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Estadio, Washington

1520 14th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 319 1404's insider take:

Tapas restaurant Estadio's handsome dining room—all rough-hewn timber and curving wrought iron—and serious culinary chops are reason enough to go. But this place also has a sense of humor that makes it the standard-bearer for a new generation of D.C. restaurants (see also: Proof, Birch & Barley). From your perch at the tapas bar, you can hear kitchen staff tossing saucy quips while skewering jamón-wrapped figs and then turn to see patrons passing around porrons, pitcher-size cocktails poured straight into the mouth via glass containers that resemble the love child of a carafe and a bong. At a long communal table, groups share spicy chorizo or blood sausage bocadillos (tiny sandwiches) and eggs stuffed with meltingly creamy potatoes, washed down by grown-up slushies of quince paste, paprika, lemon, sherry, and Scotch. Even the bathrooms take a cheeky approach (hint, look at the murals). Finally, D.C. has a restaurant worthy of its work-hard, play-hard masses.—Colleen Clark

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