Local food writers were abuzz last spring when news broke that Café St. Ex’s Billy Klein was heading over to Pulpo in Cleveland Park. Since his move, he has been working with General Manager Dave Hansen to overhaul the menu. I was recently invited to check out the new menu and must say, it’s worth a visit.
The tapas menu has a mouthwatering mix that left us at a bit of loss on how to not over-order. When I am overwhelmed with choices and do not know what to order, I do two things: take out the items I could likely make at home; and then ask the server for recommendations. However, in this case, we were treated to just about everything the General Manager was hoping we would try. It was way more food than I could handle but it was all spectacular.
The items that really stood out for me: bacon brussel sprouts; asparagus gazpacho with a soft boiled egg and black caviar; meatballs with sheep milk’s foam; and the scallops, which practically melted as you bit into them. The paella was also outstanding, but sadly came toward the end of our tasting when I was almost too full to eat anything else. Thankfully, it reheated beautifully the next day.
I did somehow manage to find a little remaining room for dessert so we split the “tres leches v2.0.” I had NO idea what to expect from this, and I generally avoid dulce de leche since it is so sugary, but they promised it was worth every bite. Wow, it was really good. The dessert is Billy’s take on a standard angel food cake with goat cheese frosting, dulce de leche, goat cheese foam, blueberries and cookie crumple.
I know what you’re saying, Cleveland Park is so far out of the way! (unless you live in that area, of course). But here’s the thing. We’re entering one of DC’s best seasons for walking around and this is right next to the zoo! A lot of the animals are out around dinner time so take a walk to see the animals, and then treat yourself to a delicious dinner. Perfect way to spend an evening!
And even better, they have one of the best brunch deals in town: $25 unlimited ordering and unlimited brunch drinks. Now you have plans for your Saturday or Sunday morning!
Pulpo is located at 4250 Connecticut Ave NW.
(disclosure: my meal was complimentary)