In previous posts, I emphasized how Washington is the ideal home away from home. So many people here proudly hail from diverse backgrounds, often bringing the tastes of their native region with them. Whether you’re a Spanish ex-pat missing tasty tapas, or a native Washingtonian seeking to expand your culinary horizons, it’s no secret the perfect spot for creative, yet traditional international cuisine can be found at La Taberna Del Alabardero.
Described to me as a Washington institution, Taberna has been serving the country’s top Spanish dishes for 26 years, six of which have been headed by Executive Chef Javier Romero. Nearly a week after attending a private tasting, I’m still in awe of the care Chef Romero put into creating Taberna’s fall menu, as well as his stunning dish presentation. After ten courses and three wonderful wines presented by Sommelier Jorge Olias, I was ready to book one ticket to Spain.
Our meal opened with a sparkling glass of Biutiful Cava Brut Nature. It paired perfectly with the first four appetizer dishes, my favorite being the yellowfin tuna tartare with ajobianco, a creamy almond-garlic and pistachio sauce. The subtle saltiness from the pistachios was scrape-your-plate delicious.
Other amazing appetizers included cod and wild salmon Carpaccio (which was smoked before our eyes), and grilled scallops topped with pork belly and served over cuttlefish ink.
Of the five entrees, the group’s overall favorite was Chef Romero’s veal sweetbreads with chanterelle mushrooms, fava beans and potato gnocchi.
Other excellent entrees included grilled monkfish topped with blue crab dip, yellowfin tuna tataki, Maine lobster paella and suckling pig confit. Early in the entrees, Sommelier Olias presented Rueda Melior 2013 Verdejo, a wonderfully floral white wine. By the time we reached the 12-hour slow cooked suckling pig, our glasses were full with Hacienda Lopez de Haro 2012 Rioja Tempranillo, a deliciously light, yet flavorful, red wine.
We finished the evening with warm orange blossom coulant and cool red berry ice cream, a perfect combination.
Chef Romero spent the entire evening with our group, explaining the menu, answering our questions and presenting his divine culinary creations – even if it meant squatting so bloggers could get their perfect food pictures.
After such a beautiful experience, I was thrilled to learn Taberna frequently hosts these types of exciting events with their own special menus, including:
- November 15 – Madrid Night of Flamenco with Casa Patas featuring award-winning choreographer Karen Lugo
- November 19 – Wine Tasting Dinner
- November 26 – Thanksgiving Day (with a holiday prix fixe menu)
Foodies only had to get a few picture into this post to see that Taberna has a full fall menu, packed with seasonal ingredients and designed passionately by Chef Javier Romero’s kitchen. Tango your way over to Taberna – America’s true taste of Spain!