Monday, February 23, 2009

Tapas at La Tasca

Rioja and mussels.

I absolutely adore the concept of spanish tapas. You get to order a bunch of small little dishes to share with friends - allowing one to eat a variety of different dishes. Gotta love that communal feel! Mike was in town again this weekend (two weekends in a row - what a treat!), so Will, Malia, and I met up with him at La Tasca in Clarendon.

I hadn't been to La Tasca since my college graduation dinner with the fam (it has been almost two years). Jaleo is the more well-reknowned tapas establishment in the DC area, but don't count out La Tasca. The restaurant evokes a warm inviting feel with its rich reds and yellows. The three tiered restaurant gives diners an impressive view from the top.

View from our table - look out below!

Baked eggplant, manchego cheese and tomato

Mike and Will started the night with La Tasca's white sangria - a refreshing combination of vino blanco, peaches, and citrus fruits. Malia and I were in the mood for red wine and went with the Rioja. A smooth, yet light wine with notes of strawberries and spices. We decided to split some tapas. We ordered mussels with white wine, garlic and parsley; grilled seabass; manchego cheese; sauteed mushrooms with garlic; eggplant baked with cheese, tomatoes, and herbs; grilled lambchops with green peppercorn sauce.

Lamb chop and sauteed mushrooms.

The wait for our food was a little long, something that seems to be happening more often when I dine out. Luckily we had some drinks to tide us over. I started off with the grilled seabass and some mushrooms. The sea bass was light and flaky served with grilled peppers and onions. I love the carmelized flavor of onion and it complimented the sweet flesh nicely. The mushrooms were sauteed with garlic and soaked up the wonderful flavors of the olive oil. The mussels were good, nothing out of the ordinary, and a tad cold. In fact most of these dishes could have been a little warmer, with the exception of the baked eggplant - which was my favorite of the night. The earthiness of the eggplant was complimented by the rosemary, basil, and garlic. The tomato added a nice acidity to the dish, which was topped off with some gooey cheese.

I have missed our dinners together. Glad we could rectify that.

I caught you this delicious bass.

La Tasca may not have the best tapas I have ever eaten, but they are tasty and the restaurant's atmosphere welcomes you to dine in warmth with friends, and after all isn't that what we are all searching for in a meal.

Diggin' into some calamari.

2900 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

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