Full Kee: Dining in DC #2

Chinatown in DC: as authentic as...

This October, the Giant Vacuum Cleaner had to take his 10th grade board exams. The Spouse felt it would be a great idea to whisk me away as far as possible in order to prevent mother-son meltdown. We ended up spending a couple of days in my favorite American city – Washington, DC. Despite having lived in the area for several years, we had never ventured into the District’s Chinatown neighborhood, other than to drive through it on our way to someplace else. Despite knowing that DC’s Chinatown is kitschy and about as authentic as an Elvis impersonator, I thought it would be fun to make like a tourist and eat Chinese food in a Chinatown restaurant. … Keep reading

Jaleo: Dining in Washington DC #1

When we first traveled to the Andalucia region of Spain eight years ago, I had never heard the word “tapas”, and was charmed by the concept of nibbling nonstop whenever we felt hungry instead of being bound by the three-meal-a-day convention. Tapas ranged from simple (fat, juicy olives) to surprising (dates wrapped in Serrano ham) to slimy (freshly-brined snails). Without exception, all used the freshest of ingredients. They were sublime. Better still, all came free, served with The Spouse’s beer and my sangria.

Andalucia: home of the tapa

Today, tapas are ubiquitous – we have tapas bars, tapas dinners, and even tapas parties. And none of them come free. Globally, these little nibbles have been elevated to a form of haute cuisine. Having had the opportunity to try tapas in their most basic form in Andalucia, their region of origin, I wanted to sample them in their more fashionable avatar. When I found myself in the Washington DC area last month, I couldn’t think of a better place to do that than at Jaleo (pronounced ha-lay-o), the tapas restaurant owned by José Andrés – the chef who introduced America (and arguably, the rest of the world) to tapas as a standalone fine dining concept. Keep reading…