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Pablo Carrion

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  1. Kimmo is a new ballsy chef in town. I just met him but I already know he is great cook and a greater person. You could'nt come up with his background even if you tried: Finnish by origin, he spent a stretch of time in Central America, cooked his way through some of the best kitchens in Berkley CA, he married a lovely New Hampshire girl, with whom he and has now landed straight into the brutal heart of Madrid. And we do know how brutal Madrid can be. His (and his patron's) is one of the bravest attempts to morph a traditional spanish tapas bar into a locally sourced menu based on top notch seasonal products that are treated with a lively and fresh approach definitley infused by the Berkley style, using combinations and condiments that veer away from the traditional spanish tastes: pretty much keep the base products that the local clients are accustomed to but take it up a notch. It is brave in that the restaurant is relying on the clients recognition of this talent and effort without the establishment making any real noise over it. The kitchen will shine through appears to be Kimmo's and the general mood here. This is not to say that the staff dont match the level of the food, as there is a sense that, subdued and modest as the place may be, there is a down to earthness and harmonious feeling that gives an impression that this operation is well oiled despite its youth. Just last night as highlights we enjoyed a delicious and intense spicy squid tomato bruschetta, a hearty pot of mussels cooked with garbanzo beans and chorizo, sweet fresh cod on a bed of spinach in a grapefruit beurre blanc sauce (incredibly good), beautiful sliced beef with cabbage and crumbled blue cheese accompanied by roasted sliced potatoes (with the skin kept on, you would think a simple detail but actually quite a rare treat in Spain). Talk about croquetas to Kimmo and he cringes...he didnt manage to get rid of them on the menu, but if you order them (accompanied by a sweet tomato dipping sauce) and bite into one you'll realise that he has reengineered them away from the classic jamon and bechamel into something quite more special. The desserts are few but very well executed. Apparently the chocolate cake is famous although I decline towards the creamy flan with biscuit base. Simple yet perfect. He's kept many of the dishes as starter or tapas, which means that, together with Doña Antonia's cosy but informal setting, you can enjoy tasting a greater variety of them. If you go there and check it out, you will most likely see Kimmo at some point, as he hits the dining area from time to time to see the reactions the clients are having to his bold new way of cooking. I'm hoping he'll get those reactions he is loooking for. Doña Antonia Calle de Huertas 4 TF: 91 1568208
  2. That's really a shame. I can only relate to her as I also closed my restaurant in december after battling with the council for over 4 years. We often discussed the difficulties we each had and tried to mutually boost morale. Recently serge and maria have also closed pancake. Too bad how inept the local govt is here. It really makes you want to take your business elsewhere.
  3. In Madrid also the newly reopened Mercado de San Miguel for luxury specialities and good tapas by the way. http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/ In San Sebastian the basement level of the Mercado de la Brexa especially for fish & seafood http://www.iberiarural.es/lugares-destacad...e-la-brecha.htm In Denia the Mercado Municipal has great products and you cant miss out on the Lonja ( fish and seafood auction market) http://www.denia.net/es/seccion/compras/mercados.asp
  4. LPQ is due to open soon in Madrid. Ive heard that it will be a big location on Fuencarral. Nahuel Román, who launched Giangrossi, will be the man behind Alain Coumont in Madrid.
  5. http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=vfBvbXyLfLA
  6. i have to agree mostly with that point, and if not try being on a vegetarian diet in spain... you will really get to know the ensalada mixta crossed with its asparagus (and make sure they hold the tuna and the eggs, please!), patatas bravas, pimientos...beyond that you better start closely interrogating the staff as to the menestra sauteed with ham, ditto the beans, peas or artichokes...which could be lireally swimming in pork fat... to give it flavour... Ok I may be exagerating, and one exception would be the grilled vegetable plate which is most often a delight. However, I ceratinly believe that we dont do as much justice as we could in the kitchen when it comes to the extraordinary vegetables that are available throughout spain. And I believe that its the case in general with local vegetables, not only in this country.
  7. thats too bad...why vegetables are too often limited to a garnish or as second place to the usual lineups of animal protein obsessed dishes, unsurprisingly resulting in heavy menus, is beyond me...if it were up to me, i would bias towards a delicately selected and cooked menu protagonised by the seasonal vegetable department, while maintaining the richness of few animal cuts. the same could be said for cereals, in particular wholegrains. but that is only my personal perspective and choice...
