Turning Tables: José Andrés Group Alum Opens Casa Teresa in Washington, D.C.

Who’s behind it: Rubén García, an acclaimed Spanish chef, has worked with culinary leaders such as the late Jean Luc Figueras and Martín Berasategui, and at celebrated restaurants such as Ferran Adrià’s now-closed El Bulli. As the creative director of José Andrés Group (formerly ThinkFoodGroup) for 16 years, he also worked with the avant-garde, chef’s table–style, tasting-menu-only Minibar, which holds a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Why you should know about it: Restaurants spotlighting the culinary traditions of Spain continue to grow in popularity and significance across the U.S., thanks in no small part to chefs like García and Andrés. This new spot strengthens the reputation of Washington, D.C., as an exciting bastion for Spanish dining.

When it opened: Casa Teresa opened its doors in early November; it serves lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.

The culinary approach: García looks to his own background for the menu at Casa Teresa, drawing from the cuisine of Spain’s Catalonia region. The chef is also inspired by the life and cooking of his great-grandmother, Teresa Espinosa Moreno (the restaurant’s namesake), a social and political activist who was imprisoned for three years by Francisco Franco’s government during the Spanish Civil War.

[article-img-container][src=2023-11/restaurant-news-casa-teresa-dining-room-113023_1600.jpg] [credit= (Scott Suchman)] [alt= The dining room at Casa Teresa, with wood elements, brown benches, brown-seated chairs and circle and square designs on the walls and ceiling][end: article-img-container]

García taps local and seasonal ingredients and uses open-flame cooking for many of his plates. Dishes include escalivada Catalan (roasted eggplants, onions and peppers in a Sherry vinegar dressing), botifarra Catalana amb seques (house-made Catalan sausage with navy beans, bacon and aioli), chuletón de buey (a 30-ounce, bone-in ribeye) and las croquetas de la Dolors (chicken and bechamel fritters based on a recipe from García’s mother). Among the smaller plates are piquillo peppers, Cantabrian anchovies, jamón Iberico (there is also a jamón cart) and more. Two prix-fixe menus—Teresa’s Menu for lunch ($38 per guest) and Teresa’s Table for dinner ($105, plus $75 for optional wine pairings)—are served family style and honor the cooking traditions of Espinosa Moreno’s hometown.

What’s on the wine list: Wine director and assistant general manager Sarah Vanags oversees a list of about 100 wines, 75 percent from Spain. “Our wine program takes our guests on a sensory expedition through Spain’s dynamic terroirs,” Vanags told Wine Spectator via email. “The selection captures each region’s essence.” This includes bubbly from sparkling wine house Llopart and a range of Sherries from houses such as Emilio Lustau, as well as Albariños, Riojas and Garnachas from Priorat. Going forward, Vanags plans to rotate in new wines to pair with García’s seasonal cuisine.

[article-img-container][src=2023-11/restaurant-news-casa-teresa-wine-bottles-113023_1600.jpg] [credit= (Scott Suchman)] [alt= Bottles of wine on metal shelves at Casa Teresa, with wood boxes of wine stacked nearby][end: article-img-container]

The list showcases bottles from wineries owned or operated by women and wines made using sustainable and biodynamic techniques. “This collection celebrates the diversity of Spanish wines while honoring the significant contributions of women in shaping the industry,” Vanags explained. In the future, the restaurant will host dinners to highlight specific wineries. Among other beverage options are about a dozen Spanish vermouths, plus Spanish-influenced cocktails from bar director Owen Thompson.

The design:


Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/restaurant-news-jose-andres-group-alum-opens-new-casa-teresa-in-washington-dc

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