Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Taberna del Alabardero

Taberna del Alabardero must be doing something right to have stayed open for 21 years in Washington. 

Emily and I were treated to a long and traditional Spanish lunch and we enjoyed every minute of it.   

This was my first time dining at Taberna del Alabardero and I delighted in the culinary talents of their new chef, Javier Romero.  He was born in Madrid and began cooking at the age of 16.

I walked in not knowing what to expect and I found the atmosphere and design to be reminiscent of the traditional style of Old World Spain, an atmosphere that is unique in DC.  

All of the art work and furnishings are imported from Spain, and they have over 315 wines (I’ll have to return for dinner to get a taste.)

We started with Toast topped with marinated Salmon and tartar sauce and a shot of tomato cherry Pork loin and Manchego cheese bruchette in tomato sauce.  The texture of the Manchego with the creaminess of the tomato sauce paired perfectly.

Next we tried the Sardinas Marinadas con Asadillo de Pimientos y Emulsión de Coliflor (Marinated Sardines and Roasted Peppers Salad with Cauliflower Emulsion).  I must admit that I’m not a fan of sardines, but I tried them in the dish and there was a nice balance and they were expertly prepared.  

Then we had Grilled Duck Foie Gras on a bed of spinach and dry fruits in a Sherry wine sauce.  The sweet syrup sauce with the spinach was perfect, but I still can’t get used to the texture of Foie Gras.  I know this is a French delicacy, but it is still a taste I haven't acquired.
After that we ate Grouper cooked on papillote over a bed of sautéed tender vegetables topped with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce.  I loved the presentation of this dish with the purple potato skin on top.

Right now you might be thinking, “this sounds like a lot of food.”  But there's even more… My favorite dish of the lunch was Sobre Tirabeques Salteados al Jerez (Slow Cooked Suckling Pig over Sugar Snap Peas Sautéed in a Sherry Wine Sauce).  The pork was so moist and meltingly tender and there were just enough potatoes and sugar snap peas.

For the “pre-dessert,” we indulged on a Spanish Cheese Selection and Grapes.  

It even had cotton candy.  Great flavors.  This was another one of my top courses.

You know we didn't skip dessert. We ended our lunch with a Flan Roto with Mascarpone custard and passion fruit sorbet. 

Taberna del Alabardero is perfect for a corporate lunch or event because they offer a great selection of private rooms.  But it should be considered more than just a corporate lunch spot--it is a charming slice of Spain in the heart of DC.

1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
Taberna Del Alabardero on Urbanspoon

Photos by Emily Clack

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