Estadio cheat sheet - what items have you tried?
SInce Estadio is so popular right now, I thought I'd start a cheat sheet for those wanting to know what to order, or not..... I put down two categories: would or would not order again.
I tried three items:
Wild ramps with romesco sauce: a killer sauce, will make anything taste great. Would order again, but I'd prefer green onions, the ramps are seriously hard to chew.
Mushroom fritters: eh, a bit lacking in flavor and too pasty. Would not order again.
Fava and almond dip: Gorgeous presentation, but no flavor at all. Would not order again.
I wish I'd saved the menu - this is going from memory and looking at the current on-line menu
Boquerones - if you like fresh anchovies - get these
House Made Bread - worth every cent
Cheeses. Other than the Cabrales, I no longer recall which ones I tried, but they were all good,
We got the full charcuterie platter and shared. Nothing was bad, and the house made terrine was great
Sherry Glazed Black Cod, Smoky Romesco - perfectly cooked
All the following vegetable dishes were standouts:
Grilled Scallions, Romesco & Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Sautéed Pea Shoots, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Parsley, Garlic
Blistered Shishitou Peppers
Items that were ok, but not worth ordering again, IMO:
House Marinated Olives - similar to what you’d get at Jaleo - skipable
Spicy Marcona Almonds - ditto
Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Gigande Beans, Morcilla & Chorizo
Saffron Rice Pudding, Pistachio Brittle & Blackberries - surprisingly little flavor
I LOVED the chorizo sandwich, it is a must-order. Would definitely reorder the tortilla, as well as the open-faced sandwich with manchego.
Would not reorder the sauteed greens/spinach, or the pintxo including a boqueron.
This is from last summer, but my hit list would include the blood sausage or chorizo sliders, the sweetbreads, and the tortilla espanola.
Patatas bravas weren't special, and there was a puff pastry with triple cream and bacon that was off.
Estadio has become my go-to restaurant for delicious food and great service. We were just there last night with a small group. If you're not familiar with spanish wines (I'm still learning) the servers can make great recommendations. Last night we ordered the Ostatu Crianza and it was a perfect red pairing for all the dishes we ordered. It was fruity, but with a smoky undertone, and I thought a perfect spring red for only $45.
The Winners at Estadio (IMO):
Ramps with Romesco Sauce. I do agree that ramps are hard to chew - so you kind of just have to make the thing into a circle and shove it all in your mouth, but it was DELICIOUS.
Blood Sausage Bocadillo (no cheese). Served on a ciabatta role. A huge portion of blood sausage for the price and it was perfectly crispy and incredibly flavorful.
Foie Gras/Duck Breast Montadito. We order this everytime we go and it is one of our favorite dishes we've ever tried. That being said, last night's was not phenomenal. The duck was not quite perfect.
Pork Rillettes. Served with a to-die-for pairing of onion marmalade/jelly (?). With the grilled bread it is the perfect combination. Succulent rillete and the flavor pairing hits all taste buds.
Grilled Octopus. This is my favorite dish. I think the potato-caper salad that comes with it is meh, but the grilled octopus is perfectly charred, slighly chewy, and an incredibly generous portion.
Sweetbreads. The sweetbreads are always cooked to perfection and the combination of the sweetbread with the filet bean, the chunks of thick cut bacon, and the sauce lead to the perfect culinary dish IMO. This dish includes both perfect flavor pairings and perfect texture pairings.
Slow Roasted Pork Belly. This was a first order last night and it wasn't for me, but DH loved it. I think you have to already love pork belly (including that pork belly texture). The broth was out of this world though and the chorizo was delicious with it. DH said he would def order again.
The probably won't order again list:
Fava Bean/Almond spread. I did find it had flavor, but I don't think it was worth ordering when there are other fantastic things on the menu. We were intrigued by the combination, but when it arrived we realized that it was likely dried favas instead of fresh. It came with some weird bread spear things which led to tons of extra dip and no more dipping instruments.
Shishito Peppers. If you've never had them (or are looking for veggie options on the menu), then I would recommend ordering them. They are tasty little peppers. But, they are just that - simple peppers. I prefer Estadio's other offerings.
Croquetas de Jamon. I had wanted these to be perfect and delicious. I dream of the croquetas I used to eat when I lived in spain. I was hoping that, given Estadio's ability to deliver amazing dishes that these too would be amazing. Sadly no. They were just fried logs of a not-so-tasty ham and cheese combo.
