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robert brown

Madrid Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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i am looking for another top class restaurant in madrid to dine in for lunch on a wednesday in january. i have already booked sant celoni and la broche and i would be looking for something along the same lines in inventiveness and modern style. any help would be grateful.

simon

If you can get out to Humanes de Madrid, some 26k south of Madrid, there is no finer food, nor more successfully creative, in Madrid. Of course my experience is a bit limited and some people tell me El Bohio is as good, but I believe that's even further from the city. Anyway, I believe it was named as the best new restaurant in Madrid by El Mundo last year. Vserna has touted it here in the forum and it was the best meal we've had in the immediate area. For all the creative and inventive food available, you should not neglect the roast pig, which was the last savory course on our menu, but I don't know if it's on the standard gastronomic menu. In Madrid, I'd also recommend Viridiana, although it's not in the contemporary mold as much. It still offers a very personal and creative cuisine. Locals may have new suggestions for hot spots.

Coque

Viridiana

I see Rogelio beat me to the punch. I started this post and went out to lunch before looking up the URLs for the restaurants. I'd expect to find Coque's address on it's web site and maybe hope for a locational map, but instead I get a tricky site long on special affects that may or may not load on my computer, and short on the necessary information a prospective diner may need. The address for Coque is:

C/ Francisco Encinas, 8

28970 Humanes de Madrid

Tel. 91 604 02 02 - 91 604 22 37

I don't know if the second telephone number is an alternate or fax.

The Michelin web site should be able to plan your route from Madrid to the restaurant.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I see Rogelio beat me to the punch.

:biggrin: Well Bux, that wasn't intended.

About El Casino, I haven't been there and acording to the press thay are now in to the nitro-cuisinne. Maybe Simon is interested in that area. Just one advice, Suit and Tie are required.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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thanks bux and rogelio.

unless i can persuade the other half to leave madrid for the day i wont be able to get to coque this time but now i know of it i am certainly interested. the casino interests me as i missed out on reservations this year at bulli but this is ferrans madrid outlet i have read. thanks for the suit advice i normally wear a suit in michelin restaurants but after being in donostia and barcelona i felt a bit out of place being the only one in a tie. so thanks for the pre warning.

i saw that coque won restaurant of the year last year about this time , who is up for it this year by any chance.

regards

simon

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Coque is the best restaurant in greater Madrid right now, IMHO. La Broche/Santceloni follow, both with the same peccadillo: a certain lack of consistency. Then it's El Bohío.

Among traditional restaurants, my ranking would be Casa d'a Troya, Dantxari, Támara-Lorenzo, Casa Julián, De la Riva.

The top international restaurant right now might be Asia Gallery.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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As an aside about dress in Spain's top restaurants, I'd say that maybe ten years ago I'd have thought of Spaniards as among the most over dressed and conservative of diners. That may have come from seeing them as tourists in French restaurants, but I think there's been a major shift in attitudes in Spain in terms of dress. This is especially true once you leave Madrid. Of course this is the trend in France and perhaps all over as well. Three stars no longer necessarily means jacket and tie.

We enjoyed Santceloni, we weren't really wowed by La Broche, but Coque was impressively rewarding. Of those three, La Broche was the only one in which we didn't just put ourselves in the hands of the chef or order the tasting menu, so we probably owe it another shot.

It's interesting that Adrià has a connection with Casino, yet we don't hear much about it here. I'd really look forward to a report if you go.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Ginger chef, I have a different view on the order in the list vserna gave. Were it not for a visit I made to La Broche earlier this month, I would also have had something to say about including La Broche in that pack.

In my three of four visits to Coque, I've always asked for the longest tasting menu, and I always left the dining room thinking that next time I should order a la carte. Last time, back in late October/early November, the meal really saw quite a few of the dishes go by before starting to take off. In all these visits, I've left sensing a great potential in the kitchen with a few examples of what i can achieve when this potential fully develops. IMHO, it hasn't done it yet.

Keep in mind that La Broche and Sant Celoni are two completely different animals regarding their cuisines. Perhaps not as different as they would have been when Arola opened his restaurant (were Sant Celoni opened back then), since I believe that Arola's style is not following Adrià's principles today as much as it did in the past. Still, you'll find a more classical approach at Sant Celoni than at La Broche.

When inspired, Juan Pablo Felipe, at El Chaflán, is also able to deliver an excellent meal.

The top international restaurant right now might be Asia Gallery.

Víctor, would you put Asia Gallery (which I haven't visited yet) above Kabuki?


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Víctor, would you put Asia Gallery (which I haven't visited yet) above Kabuki?

Kabuki, to me, is a Japanese-inspired modern restaurant rather than a Japanese restaurant. It's run by Spaniards. It's a great place, though! Particularly the sushi bar and all the cold foods; the kitchen is more uneven. Asia Gallery has some scrumptious traditional Pekingese and Cantonese dishes, plus great service and a killer setting. They're two very different places.

Then again, perhaps Ars Vivendi is No. 1?

And... :hmmm: you're wrong about Coque, if you'll allow me to say so. To me it is definitely, after a number of meals (with and without prix fixe menus), the most interesting, personal and talent-laden place in Madrid. I think Bux will concur with me on that one.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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And...  :hmmm:  you're wrong about Coque, if you'll allow me to say so. To me it is definitely, after a number of meals (with and without prix fixe menus), the most interesting, personal and talent-laden place in Madrid. I think Bux will concur with me on that one.

