Welcome to Estadio, a fun, convivial restaurant serving contemporary Spanish cuisine in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Executive Chef Haidar Karoum teams with Chef de Cuisine Ruffino Bautista to offer a small-plates-dominated menu focusing on Northern Spanish cuisine, consisting principally of the chefs' interpretations of classic dishes found in the country's Basque and Catalan regions. The restaurant serves little bites or "pintxos," traditional tapas, and small entrees or "raciones," and has an exceptional selection of Spanish quesos (cheese) and embutidos (charcuterie).
Estadio's wine program includes over 250 labels, more than 90% of which are Spanish, with a smattering of South American, Portuguese and domestic wines, all housed in custom temperature controlled wine vaults that greet guests upon entry into the restaurant. Affordable selections of Cava, Txakoli, Rioja and Sherry dominate the list, while a few high-end offerings from wineries such as Dominio de Pingus, Lopez de Heredia, and Vega Sicilia complete the selections. An Enomatic machine dispenses the restaurant's extensive by-the-glass offerings, including eight whites and eight reds. An inventive cocktail menu that includes frozen alcoholic "slushitos," Porrons, Sangria and Sherry concoctions, as well as a thoughtful selection of Spanish and domestic craft beers, round out Estadio's beverage program.
Grizform Design handled Estadio's design, adorning the space with 19th century Spanish tile, Spanish marble, and custom steel and wood chairs and stools. Reclaimed timber and iron communal tables share space in the dining room with custom wrought iron rosette panels. Brushed with a terra cotta palette, Estadio's walls play on the restaurant's theatrical name with bull fighting and flamenco murals. A 26-seat semi-private dining room is available for parties of 9 or more.
About Executive Chef Haidar Karoum and Chef de Cuisine Ruffino Bautista
Haidar Karoum is the Executive Chef of Proof, the 120-seat wine-centric restaurant, featuring modern American cuisine, and Estadio, a 115-seat restaurant featuring contemporary Spanish cuisine. A Washington, DC native, Chef Karoum traveled extensively throughout Europe with his family, becoming familiar with different foods and cultures at a young age. He was captivated by the culinary world, finding inspiration not only in noteworthy gastronomy havens, such as Harrod's food hall, but also at home. His Lebanese father, an excellent cook, instilled in him a love for Mediterranean flavors which, in turn, has influenced Chef Karoum's menu at Proof.
Chef Karoum attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), completing an extended externship at Michel Richard Citronelle before graduating in 1995 with his associate's degree in culinary arts. After serving as a line cook at Gerard's Place, Chef Karoum returned to the CIA pursue his bachelor's degree in culinary management.
In 1998, Chef Karoum joined Restaurant Nora as Sous Chef for restaurateur Nora Poullion. Poullion's dedication to local and organic produce greatly influenced Chef Karoum's cooking. He developed strong relationships with farmer suppliers himself, most notably Path Valley Growers, a collective of Amish farmers located in South Central Pennsylvania dedicated to sustainable agriculture, and Tuscarora Organic Growers, a cooperative that manages 30 acres of organic grounds in Pennsylvania for fruits and vegetables.
After a two-year stint at Restaurant Nora, including a promotion to Chef de Cuisine, Chef Karoum was asked to head the kitchen at sister restaurant, Asia Nora. As Executive Chef, Chef Karoum immersed himself in Eastern flavor profiles, learning to meld Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and Japanese influences into his seasonal, organic menu. He also developed significant seafood supplier relationships, working with Jim Chambers of Prime Seafood, with whom Chef Karoum bonded over their shared interest in fishing, and Nancy Hill of Morningstar Seafood, who supplied Chef Karoum with day boat scallops and fresh Peekytoe crab meat that she purchased directly off the docks in Stonington, Maine.
In January 2007, Chef Karoum left Asia Nora to become Executive Chef of Proof, bringing with him the passion for locally grown and organically raised produce that he has developed throughout his career. Chef Karoum's menu at Proof features clean, balanced dishes that depend upon on fresh, seasonal ingredients, farm-raised meats and Mediterranean and Asian influences to complement the restaurant's 1200+ bottle wine list.
In July 2010, Proof owner Mark Kuller asked Chef Karoum to also assume the role of Executive Chef at Estadio, his new contemporary Spanish restaurant in Washington, DC. Prior to the Estadio's opening, Chef Karoum traveled extensively throughout Spain familiarizing himself with the techniques and tastes of country's varied cuisine. At Estadio, Chef Karoum teams with Chef de Cuisine Ruffino Bautista to offer modern interpretations of classic Spanish dishes with a focus on the cuisine of the Basque and Catalan regions of Northern Spain. Despite this international focus, Chef Karoum stays true to his goal of incorporating the finest seasonal and local ingredients into Estadio's menu.
Ruffino Bautista, Chef de Cuisine
Ruffino Bautista, Originally from Intipuca, El Salvador, was raised on a farm just outside of the city. As a young man, he helped his father with the daily chores of tending to the animals and maintaining the fields. This is where Chef Bautista developed his understanding and passion for food.
In 1996, Ruffino moved to Washington D.C. where he found restaurant work as a busser. Looking for something more challenging he applied to Asia Nora, where he first met Chef Haidar Karoum. Ruffino started out as the restaurant's expeditor, one of the most demanding positions in any restaurant. Chef Karoum took notice of Ruffino's abilities and brought him into the kitchen full time, where he taught him the fundamentals of technique.
When Mark Kuller and Chef Karoum opened Proof they brought Ruffino along, first as a line cook and subsequently as Proof's sous chef. At Proof, Chef Bautista honed his culinary skills, helping Haidar and the kitchen create one of DC's culinary destinations. When Estadio opened, Ruffino was tapped to be the restaurant's Chef de Cuisine, where he works closely with Chef Karoum to fashion and execute Estadio's contemporary but classic Spanish menu.