Jaleo brings the flavours of Spain to Florida!
A new addition to the line-up of foodie offerings at Disney Springs, the long-awaited Jaleo – the brainchild of renowned Michelin-starred chef José Andrés – finally threw open its doors to diners in mid-March and brings the spirit and flavours of Spain to Florida!
With origins in Washington DC, where the first restaurant (which was awarded the coveted Bib Gourmand in both 2017 and 2018), opened back in 1993, Jaleo aims to represent the spirit of modern Spain. Over in Florida, this 22,000 sq ft multi-level venue is the fifth and largest addition to the Jaleo family; and is positioned on the waterfront area of Disney Springs’ West Side – the retail, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World.
Designed as a celebration of Spanish culture and food, merged with a splash of Disney magic, Jaleo is an eye-catching artichoke-shaped building featuring plenty of copper and glass. Inside, warm Mediterranean red, orange and yellow are the predominant colours, with traditional Spanish tiles adorning the floors. Be sure to look at the two large photo prints that dominate the restaurant – one of a traditional bullfighter, the other of the sandy La Concha beach in San Sebastián, representing the landscape and people of Spain. The food too is bold and vibrant, just like the décor!
“Disney World is the place for fantasies and for dreams, so we had to do something different for this version of Jaleo” – Architect Juli Capella
Enjoy a range of authentic traditional and contemporary Spanish meat, fish and vegetable dishes such as tapas or paella, sample some refreshing sangria or just watch in awe as meat and paellas are cooked over a wood fire at the heart of the restaurant.
With such an extensive menu you won’t know where to start! There is also a kids menu – which offers smaller versions of many adult dishes catering to children’s appetites. For a touch of Disney magic, look out for the croquetas de pollo being served up – these traditional chicken fritters come on a ceramic Cinderella-style cushion as a nod to the restaurant’s location!
Sample the 36-48-month cured Iberico ham, which is hand-carved tableside, or, as sharing is at the heart of Jaleo, and many of the dishes on the menu reflect this, try the torta pascualete – raw sheep milk cheese served with toasted bread, quince paste and fig jam – there’s plenty to share with the family! If you want to try a selection of cured Iberico meats, order up the seleccion de iberiocos, which come with pan feo – a type of breadstick.
Why not share a paella? Every night two of the paellas on the menu are available, though if you want a specific one for your visit the restaurant asks that you call 24 hours in advance to place your order. Entire pans are prepared and presented for eight or more guests, or you can order by the plate!
For the full Jaleo experience select from one of the two Chef’s Tasting Menus, either the Jaleo Experience at $70 per head, or Jose’s Way at $110 per head, which promise to take you on a journey of Spain, via a delicious selection of Jose’s favourite dishes. Whichever of these menus you choose you will get about 13 courses – though to reflect the higher price point Jose’s Way includes some slightly more substantial off-menu choices. If you want to check out the whole menu and prices, take a look the Disney Springs page on the Jaleo website.
If you haven’t got time for a full sit-down meal, then right next to the restaurant is Pepe by José Andrés; the brick-built Disney Springs take on the food truck that has proved popular with Washington, D.C. diners for more than six years. As with Jaleo, the architect Juli Capella came up with the design of the building, which includes a wall mural from famed Minorcan artist Marc Jesús and features his signature blue-skinned characters. Choose from a range of sandwiches, salads and gazpacho – you can even grab a refreshing glass of sangria – complete with cooling sangria ice cubes! Why not have a look at the menu to see what tempts your taste buds the most!
Do you think that you will stop off for dinner or lunch at either Jaleo or Pepe? Which items from the menu do you think that you would like to try? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new restaurant, so get in touch!
Address: 1482 Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32836
Jaleo and Pepe opening hours: Open daily 11:30am – 11:00pm