Our First Taste Of Jaleo by José Andrés At Disney Springs

Celebrity Chef Jose Andres has just opened his fifth Jaleo restaurant at Disney Springs in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort. The the spirit of Spain is present here with rich flavors that are somehow both traditional as well as cutting-edge. Plates here are meant to be shared with good friends, over good conversation. Authentic Spanish ingredients are merged with local sourced foods to create a stylish yet casual atmosphere that is unique and exciting.

Jaleo by Jose AndresJaleo by Jose Andres

Jaleo restaurants have been in operation in other parts of the country for years now, but the new Jaleo restaurant at Disney Springs is the biggest and most spectacular location yet. The restaurant is housed in a dynamic, multi-level space that is emboldened with bright colors, strong textures, and interesting shapes. The red and gold of the Spanish flag infuses every bit of the interior with a contemporary brightness that pays homage to the past while striding fearlessly into the future. Seating in the uniquely whimsical space is available on two different levels, both inside and out. If you're lucky you may even get a turn at the quirky fooseball table.

Jaleo's Matador BarJaleo's Matador Bar
Bold Shapes And Colors Complete The DecorBold Shapes And Colors Complete The Decor

The Bar at Jaleo serves up a unique selection of cocktails inspired by Spain. But you really can't talked about gathering people together for a Spanish feast without giving it up for big pitchers of sangria. Jaleo offers two different types of sangria on their menu, Sangria Roja, Sangria de lujo cava, and Sangria de lujo. While the Roja and Cava are sold by the glass, the Sangria de lujo is done by the pitcher made fresh at your table side. Jaleo's sangrias are positively wonderful, and not too sweet like many of drinks at WDW. It's worth coming in just to enjoy a glass of this authentically Spanish sippable.

Jaleo's Famous Sangria RojaJaleo's Famous Sangria Roja
Tableside Sangria ServiceSangria de lujo cava Tableside Service
White SangriaSangria de lujo cava

The Gin & Tonic has a fascinating history. It was created by the British-in England and India-but it was perfected by the Spaniards. Jose Andres believes that the Gin & Tonic has united cultures and continents all over the world. That's why you won't just find it as a cocktail at the Matador Bar, but Ostras 'Gin and Tonic' is on the tapas menu too. For those playing along at home, that's fresh oysters topped with gin and tonic, and spritzed with lemon.

An Elegant Gin and TonicAn Elegant Gin and Tonic
Oysters Gin & TonicOysters Gin & Tonic

Tapas in Spanish cuisine is a quick snack or and appetizer. These small plates of food are served at bars across Spain to provide a bite to tide you over wile you socialize. The menu at Jaleo features an extensive variety of tapas reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine.

Let's take a quick run through the tapas before diving into a few of the more hearty options being served at Jaleo by Jose Andres.

Assorted Tapas At JaleoAssorted Tapas At Jaleo

Jamon iberico de bellota cortado a mano is a 36 to 48-month cured ham from the legendary free range, acorn-fed, black-footed iberico pigs of Spain that is hand carved table side. This extra ordinary ham comes from pure-bred black Iberian pigs that are raised being allowed to roam in oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns. These are very special piggies. A true Spanish treat, Jamon Iberico has only been available in the United States for a little more than a decade, and is still considered some of the most expensive ham on the market.

In addition to the Jamon iberico, be sure to order a selection of other heavenly cured meats, and a board of assorted Spanish cheeses so that you can mix and match some satisfying pairings.

Jamon IbericoJamon Iberico

Jose's Tacos are an epicurean treat of Iberico de bellota and Supreme caviar.

"Jose's Tacos" Are Jamon iberico Topped With Caviar.

Gambas a la Zahara treats guests to a pot of head-on shrimp, with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. This is a favorite dish prepared as Jose does each summer.

Gambas a la ZaharaGambas a la Zahara

Endivias con queso de cabra y naranjas is a simple and clean tasting bite of endives, topped with goat cheese, oranges and almonds.

Jaleo Stuffed EndiveJaleo Stuffed Endive

Cebolla asada tops roasted sweet onions, with pine nuts, and La Peral blue cheese. The La Peral Blue comes from a single-producer of cow's milk blue cheese. It has a spicy taste that is balanced by the rich custard creaminess of the paste.

Cebolla Asada, Roasted Sweet OnionsCebolla Asada, Roasted Sweet Onions

The Croquetas de pollo are traditional chicken fritters made using Jose's grandmother's recipe. These little delights were one of our favorite things on the menu and take TWO days to make. You know these chicken fritters something special when they come are presented on a royal pillow, representing the pillow that Cinderella's slipper was carried on. They were AMAZING.

