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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Estadio, Part Deux

This Part Deux features a return to one of our favorites on 14th St, Estadio, this time with Official Girlfriend/Co-Writer of DCWD Texas, and Official Friends of DCWD Beatrice and Stormtrooper.

The Food

To start, we all had a round of drinks, highlighted by the two slushitos: one, a winter spiced gin with ginger, mint, and lime, the other an orange slushie, with spiced vodka, cointreau, and cava. Each of us had their perks; the orange was a lighter summery drink, while the ginger mint one had a nice spice to it.

The first go round had us order a cheese plate, featuring some manchego, a gouda-like cow cheese, and a pungent goat cheese, along with a date, a fruit gelee, and some bread. A solid cheese plate.

Some of the dishes on this trip were repeats from last time, such was their popularity and deliciousness. As such, since I've already talked about them at length, we'll just focus on how they did on their repeat.One repeat was the slow roasted beet and whipped goat cheese montadito, an open-faced sandwich. Even noted beet disenthusiast Texas had to acknowledge how good this dish was, the beets soft and mild and the goat cheese adding a wonderful tang.

Another repeat dish was the wild mushroom croquetas with roasted red peppers. Just as creamy as I remembered them, and makes you wish that there were more than four per order. They disappeared almost as soon as they hit the table.

The last repeat was the sherry glazed halibut in smoky romesco. The garbanzo bean bed it sat on was a little dry and undercooked, but otherwise the fish was lovely.

New for this trip was the spinach salad with roasted squash, pears, dried cherries, and hazelnuts. This ended up being the first dish that showed up to our table, so it was devoured with some speed, despite being fairly simple and easily replicable. Ultimately though, forgettable.

The dish that I dominated was the foie gras scrambled eggs montadito with black truffle butter. This was in a word, decadent. Creamy to the point of melting, it's certainly not for everyone. But for those who love the dual indulgences that are truffles and foie, it was an amazing bite, the eggs a soft pillowy delivery vehicle for the rich truffle flavor inside. Not for everyone, but those who love it will crave it forever.

The overall favorite though was the shrimp sauteed in garlic, parsley, and lemon. This was by far everyone's favorite, piquant hits of Spanish spices clearing the way for a well-cooked shrimp. By the end of it, we were even taking bread chunks to soak up the olive oil below it. A surprisingly good dish despite its simplicity.

To finish, we split a manchego cheesecake with quince and pistachio granola. The first thing Texas said was, "well you can definitely taste the manchego." In many ways, this was richer and more complex than a typical cheesecake, its depth amplified by the dry milkiness of manchego replacing the normal tart of a New York style cake. A perfect ending to the meal.

The Verdict

Always a crowd pleaser, and wonderfully consistent, even in its third year.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)

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