Tapas, those small plates of cheeses, cured meats, seafood and assorted traditional Spanish appetizers to be shared with friends while sipping sangria or sherry are all the rage. You won’t have to look hard to find many restaurants serving a small portion of something on a plate and calling it “tapas”, but the real deal as served in Spain bears no resemblance to those faux tapas offerings. Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan is serving genuine Spanish tapas from one of the world’s foremost experts on the concept, José Andrés.
On a recent weekday evening, we enjoyed some truly outstanding tapas at Jaleo. Paper-thin slices of the famous Spanish Iberico ham melted in our mouths. All the hype surrounding this ham from an ancient breed of acorn-fed Spanish pigs is well deserved.
Bacon wrapped and deep fried dates were a nice contrast to our ham. We also fell in love with the deep fried chicken fritters, more like bite-sized balls of creamy chicken potpie with a crispy exterior, one of Chef Andrés specialties at both the Jaleo in Washington DC and here at the Las Vegas location.
Not to be missed are the oysters “gin & tonic”, the Spanish cheese selections and the fois gras and truffle canelones.
We made a good choice with the sangria, an honest-to-goodness, spicy, fruity version of the Spanish wine concoction that is often a disappointment. Jaleo’s version was just perfect with our selection of rich tapas.
The bright, colorful, not-too-stuffy restaurant also serves larger, main course dishes including paella. Jaleo features an open, wood burning paella stove located the middle of the restaurant that was great fun to watch as we enjoyed our tapas.
José Andrés is one of our all-time favorite chefs (we adore his PBS cooking show) and we had high expectations. We were not disappointed.
Jaleo Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Reservations highly recommended
Friday and Saturday: 5 PM to midnight
Sunday – Thursday: 5 PM to 11 PM
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