We are excited to be back at Jaleo by Chef José Andrés in Disney Springs!
This new signature restaurant showcasing Chef Andrés’ traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine began its soft-opening phase last Sunday. (You can check out our first review — including a full tour of the restaurant — by clicking here!)
We had a chance to return for a second visit as invited guests to the Grand Opening event. So in the pictures you’ll see shortly, these sample sizes will, of course, differ from the regulars platings. But the flavors?
Well, let’s dig in and bring you along!
This refreshing, fruity drink is less sweet than you might anticipate, in keeping with the more traditional Spanish style. It’s delicious, and remarkably smooth. (And, remember, you can try it at Pepe in case you don’t have a chance to dine inside Jaleo!)
The Mediterranean Gin and Tonic is quite close to a classic gin and tonic, but with an added bitterness from the vermouth that was really enjoyable.
We were able to enjoy once again the Jamon Ibérico which is 36 to 48-month cured ham from the free range ibérico pigs of Spain.
Let’s just say that, had they let us, we seriously would’ve eaten the entire plate! It’s practically addictive, it’s so good. Salty without being overly so, it presents a really intense flavor.
How about some more Paella?!
We were able to try two versions — a seafood (Arroz a banda con gambas) and vegetarian (Arroz de verduras y setas de temporada).
While both were delicious, the mushrooms in the vegetable version were especially good, along with the alioli that comes with it which is spicy, creamy, and wonderfully flavorful.
Jose’s Taco presents Ibérico ham with Supreme caviar.
My friend, who isn’t the biggest fan of caviar, said that the ham is so delicious on it’s own that it doesn’t even need it.
We tried the Aceitunas Modernas y Clasicas on our first visit, and — as we mentioned — you have to love olives because it’s essentially a liquid version of a REALLY flavorful olive.
Fortunately my friend does adore olives and thought this was terrific (and might be even better enjoyed with a shot of vodka). Again, it’s a must-try for olive fans.
The Rey Silo Rojo is a raw cow’s milk with pimenton paired with almonds and a butter orange jam.
I felt like the additional elements and flavors paired here were almost too intense because the flavor of the cheese itself got a little lost. Fortunately, with the options for plating three or five cheeses at Jaleo, you can try several, if you’d like.
The Butifarra Casera con Mongetes is grilled pork sausage with more of that awesome alioli, and it is also terrific with this saltier meat.
The Ibérico de bellota mini hamburguesa are one more way you can try the meat from the ibérico pigs of Spain in the mini burgers and the bacon that tops them.
A nice option to note if you’re dining with someone who might be a less adventurous eater as a way to try some of the authentic cuisine of the house in a more familiar form.
We were also able to try the uniquely presented Salmon Tartare with Trout Eggs.
Note that, currently, we did not find this item listed on the menu, so it seems like there is still some culinary creating going on in the kitchen!
And lastly, we ended with some Sorbet. They will be switching up the flavors of sorbet at Jaleo with some consistency, and we were able to try the Strawberry.
This was, quite simply, one of the most intensely flavored sorbets we’ve ever had.
So, between our first review on opening night and our visit for the Grand Opening, we’ve been able to try more than a fair sampling of offerings at Jaleo. And you know something? It’s already left us looking forward to what we might try next!
Now, note that in speaking with one of the managers, we understand that the final menu is still being tweaked.
However, on our first visit, we were able to check out a menu that was a bit different from the one we were presented on opening night, so what you’ll see next is a closer approximation of what the final may look like. And since selections are so extensive, there are STILL more items we — and possibly you! — are looking forward to trying at Jaleo.
Among them, we have to note the Gambas a la Zahara for those adventurous eaters out there. The head-on shrimp (you got a peek at them in the seafood paella dish above) are “prepared as Jose’ does in the summer.”
And though we were able to try the Gazpacho as it’s served at Pepe, this delightfully refreshing chilled soup is something we’ll look forward to trying in its “sit-down” fashion, especially when the heat really hits Orlando.
The Frituras section features a quote we can heartily agree with: “Frying is overrated… yeah, right!” We LOVED the Croquetas de pollo on our first visit (as well as the version of Patatas bravas served at Pepe), but the Mushroom and Goat Cheese Fritters present a vegetarian option for the fritters.
Large plates serving 2 or more include a “secret” skirt steak made with the Ibérico meat.
And we are excited to find out what The Jaleo Experience includes. We hope this option to take “a tour of Spain with Jaleo’s favorite traditional and modern tapas” makes the final menu, because it sounds deliciously promising!
But I guess the real question is… what would YOU most like to try at Jaleo? Let us know!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. We were invited by Jaleo to experience the new location. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ
Are you planning to dine at Jaleo? Please let us know with a comment!