La Tasca, a la Tasty


September 25, 2010

Kristin Conklin
Restaurant Critic
Bon Appetit

Tapa in Spanish means “lid” or “cover.” After a long day, farmers and laborers would stop by local “tascas” for a drink where they would find a slice of bread atop the glass, keeping the flies away from the sherry. Over time, different kinds of cured meats or sausages were placed on top of bread slices, which evolved into what tapas are known as today.  In Spain, a group of friends would travel to different tapas bars for a late night snack. At each bar, they would receive a small glass of wine or beer and a tapa.

Paellas, which originated in Valencia, Spain, are also traditional dishes with the ingredients varying from each region of Spain. Also, depending on the chef, he or she determines which ingredients will be featured in the paellas.  Traditional paella consists of seafood, but they can also contain chicken, pork or any ingredient that goes well with rice.

Sangria, which comes from the Spanish word “sangre”, meaning blood, is a popular drink in Spain. Sangria can be made with a variety of wines, including white and red, and includes several typesof fruit. It is best to let the sangria sit for three hours in order for the fruit to absorb the flavors.

Offering a blend of Spanish culture, from the décor and authentic cuisine to the inviting atmosphere, La Tasca, a Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar in Washington, DC is perfect for any occasion.  At La Tasca, patrons can not only enjoy the authentic cuisine, but also the unique design of the restaurant as well. Classic wrought iron railings, hand-painted tiles and artwork adorn the walls; colorfulpillows pilled on the benches give patrons a little cushion while enjoying their meal.

The atmosphere at La Tasca is warm and inviting, perfect for a group of friends looking to have a good time or a couple dining out for a romantic evening. La Tasca even caters to parties of 2 to 375 in a private area downstairs or in a semi-private area. A party menu is available for those types of occasions, ranging in price from $22 to $40 per person. The meal is served family style and includes vegetarian, seafood and meat selections. Paella and dessert may be added as well. The menu consists of a combination of more than 45 tapas along with six paellas. La Tasca also has a full bar, 11 sangria blends, Spanish wine and beer. There is even a kids menu offering dishes under six dollars, which includes a drink and dessert. Montaditos de Jamon y Queso ($6.50) and four slices of pan a la catalana bread topped with grated tomato: two with Manchego cheese wedges and two with jamon Serrano, can serve as a light appetizer.  Patatas Bravas ($5.25), a popular tapas dish on the menu, consists of fried potatoes pilled high in a bowl and topped with a spicy sauce and a dollop of garlic mayonnaise. Brocheta de Pollo ($6.75), grilled chicken and red peppers served right on the skewers atop cabbage and served with a side of aioli. The Pato Confitado ($8), savory and sweet, is duck leg confit cooked with nutmeg and orange peel, served with caramelized apples and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Some of the other popular dishes at La Tasca are Calamares Andaluza, which is fried calamari with garlic mayonnaise, Gambas al Ajillo ($8), which is shrimp sautéed in olive oil with garlic and hot “guindilla” peppers and Tortilla Espanola ($6.00), a traditional Spanish potato and onion egg omelet. For dessert, the Pastel Tibio de Chocolate ($6.50), a classic chocolate cake, served warm and accompanied with a scoop of decadent white chocolate ice cream excites the taste buds at the close of any meal. For patrons who want a little bit of everything, La Tasca offers a Tapas tasting menu, shared amongst two people. Individuals may choose from the fish, meat or an array of tasting menus from the most popular dishes.

Creating all the delicious dishes is Executive Chef Godred Obeng.  La Tasca also offers specials, depending on the time of year. During the winter, final preparations are put on the ingredients used to make lentil soup.  Around November, lentil soup will be featured on the menu for the winter season. La Tasca has five locations in the United States:  four in the Washington metro area and one in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. La Tasca is part of the Bay Restaurant Group Limited, which is the largest casual dinning operator in the United Kingdom.

La Tasca in Washington, D.C was the first opened in the United States. It is easily accessible by the metro at the Gallery Place/Chinatown stop. La Tasca offers a truly authentic Spanish cuisine along with a nostalgia-oriented atmosphere. Whether you are sharing a meal with friends, a loved one or family member, La Tasca will deliver a unique and unforgettable experience each and every time.

Traditional Tinta Sangria (Quantity)

(Yields 10L  jar)

Oranges  (5)

Apples  (5)

E&J Brandy (.6L)

Juarez Triple Sec  (.5L)

Orange Juice  (1.5L)

Sour Mix  (.5L)

Almaden Burgundy (6.5L)

Sugar (250g)

La Tasca, Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar

722 7th Street NW

Washington DC 20001

Phone: (202) 347-9190

Hours of operation:

Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Fri. & Sat.  11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Sunday  11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


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DC Spotlight Restaurant Critic

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