I enjoyed the shishito peppers, but it's tough to mess that up.
More votes pro-boquerones, pork rillettes, and the foie gras montadito. These were all quite fantastic. They often run out of the rillettes.
The baby chorizos with potato crisps are fun and tasty, but they didn't rock my socks off (seems like a tasty snack you can make at home).
The kale is tasty, not very spicy though, which was disappointing.
The moscatel sherry float was tasty, but not very well balanced as a dessert. Too much alcohol, not enough float, or things-that-are-not-alcohol. If I want a bit of sherry, I'll order a bit of sherry. But I can't say I wouldn't order it again, haha, I'll just think of it as a really sissy drink next time or something.
The spice grilled chicken is quite good, would def order again.
I was taken out to dinner at Estadio a few nights ago. The standouts were:
Foie gras mousse, smoked duck breast, carmelized onion montadito -- WOW! Really delicious.
Crispy veal sweetbreads, filet beans, bacon
Boquerones - I wish there had been more of these
Homemade bread and oil
Spicy Marcona Almonds
Good, but probably wouldn't order again:
Pea Shoots with olive oil and sea salt
Grilled scallions, romesco and sheep's milk cheese
Scallops, roasted cauliflower and salbitxada
Mussels, chorizo, white wine, scallions - loved the chorizo, the mussels not so much
I was there last weekend - loved sitting at the chef's table.
I would put the foie gras mousse & smoked duck at the top of the list. Hangar steak salad was good, as well. I really liked the shishito peppers with the bread, but more as a nibble in between plates, not in and of itself.
We thought the chorizo sandwich was meh, and we love chorizo.
Great wine list, very good server who seemed happy to be there...and serving!
Will definitely go back to try more.
The grilled octopus has to top my list. I'm pretty sure it's braised before grilling. The end result is both tender and sweet (in the best lobster sense) with just a hint of char. Portion size is very generous.
A glass of amontillado to wash down the cabrales makes for a satisfying combo.
Been there once. Wasn't that impressed. Seems like they need to clean up the menu- there are items that seem to be regularly problematic. Yet is also seems that what they do well the don't do well absolutely consistently. It sounds like it could be a truly outstanding place, but they won't get to the next level without clearing up problems on the menu and being consistent.
Well it has become your "go-to" restaruant- 99 percent is pretty high percentage of loving everything on any restaurants menu- does not sound very critical and/or unbiased. I'm just commenting on my one experience and on the posts on here. To go from good to great restaurants need to be innovative and consistent and know when to say when on foods like the fava bean and pull them off...
My take on Estadio is that it's a neighborhood joint that caters to a diverse crowd: hipsters, worker bees, foodies. The crowd is 30-something. More Birkenstocks than I would like but that's just a casual observation.
The food is good, the wine is good, service is good. At the end of the day, it's a very decent neighborhood place that has maybe received more attention than it warrants/needs.
Deb and I will be back but we'll have neighborhood expectations.
My advice is to dial expectations back a bit (the hype is too much), kick back and concentrate on what they do well.
Just my $0.02.
re: steve h.
I think that Steve hits it right -- I guess it is managing expectations. I wouldn't say Estadio is our "go to" restaurant per se, but it is our "go to" restaurant for a casual, fun, relaxing and leisurely evening. We have found culinary experiences and flavors at Estadio that we have not found at any other restaurants in DC. Plus, we're always looking for that SF-restaurant feel, and we think we've found that in Estadio. Should I be embarrassed to admit that Steve H's description nailed us to the tee? We are worker bees/foodies, 30 somethings, and my husband is always in birkenstocks while we are there. :)
If you have only been there once, how can you say that there are items that seem to be "regularly problematic" and consistency issues? I've never been, but to me if you've only been a place once, saying there are regular problems with consistency, it's not really fair to the establishment. Reflecting on your one experience, sure...but without a couple of visits, it's probably not accurate to say you've noticed consistency issues.
just my 2 cents.
Estadio is delicious and an excellent choice. What time is the concert because they don't take reservations? Try to get a seat at the bar in front of the open kitchen.
Other places on that block that I like that you might be able to get into before a show is Cafe St. Ex and Bar Pilar. For something quick there is always Taylor's Gourmet as well.
fun story. my wife and I trained down to D.C. awhile back. We had reservations at estadio. long short, the train was hopelessly late. We phoned ahead and gave our status. We taxied from the station directly to the restaurant, luggage and all. They accommodated us. Good time, good food.