  8. if you want it spicier and hotter try Sudestada, especially their curries, although in a totally different, much simpler style of cuisine.
  9. These are EL MUNDO´s Metropoli recently released culinary awards for 2007: Restaurant of the year KABUKI WELLINGTON Finalists: DIVERXO, ZARANDA Top newcomer restaurants of the year DIVERXO, SENZONE (tied) Top traditional restaurant HORCHER Finalists: JOTA CINCO, ZORZAL Top out of town restaurant VILLENA (Segovia) Finalists: LA PARTIDA (Villanueva de la Cañada), R DEL CALLE (Aranjuez) Top foreign cuisine restaurant LAVINIA ESPACIO GASTRONOMICO Finalists: DON GIOVANNI, SAKE DINING HIMAWARI, ASTRID & GASTON, TRASMONTANO Top more than a restaurant RAMSES Finalists: ALBOROQUE, SULA Top up and coming chef FERNANDO DEL CERRO (Casa Jose, Aranjuez) Finalists: CESAR MARTIN (Balzac), DIEGO GUERRERO (Club Allard) Top sommelier RUT COTRONEO (Senzone) Finalists: OSCAR LOPEZ (Alboroque), DAVID ROBLEDO (Santceloni) Top maitre d' JOSE LUIS PEREIRA (Aldaba) Finalists: ISAAC GARCIA MESONERO (Gaztelupe), RAFAEL LOMAS (Lagrimas Negras) Top tapas or wine bar TABERNEROS Finalists: ESCAURI, MUSEO DE LA PATATA Top decoration LE GARAGE Finalists: LA TERRAZA DEL CASINO, FISH CLUB Top gourmet shop MANTEQUERIAS BRAVO, VIUDA DE CUENLLAS (tied) Finalists: LIVING IN LONDON, PLAISIR GOURMET Honorary awards Madrid: CUSTODIO ZAMARRA (Zalacain´s sommelier) Spain: LOLITA Y PAQUITA REXACH (Hispania) Worldwide: JACQUES MAXIMIN (Ex chef Table d'Ámis)
  10. William, I was at Azurmendi last year for the first time, here is my post: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...=entry1444919 I hope it is useful
  11. Theres something genuinely evil about Etxebarri in that it keeps me from trying other places, I just keep wanting to go back there...I see some updates on the menu, so Ill just have to back once again.
  12. On Saturday I went back to el Riscal to taste their ox meat again, first as a delicious carpaccio and then sliced quite thinly, across the grain, to cook on the dreaded hot plate. We then tasted another cut, which was slightly thicker and even more tender. The meat looked like the best jamon iberico or kobe, vibrant in colour and very well veined with fat. It was so good that I ate it practically raw.
  13. I would ban the hot plate concept altogether (just kidding...not!), best way to ruin meat, easiest way to overcook it and end up boiling it, and come out smelling like a greasy spoon...ill take a master grilling it expertly for me over charcoal any day over that.
  14. This place is interesting, http://www.elriscal.com/index1.htm they rear their own oxen, feed them with grain and alcohol, not quite Kobe, but very good. Unfortunately in the restaurant they only offer slices of lomo de buey cooked at the table on hot earthenware plates, so you dont get to have the rib steak, which would probably be delicious. Bedua also serves very good chuleta http://www.bedua.es/ and so does Epeleta http://www.elanuario.net/idEmpresa/55760/ficha.asp but then there are so many great asadores up there.
  15. I think you are right for the majority of sales, bread is a democratic buy most of the time. However, a lesser % of the time it is a specialty buy, and times are changing over here, you can see that from the amount of specialty shops cropping about. Of course lets see how many of them make it through the first year, and much will be up to the quality and uniqueness of their produce and service. I wish we got more of the regional breads you mention in Madrid. Whilst a democratic loaf will always be price oriented, I quite welcome some quality competition to the faux artisanal and frozen bread so many of the industrialized bakery chains are offering, some of them not so cheap either. I think there is certainly a growing market for really good stuff, both here and over in other markets like the US, if not ask Sergi, he's had to instigate a croissant quotia (as Mark did with his bread) and he's already thinking of moving the bakery to another location to deal with the demand he's had in the 6 months he's been open for.
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