One would figure that after an experience of 19 courses at é by José Andrés, that we would have had enough food to last us for the evening. If you thought that you would be… ummm, wrong. When we exited the intimate private room of é, Jaleo was filled to capacity with people; it was loud and full of excitement. As we walk by the bar, we found our friend Craig, the president of the Luxury Supercar Weekend, having a drink. A couple of seats beside him opened up, so we decided to join him.
We ordered our new favourite Spanish beer, the Estrella Damm Inedit. We knew this had to be the beer of choice for José Andrés, as it it was created by his mentor, Catalan chef Ferran Adrià and his team at the elBulli restaurant together with the brewmasters of Estrella Damm. Chef Ferran has won numerous awards and is considered to be one of the pioneers of molecular gastronomy. elBulli which placed Number One a record five times on Restaurant Magazine’s Top 50 list, unfortunately closed in the summer of 2011. Inedit was crafted to be paired with food, brewed with a blend of barley malt and wheat and is flavoured with coriander, orange peel and liquorice. It light and refreshing wheat and citrus taste end with a hint of spiciness. A great beer!
I must warn you, do not drink at the bar at Jaleo, if you only plan to drink. The massive paella pit is right behind you and though well ventilated, the plates of paella pass nearby as they are being served. Eventually like us, you will succumb to its intoxicating aroma, and place your order. We ordered the Arroz Con Costillas De Cerdo Ibérico De Bellota, otherwise known as the ibérico paella. This amazing dish is made with the ribs of the black-footed (pata negra) pigs of Spain. The ribs are first seared in the large paella pan, and then the rice and broth are added. After 17 minutes of cooking in the pit, it is ready to be served.
When the plate arrives, the aroma quickly makes our mouth water. We dive into right away and are immediately rewarded with a rich savoury mouthful of tender pork with perfectly cooked short grain rice. It was the first pork paella I have ever had, but it is also one of the best paellas I have had. Definitely wanted more!
We ordered a few more dishes and were delighted by our selections based on our bartender’s recommendations. The staff here was excellent, friendly and extremely helpful. My other favourites included the Mini Pepito De Ibérico, sliders made with the amazing black-footed pork; all those acorns it eats sure makes it tasty. The Gambas Con Gabardina, fried shrimp on a stick was also really good.
All in all, we had sampled 19 courses at é plus 6 more at Jaleo that evening for a total of 25 courses. Apart from the beverage pairing at é, we really enjoyed the Inedit beer. We decided we needed to finish the evening with just one more to make the evening truly legendary.
So what did we order for our last dish? The decision was actually incredibly easy to make, another order of the ibérico paella; after all we didn’t get a chance to take a photo of it the first time around. We didn’t want to disappoint our readers by not providing a photograph of one of our favourite dishes of the year now did we? It was a truly legendary evening, our hats off to José Andrés and his team!
Gambas Con Gabardina
batter-fried shrimp with caper mayonnaise and black olive salt
Chorizo Ibérico De Bellota Fermín
a dry-cured chorizo made with ibérico meat
Bikini De Jamón Ibérico, Queso Manchego Y Trufas
pressed sandwich of ibérico ham, manchego cheese and truffles
Huevo Frito Con Caviar
a fried organic egg topped with caviar
Mini Pepito De Ibérico
Spanish mini burger made from the legendary, acorn-fed, black-footed
ibérico pigs of Spain with ibérico bacon
Arroz Con Costillas De Cerdo Ibérico De Bellota
made with the ribs of the famous, black-footed ibérico de bellota pigs of spain
Estrella Damm Inedit
a unique coupage of barley malt and wheat, flavoured with coriander, orange peel and liquorice
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada