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Pintxos Paradise

BY Candice Spector | September 18, 2017 | Feature Features

DC's pintxos hot spots are growing in number—and fans of these bite-size delectables are thrilled.
One of the many outstanding pintxos dishes at ANXO Cidery and Pintxos Bar in Northwest.

Few places in the world offer better fare than the Basque region of Northern Spain—more specifically, the country’s culinary capital, San Sebastián—with its delicious selection of gourmet small plates, referred to locally as pintxos.

Fortunately for DC’s gourmands, indulging in the culinary masterpieces of Spain’s historic País Vasco gets easier nearly every month. Here are some of our favorite spots.

1. ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar
This relatively new spot features menu items ranging from plates of Spanish olives ($4) to the kitchen’s take on Basque octopus (cider-poached pulpo, $14). However, in order to experience a Basque cider house like a true Spaniard, indulge in the restaurant’s prix fixe menu for two, which includes three bottles of Basque sidra, a 26-oz. bone-in ribeye, grilled swordfish and cod fritters, with a meal cap of Idiazabal cheese and walnuts, ($125). 300 Florida Ave. NW, 202.986.3795

2. Boqueria
Barcelona-native executive chef Marc Vidal’s take on traditional Spanish cuisine offers everything from aioli-drizzled patatas bravas ($9) to fresh jamón Ibérico de Bellota ($32 per oz.)—hand-carved from a prized Iberian pig. The carving adds an authentic feel to the restaurant’s Spain-inspired theme. 1837 M St. NW, 202.558.9545

3. Pamplona
Entrance into this colorful Spanish restaurant—decorated with running-of-the-bulls-inspired accouterments—invites patrons to enjoy an aesthetically pleasing décor while indulging in bite-size lamb pops ($15) or gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) ($14), two customer favorites, and sipping on seasonal sangria ($7). 3100 Calrendon Blvd., Arlington, Va., 703.685.9950

4. 100 Montaditos
A traditional Spanish culinary staple, the montadito is a tapa-size sandwich made with baguette-like bread and filled to taste with hot, sweet or savory ingredients. The restaurant is known for its large, 100-item menu and its miniature gourmet sandwiches, which, at $3 each, give patrons an excuse to try every montadito variation—like the tortilla Española, the chorizo, the garlic pork loin or the smoked salmon. 300 Tingey St. SE, 202.488.8500

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