada. In fact I've driven from D. C. to Philly just to eat there, I like it that much. Tonight (Saturday) my wife and I without a reservation showed up at Estadio at 5:15 and landed the two end seats at the kitchen bar in the rear. Amada has a similar kitchen bar; when we were there we totalled sixteen courses seated at them. Tonight, with larger portions, we only managed twelve. Both times we started with five or six but as Porcupine notes earlier in this thread, with each passing dish we added another course.

Estadio's room has character: it feels like Spain. For us it felt for all the world like Ramblas was outside-not 14th street. A superb Spanish wine list, too, although some of the prices surprised me. Still, Emilio Moro for $55 was a value and we were appreciative.

Nobody has mentioned Estadio's vegetables. Not a single mention here or in any review. I believe several of them are among the best vegetables I have ever eaten in my life. Anywhere. Serious. "Grilled scallions, Romesco and sheep's milk cheese" are chargrilled scallions, folded and drizzled with Romesco and speckled with cheese. Incredible. "Blistered Shishito peppers" are medium hot long green peppers scooped by the handful and deep fried in Canola oil then flaked with sea salt. I ate, perhaps, 20 of these. All by myself. Every single one of them. I would take a disc of excellent Lomo Embuchado and roll it around a pepper then bite most of this, adding a whole clove of olive oil marinated garlic as well as a gherkin. The peppers were an addictive, simply but perfectly prepared dish that I wondered how I could have spent so many years without having eaten them before? I had a disagreement at the food bar with a diner several seats down: I was raving about these two dishes and he disagreed. How could I not have tried the pea shoots, sauteed in olive oil and with sea salt? He thought they were one of the best tastes of the night.

We ate a lot: excellent deeply flavorful butternut squash soup with vanilla creme and pumpkin seeds, charred diver scallops with charred cauliflower & "Salbitxada," delicious "sherry glazed Black Cod, smoky Romesco" and a very good jambas ajillas. Mussels with chorizo, white wine and scallions, the justly raved about spice grilled chicken and a three or four more dishes that caused me to throw my calorie counting obsession out the door. The house baked bread was also memorable especially when sopping up the everpresent olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. On a more critical note my personal obsession for ice cream turned up a disappointing "thin" cinnamon and vanilla both of which lacked richness and texture. (I have a hand cranked White Mountain freezer and go out of my way to source Lewes Dairy heavy cream.) This was the only disappointing note of the evening.

Amada is one of my favorite restaurants in the U. S. but I like Estadio more. The ambience, the singularly outstanding vegetables, a better wine list and what I thought were almost remarkable portion sizes for several dishes. The black cod was $13. (I am looking at the menu.) A similarly sized entree at Michel was $40 a month ago. Tapas at Edstadio could be an entree elsewhere...

We've only begun to work our way through this menu. No, it's not San Sebastian nor is it really off Ramblas. But for the U. S. Estadio is close enough on this side of the Atlantic. It is also worth what I am told is a one month wait for a reservation for a party of six or more. Or, as we did, walking in off the street just after they open.

#45 ad.mich

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:01 AM

Nobody has mentioned Estadio's vegetables. Not a single mention here or in any review. I believe several of them are among the best vegetables I have ever eaten in my life. Anywhere. Serious. "Grilled scallions, Romesco and sheep's milk cheese" are chargrilled scallions, folded and drizzled with Romesco and speckled with cheese. Incredible.

You know what? I wanted to add to the dogpile of love for Estadio after my meal there but the only constructive thing I had to add was that these grilled scallions are awesome. You beat me to it, but screw it - count me in as a +1 for the scallions. My meal was also at the food bar and I think when you watch them prep the dish it's damn near impossible to not get it. Just the right amount of char, salt, and savory from the oil and Romesco. Fantastic.

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#46 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:35 PM

We went for a delayed birthday dinner at the end of January.

The house-made tonic in the Old Raj gin and tonic was insanely good.

I wanted to order a table full of the open face smoked duck and fois gras mousse sandwich.

The service was extremely good and professional.

The rest of the food was fine but I keep thinking about the tonic and duck....

#47 ferment everything

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:03 AM

It's also worth noting the shout-out for Estadio's beer list in this great article by Orr Shtuhl. I got to try some of the Surly beers when I was there last fall. Great stuff, and a great find at a restaurant you wouldn't necessarily expect to have a great beer list (unless you knew who was involved).
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#48 ChiantiandFava

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 02:15 PM

Amada is one of my favorite restaurants in the U. S. but I like Estadio more. The ambience, the singularly outstanding vegetables, a better wine list and what I thought were almost remarkable portion sizes for several dishes. The black cod was $13. (I am looking at the menu.) A similarly sized entree at Michel was $40 a month ago. Tapas at Edstadio could be an entree elsewhere...

Funny, while I ate at Estadio in December I couldn't help but compare it to another Garces restaurant--Tinto. I'll definitely be going back but I've gotta say it didn't compare well. Tinto was a revelation while Estadio was ambitious but fell on its face when it came to seasoning--aka I thought Estadio's rapini was going to permanently damage my mouth. Anyway, I'll be trying it out again so here's hoping it rebounds.

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#49 Joe H

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:26 PM

I will not be critical of a Jose Garces restaurant. He is a gifted, gifted chef who I think is worth the 300 mile roundtrip drive to Philly from the Northern VA suburbs. Serious. We haven't been to Tinto... but we will.

We return to Estadio within the next several weeks to work our way through as much of the rest of the menu as we can. I only ask that when you do please try the vegetable dishes I noted above. And the chicken, and the black cod, and the scallops...

We loved Amada but as I type this Estadio's ambience represented an escape, a feeling that Spanish was the language spoken on the street outside the door. Amada-I think a great restaurant-just felt like it was in America when we walked outside.

Part of the appeal of Estadio for us is that when we walked in the door we stepped on the soil of another country. Garlic, oil, red pepper flakes and the wine list confirmed this.

#50 mdt

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 09:31 AM

Very good meal at the bar last night. Highlights for us were the black cod, roasted mushrooms, octopus, morcilla, and shishitou peppers. Sorry to say that we did not think that the roasted scallions compared to the other dishes.

Definitely need to go back with a group.





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