Jaleo Bethesda Throws Opening Party for 12th Annual Paella Festival

Jaleo has been in a celebratory mood as of late, and the fun isn’t stopping yet. Now, it’s time for the 12th annual Paella Festival at Jaleo, taking place at all three DC-area locations. Jaleo Bethesda held a kick off party on Monday night to showcase all of the diverse varieties of the Spanish specialty which they’ll be offering, ranging from the very traditional to the much more unique. Check ’em out.

Paella all starts with the original, the Paella Valenciana, made with chicken, rabbit, saffron rice, lima beans and green beans. That’s something which has had a special place in my heart since this happened, at a beachfront restaurant in Valencia, Spain on a beautiful sunny day several years ago.

No regrets were had. You’ll certainly find that included in Jaleo’s Paella Festival, but you’ll also find choices such as:

  • Fidueà con costilla ibérica y alcachofa, made with fidueà pasta, iberico pork ribs and artichokes;
  • Meloso de rabo de toro con tirabeques y guisantes frescos, made with oxtail, snow peas, and fresh peas;
  • Arroz meloso de bacalao con puerros, alubias y alcachofas, made with cod, leeks, white beans and artichokes;
  • Arroz negro con calamar fresco y alioli de membrillo, a black paella rice of fresh squid and quince paste alioli;
  • Arroz caldoso de bogavante, a soupy paella with lobster;
  • Arroz con verduras de temporada, with seasonal vegetables; and
  • Arroz con Carabineros, with prawns from southern Spain.

All told, that’s eight paellas for you to work you way through in about two weeks. It’s time to get cracking! I’d suggest putting the lobster paella high on your list.

There’s also a specialty cocktail which will be available throughout the Paella Festival, the Mascletá, a perfect fall concoction with brandy, lemon juice, plum, saffron syrup and egg white.

Jaleo’s Paella Festival will run through October 19th. The paellas, which were created by executive chef Ramón Martínez and are available for both lunch and dinner, range in cost from $40-$80 and typically can serve at least four people.