Being that I'm a fan of Spanish food, when I saw an offer on The Capitol Deal for Taberna del Abardero I knew I had to buy it. Since the menu is somewhat pricey I decided I'd go during lunch so I could get more for my money.
One of my friends from college met me there around 1:00PM on a Friday afternoon. The weather was perfect so we grabbed a seat under an umbrella on their patio. The staff was very attentive and constantly checked up on us as we finally came to a decision on what we wanted. I ordered the Roasted Sea Bream and Shrimp in Garlic with Cayenne Pepper served With Sautéed Wild Mushroom and my friend ordered the Supreme and Thigh of Baby Chicken stuffed with Shitake Mushrooms, Scallions and Marinated Vegetables. We also ordered a side of Fried Potatoes. Would've been nice to have ordered a glass of wine too but since I had to go back to work I decided against it.
As soon as we ordered a basket of bread came out. Either I was really hungry or that bread was some of the best bread I've had in a while. It was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, just how I liked it. They already had olive oil on the table for dipping so I went to town.
While my friend and I chatted we noticed the pace of the meal was somewhat slow, especially since we were both on our lunch breaks. But I do know from going to Spain they relish in having leisurely meals and this was pretty normal being that it's an authentic Spanish restaurant. All that was missing was a bowl of olives.
So the food arrived and the aroma had me hypnotized. I was also enticed by the presentation. If there's one thing I look for at restaurants of this caliber it's the plating. My friend and I were ready to eat but of course I had to snap a few shots before we dug in.
My fish was lightly seasoned and the sauce was delicious. The dish also had 4 small shrimp and sauteed mushrooms. It was a perfect meal for lunch because it didn't leave me feeling weighed down. The fried potatoes we shared on the side were delicious and didn't need any sauce and were perfectly seasoned. I really could have just eaten those by themselves, but they were a welcomed addition to an already great meal.
Things got very quiet as we both enjoyed our meals. I had a bite of my friend's dish, it was good but definitely not as good as mine. Hers definitely had an interesting taste, it was hard to describe but it tasted kind of like a mix between curry and barbecue sauce with a hint of cumin.
Since my hour lunch break, had evolved into an hour and a half, as soon as we finished eating we requested the check. Our waiter and another staff person came over to convince us that we couldn't leave without having dessert. We kindly refused but when our waiter brought the check, he also set two small glasses with a creamy concoction inside. It tasted like some kind of mousse with frozen bits of cantaloupe, watermelon, and apple, with shaving of pistachio on top. I'm still not sure what is was but it was definitely good and a welcomed surprise.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the service, the atmosphere and most importantly, the food. I'd definitely go back again. My advice would be to go for dinner and not lunch. The pricing is actually pretty much the same and you'll have time to sit back and enjoy the
Sommelier Gustavo Iniesta of Taberna del Alabardero hosts a Wine & Tapas Tasting.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 6:30 - 8:00PM
Cost: $65 per person
Taberna del Alabardero
1776 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006