Hello again from Jaleo in Disney Springs!! We have found ourselves back for more tapas, paella, and sangria! They’re just so good we couldn’t resist.
Jaleo is a Spanish restaurant known for its authentic cuisine and cooking style. It’s brought to us by James Beard Award-Winning Chef José Andrés, and this is the fifth Jaleo location in the country. It’s also the largest!
Like I said, we enjoyed Jaleo on opening night, but with such a large menu, we were excited to finally go back and try new items!
Jaleo has an upscale modern feel to the two-story restaurant, with unique light fixtures, and elegant wall photos.
We love the touches of whimsy in this otherwise elegant and upscale restaurant — like this Bull wearing a Luchador Mask! Each Jaleo has its own unique Bull, that is named and wears a different mask.
The Paella Pit must be showcased again and again! The wood-grilled Paellas are a signature staple at Jaleo, and they use the fire pit to cook other items as well — such as vegetables for many dishes. They also have a Spanish designed Charcoal Oven which is basically like grilling inside, and gives food a wonderful smokey, grill taste.
We’re gonna keep the photo tour light today, as we know you’re excited to see the yummy food!
For a full photo tour of Jaleo, check out our original post here!
The Jaleo menu is a lot of fun because you can try many different dishes given that they are tapas. On our last visit, the highlights were the Chicken Croquetas, the Jamon Ibérico, and the Pan de Cristal. With such high standards from the first visit, we were excited to dig into a few more items.
We started with a few cocktails that are some of José’s signature items. Like the Ultimate Gin and Tonic.
Gin and Tonics are an incredibly popular drink in Spain, and the Ultimate is how José likes it! It’s made of Hendrick’s gin, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic, lemon verbena, juniper, lemon, and lime, and served in an awesome big glass with a giant slow-melting ice cube. This was a fabulous and refreshing drink, and one that all Gin & Tonic lovers should make a point to grab.
We also had to have some of Jaleo’s famous sangria — when in Rome, er, Spain! Previous we tried the Red variety, so today we went with white, which is called the Sangría de lujo cava.
The Sangría de lujo cava is made of Jaleo’s signature starter blend of juices, fruit, and liquors, and then Spanish Cava Wine is added table side when you order a pitcher.
Once again, this is incredible! The Cava wine adds some nice bubble, and the blend of juices and fruit add a natural sweetness, that isn’t sickly sweet like other sangria on property. I am normally a red wine drinker, but between the two sangrias, I couldn’t pick a favorite!
Now that we had some cocktails, it was time for food!
We started with José’s tacos…
…which are like no tacos we’ve ever seen before! These are Jamon Ibérico and Supreme caviar, and are meant to be folded up and eaten in one bite, like a mini taco. This specialty ham is the meat of black-footed pigs that eat a strict diet of only acorns to give the meat the best flavor possible. When ordered on its own, the Jamon Ibérico is carved table-side.
So how was it topped with caviar? Honestly pretty tasty — if you like caviar. It’s a real indulgent treat to have such a specialty ham topped with a delicacy like Supreme caviar! However, if you aren’t very adventurous or not a caviar fan, I’d probably stick to the Jamon Ibérico by itself.
Next up, we tried the stuffed endives, or Endivias con queso de cabra y naranjas.
Literally translated that means Endives with goat cheese, oranges, and almonds. These are fantastic! They are fresh and bright, and something unique but not too adventurous. In fact, one of our party said these were the perfect amount of adventurous for someone who is interested in new foods, but not ready to jump into caviar and oysters.
We also tried the Fried Artichokes with alioli. These don’t appear to be on the menu regularly, but you can always ask!
These were a fan favorite at our table! Light and crunchy, with good flavor, these were simple and delicious — they reminded me of an elevated onion ring. And the alioli (different from aioli) was garlicy and perfect.
Next up, something a little (ok a lot) more adventurous…
…The Boiled Octopus. This is served cooked sous vide and served with peewee potatoes, pimentón, and finished tableside with extra virgin olive oil. While the suckers may be alarming, this dish is actually delicious. The chewy texture will throw off people who are texture conscious, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous than usual, then why not try it?!
We also tried the shrimp José’s Way — the Gambas a la Zahara.
These are head-on shrimp, with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and served warm in a bubbling pot. If you are a shrimp fan — you will LOVE these. Do not be alarmed that they are head on, as they are easily removed. They are perfectly cooked, and incredibly flavorful. They are also served with bread to dip into the garlicky buttery sauce, which is amazing because well….garlic and butter.
Another meat winner is the Secreto ibérico bellota con pan con tomate y salsa verde.
According to Jaleo’s menu, this means – “It’s a secret! Skirt steak from the legendary black-footed ibérico pigs of Spain served with toasted tomato bread, mojo verde and alioli.”
This meat comes from the same pigs as the Jamon Ibérico, but it’s more like a pork loin. It’s basically the equivalent of the filet mignon of a pig, and it is AMAZING. This was many people’s favorite dish of the day. The two dipping sauces complimented the perfectly cooked meat wonderfully, and the portion is very generous. I would highly recommend trying this one!
And of course, you can’t eat at Jaleo without getting Paella!
Our party was presented with this GIANT seasonal Vegetable Paella — which features tons of veggies including mushrooms and fresh peppers.
As with our previous visit, the paella is fantastic. Which, duh, this is one of the Jaleo staples. The rice is perfectly cooked, and the vegetables bring a ton of flavor. Honestly, you won’t even miss the meat! But if you are a meat person, the classic Valencia paella with chicken and rabbit is a winner as well.
Whew! But we aren’t done yet!! Of course, we have to check out dessert.
First up, the Quesada Asturiana.
This is a goat cheese cheesecake, with seasonal sorbet which for us was fresh strawberry. The cake is less creamy than a traditional cheesecake, and isn’t as sweet. As a goat cheese fan, I enjoyed it but if you aren’t one…then you may want to skip this sweet. Additionally, the sorbet was so amazing and fresh and outshined the cake in my opinion. Luckily getting sorbet on its own is an option on the dessert menu, which I’d highly recommend.
We also tried the Pan con chocolate, which is chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil, and brioche ice cream.
Upon serving, our waiter poured fresh olive oil on the top and crumbled up the bread for us.
This very traditional Spanish dessert was my favorite of all the desserts I’ve had at Jaleo. The chocolate is very rich, but it’s nicely balanced by the bread and olive oil. It may not be a huge serving, but it’s definitely shareable thanks to the potency of the chocolate, and the rich tapas you just ate!
We left the meal stuffed (in a good way) with delicious cocktails, some new eats, and a few tasty sweets!
Jaleo dazzled us again with their unique dishes, presentation, outstanding service, and lovely cocktails. Every server we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with is excellent, especially when it comes to their knowledge of the menu. While the menu is certainly more adventurous than other locations in Disney Springs, there is something that just about everyone will like. However, it is surely a foodie paradise in our book! So far we are big fans, and if you’re looking for something unusual on your WDW vacation, then we suggest you check it out.
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Is Jaleo on your list of places to dine? Let us know in the comments!
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. Today, we were invited by Jaleo Public Relations to attend a media lunch at Jaleo. 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