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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)

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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

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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.

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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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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! :-)

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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 (Crème 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:

moritzn.th.jpg

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

slushieg.th.jpg

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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...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...

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

I have a crush on Haidar Karoum.

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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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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.

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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.

Estadio_July 2010.pdf

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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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.

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