Croquetas de Pollo Served On A Royal PillowCroquetas de Pollo Served On A Royal Pillow

For the more adventurous eaters in your groups, try the Pulpo a la Gallega, a dish of boiled octopus with peewee potatoes, pimenton and drizzled extra virgin olive oil.

Boiled Octopus with PotatoesBoiled Octopus with Potatoes

Is pork your thing? Then you have got to try the Secreto iberico bellota con pan con tomate y salsa verde. Once again in English - the skirt steak of those legendary black-footed iberico pigs from Spain we talked about earlier. This dish is can be considered surely be considered the "filet mingnon" of pigs. The Secreto Pork is absolutely delicious and comes accompanied by Pan de cristal con tomate, as well as two sauces, mojo verde and alioli. The Pan de cristal con tomate is a delicate and uniquely crispy and bread brushed with fresh tomato. The acidity of the tomato makes a wonderful counterpoint to the succulent pork.

Secreto PorkSecreto Pork
Secreto Pork SaucesSecreto Pork Sauces
Pan de Cristal con TomatePan de Cristal con Tomate

Paella may very well be the best known dish in Spanish cuisine. A dish using Bomba or Calasparra rice, paella is cooked in a specialized pan over an open flame. As a boy Jose Andres learned to tend the fire and the art of controlling heat. Paella traces its origins back to medieval Valencia, and Jaleo is serving it up in spades. Available by the plate or pan, the restaurant has five different paellas on the menu, with two featured options available each night.

  • Paella Valenciana (the classic paella of chicken, rabbit, lima beans, green beans, and saffron)
  • Arroz a banda con gambas (paella made of shrimp and squid served with alioli)
  • Arroz de verduras y setas de temporada (traditional paella of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms)
  • Arroz a banda con bogavante (paella made with lobster and squid served with alioli.)
  • Arroz de pollo y setas silvestres (a traditional paella of chicken and chef selected mushrooms)

If you are sitting down with a large group (8 or more please) you can order and entire pan of paella to be presented tableside. Groups have the option of calling ahead (24 hours in advance) to request which one of the five paella recipes they would like to experience. The made to order paellas take 45 minutes to prep and cook, so let the sangria flow and settle in for a lengthy dining experience.

Seasonal Vegetable PaellaSeasonal Vegetable Paella
A Hearty PaellaA Hearty Paella
The Open Flame Paella PitThe Open Flame Paella Pit

No meal would be complete without including decadent desserts. From bright and refreshing seasonal sorbets, to a lush Basque-style cheesecake, or maybe even a rich Chocolate custard with caramelized bread, Jaleo has you covered. Our favorite of the bunch was definitely the Flan al estilo tradicional de mama Marisa con espuma de crema catalana. If you're a fan of flan, this super super light and fresh custard made with Catalan cream and oranges is the perfect way to finish off your time with Jose.

  • Citricos con helado de acite de oliva (Olive oil ice cream with grapefruit)
  • Quesada Asturiana (Basque-style cheesecake made with goat cheese, with seasonal sorbet)
  • Flan al estilo tradicional de mama Marisa con espuma de crema catalana (A classic Spanish custard with 'espuma' of Catalan cream and oranges)
  • Pan con chocolate (Chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream)
  • Helados y Sorbetes Caseros con 'Carquinyolis' (Choice of house-made ice cream or sorbets, with traditional Catalan crisp)

Assorted Desserts At JaleoAssorted Desserts At Jaleo
A Beautiful FlanA Beautiful Flan
Pan con ChocolatePan con Chocolate

For guests who like to let the Chef show off, Jaleo offers two levels of tasting menus. The Jaleo Experience is a tasty tour of Spain that showcases Jaleo's favorite traditional and modern tapas items. Or you can have it Jose's Way (boasted as the only way!) which offers selection of Jose Andres' favorite tapas and plates, for a grand culinary journey through Espana.

Want more of the good stuff on Jaleo by Jose Andres? Head on over to the Disney Food Blog and discover what they though in First Look and Review! The NEW Jaleo by Chef Jose Andres in Disney Springs.

Lisa B. wrote on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 13:06:

Lisa B.'s picture

I wish Chef Andres luck with Paleo but I didn't eat at Bongo's and I know I won't dine here. Just not my thing. I have more pedestrian taste buds.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 17:55:

Kristen K.'s picture

Lisa - You may like the quick service partner to this restaurant better. It's called Pepe and has a few yummy looking sandwiches. I'll review it in a couple of weeks.

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