Pat Posted February 7, 2017 Share Posted February 7, 2017 Some friends and I had a wonderful lunch at Joselita today, in the old Sona Creamery and Wine Bar spot around the corner from Eastern Market. The space is beautiful aesthetically, with a wall full of black and white family photographs in the main room, another covered with posters, a very long sleek bar, and cafe tables and chairs. It has a European feel, as though one had stepped off Capitol Hill and right across the ocean. As has been noted in reviews, the menu offers three sizes of portions: tapas size, half size, and full size. We ordered five tapas portions, two from the "cold" side of the menu and three from the "hot" selections. Our server helpfully pointed out that the hot portions tend to be a little larger than the cold ones of the same size category, which we found generally to be true. I tried all but the Jamon Iberico de Bellota “Capanegra” - $12/23/45; Jabugo hand cut black foot Iberian ham, country bread. My friends loved this. The "country bread" were very small croutons shaped like itty-bitty baguettes. My favorite dish was probably Almejas a la sarten - $10/19/39; Manila clams, garlic, oloroso sherry. This was a more generous portion than I expected for a tapas serving, filling a decent-sized bowl, and I was glad for every last one of them. The clam broth was exquisite soaked up with the chunks of wonderful soft and crusty rustic bread that was brought for the table. (I also ate quite a bit of the bread with the plate of excellent salt-, pepper-, and rosemary-accented olive oil that accompanied the bread basket.) We ordered two types of pork with very different flavor profiles. One was Solomillo de cerdo al whisky con papas fritas - $10/19/39 Iberian pork tenderloin, garlic, cumin, fries. This boasted a winning combination of flavors enhanced by a slightly boozy sauce. Once all was gone, I further cleaned the plate of the sauced bits of onion and garlic remaining. One friend said that the fries topping the plate tasted like french fries filled with mashed potatoes, which is a creative description that hits the mark. Speaking of mashed potatoes, the other pork tapas dish was Presa Iberica a la plancha - $16/31/na; Grilled Iberian pork shoulder, mashed potato. The mashed potatoes were a perfect grilled or griddled mashed potato cake. There was a flavor to this pork we couldn't pinpoint, almost like maybe a mildly sour flavor. The tenderloin had a more assertive peppery flavor to it, which I think I liked little more, but both cuts of pork were good. It seemed odd that shoulder was significantly more expensive than tenderloin for about the same amount of meat, but it reads from the menu that the shoulder might actually be Iberico and the tenderloin something else. Not sure and I didn't ask. The other cold tapas that one friend ordered and I had a bit of was Crudo de atún y aguacate con cebolletas y almendras - $9/17/33; Tuna carpaccio, avocado mousse, spring onions, almonds. This was perhaps the smallest portion of all. It was very clean-tasting and fresh, though the avocado mousse didn't seem to have much flavor. Perhaps it was meant to be a blank canvas against (well, below) the tuna. Service was just great. Our server was very attentive and went above and beyond while we fussed over splitting the check. We agreed that we would order any of the things we tried again. If I were ordering only one kind of pork, I think I would go with the tenderloin, but I would certainly eat the pork shoulder again. Joselito is a great addition to the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market dining scene. There's nothing else like it around there, and I hope they thrive. 5 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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