Ex-Minibar chef opens Spanish restaurant Casa Teresa in downtown D.C.
Why it matters: The Catalan native worked closely with José Andrés for 16-plus years and opened over 30 of his restaurants, but this will be García's first solo venture.
Context: The 95-seat spot adjoins The Square, K Street's massive new food hall from García and business partner Richie Brandenburg.
- It's a full-service anchor for the culinary complex, and is open all day for lunch and dinner.
The must-order dish: Pa amb tomàquet (Catalan tomato bread).
- "It's a staple back home, always in the middle of a table," García tells Axios. "It's the beginning of a conversation, the beginning of a memory."
The super-specialty item: Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. The prized acorn-fed ham from The Dehesas is sliced by expert jamón carvers from Spain (yes, it's a career there).
- García tells Axios: "100% of their income comes from carving ham — it's an art attached to our Spanish culture, and it's almost impossible to find in the States."
- The "cortadora de jamón" will work at the restaurant for at least a year, teach carving skills, and lead a jamón and Sherry program.
Yes, but: Don't overlook more humble, homey stews — a family specialty — charcoal-grilled meats and seafood, and ember-roasted vegetables.
- Besides his mom's creamy chicken fritters, García says he's most excited about local produce from longstanding farm connections — especially roasted vegetables with mojo verde and nice Spanish olive oil.
- "Even though people say winter is not an exciting season, they're wrong."
The design inspo: The restaurant pays homage to García family matriarchs in spirit and cuisine, with a warm Catalán farmhouse feel courtesy of Barcelona-based El Equipo Creativo. There's also a patio in nice weather and private dining.
- The name and inspiration come from García's great-great-grandmother Teresa Espinosa Moreno, a human rights activist who was persecuted under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
Eat like grandma's house: A family-style "Teresa's Menu" looks like a feast with over a dozen dishes and a porrón of cava ($105 per person).
In your glass: Spanish wines from somm Sarah Vanags — with an emphasis on women producers — and lots of sherry and/or gin cocktails from fellow Andrés alum, Owen Thompson.
What's next: A connecting tapas and pinxtos bar will open soon and join the food hall and restaurant. García wants it to be a fun stop for Sherry, jamón, and tapas before a meal. "In Spain, we like to eat before we eat."
Check out the opening menu:
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