I can only concur to the extent that our lunch there was probably the most interesting, personal and talent laden meal I've had in or around Madrid. There are places in which I still haven't eaten and I'm not prone to make absolute statements about a restaurant on the basis of one meal. In fact, I'm rather reluctant to make too qualitative a comparison between excellent restaurants after only brief encouters, but my previous statement sums up my feeling about Coque -- ". . . it was the best meal we've had in the immediate area [of Madrid]."

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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In fact, I'm rather reluctant to make too qualitative a comparison between excellent restaurants after only brief encouters

I can now report that Pedro and I have agreed to settle our differences over this one at high noon of a day during this month of January, in a shootout at Coque Corral, forks drawn and gunning away. The survivor will report back.


Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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High noon seems awfully early for lunch in Spain. I regret I won't be around to referee the meal.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I think I'll be more than happy to lose this particular duel. Provided that I survive, of course.

My seconds will contact yours. Let's hope the restaurant is still there after the duel.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Simon, perhaps you want to take a look to this thread, which lots of directions of interesting food addresses in Madrid.

In the center, if by that we understand the surroundings of Puerta del Sol, there's a good selection of culinary books at the La Casa del Libro in the Gran Vía.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I just got in to Madrid and I was heading to eat at Taberneros. I went early and they told me to come back at 1:30. I came back then and he shook his finger at me. I think I may have annoyed him with my lack of Spanish. Anyway I went next door to Mason Bar Serranillo Avila (directly next door to the left) and had an incredible lunch. Soup Casado (sp?), braised lamb with fried potatoes, coffee and two glasses of Calvin Riesgo, Soto del Zagal for 6€. I think I will return for dinner.


"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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ate at sant celoni last week, by far the most consistent meal i had of the three in madrid. flavours very good and service excellent it was more of a 2 star experience than its neighbour. but the styles of the two are very different, sant celoni was more french classical, working on good sauces and accurate cooking, while la broche was a bit gimmicky and faultered at main course. the casino was entertaining but service was weak and in a very ugly room. el bulli through and through but nothing new mainly his older stuff but for people who havent had an el bulli experience it is a good taster. the desserts though were excellent.

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ate at sant celoni last week, by far the most consistent meal i had of the three in madrid. flavours very good and service excellent it was more of a 2 star experience than its neighbour. but the styles of the two are very different, sant celoni was more french classical, working on good sauces and accurate cooking, while la broche was a bit gimmicky and faultered at main course. the casino was entertaining but service was weak and in a very ugly room. el bulli through and through but nothing new mainly his older stuff but for people who havent had an el bulli experience it is a good taster. the desserts though were excellent.

Fully agree about Sant Celoni. The only problem I had about it was that the last time we were there if was a painful (at least for Spain) 250€ per head (and 180€ the one before WITHOUT WINE...)

Cheers,

Luis

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Shame about missing Coque - really the most interesting ongoing culinary project in the Madrid region.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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I had a long drawn out lunch at Coque last year and I am looking forward to repeat it this coming march.

The best dish was the traditional roasted suckling pig which was sublime. Their becada was not as good as the Goizeko Kabi version. They cooked it too much. Perhaps it was not aged too.

There is a dualism in the kitchen between the old and the new which is not synthesized yet. I noticed that some dishes which were served to regulars from a la carte menu looked delicious. The young chef is trying to combine discordant tastes to show off some experiments in texture(such as foie gras and espardenyes)but the results are not wholly convincing yet. That is, there is not enough clarity to certain tastes and the combination is not wholly worked out.

This said, conceptually the cuisine is impressive and they are they have tremendous respect for the raw material. Despite some flaws I liked my meal there more than (a bit gimmicky) La Broche. I am actually stunned that Coque is left out of LMG by Garcia Santos. If the chef adheres to Adria's advice("creativity is not imitating and it is about finding your own style"), I am confident that he will start challenging Massimiliano (at Le Calandre) as the most exciting chef in Europe who is hardly 30 years old.

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There is a dualism in the kitchen between the old and the new which is not synthesized yet

What "dualism" is this, Vedat? The only thing old on the menu is the family-style roast suckling pig. Everything else is cutting-edge modern at Coque.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Am I mistaken, or is the roast suckling pig not prepared by the brother of the chef who is responsible for the rest of the menu? It also seems as if many modern chefs won't give up their cochinillo. It was not an unusual closer to a creative menu on our last trip. Perhaps nowhere was it better than at Coque.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Cochinillo is one thing in the menu but everybody orders it and for good reason. I have never put such a tasty pig to my mouth to my detriment--it became the standard against which I judge others. So I called it a dualism because the old asador is coexisting with the new cutting edge cuisine. It is the same in Fagollago(another quite young chef but the reputation comes from the traditional asador and it is an old, 99 years old restaurant but there suckling lamb is the raision d'etre). Personally I do not want the dualism to be resolved in favor of one end or the other. It is a good thing.

At the same time, Victor, I saw that most locals ate top grade jamon and rillettes before proceeding to the pig and they did not order the creative dishes. The jamon plate may or may not have been in the menu I have seen but they were eating with such gusto and appetite that I took a mental note of asking it the next time. In the meantime I looked at my notes and found that both the espardenyes and carabineros were top notch but the preparations had not fully achieved a transcendental quality, the quality that some dishes prepared by the other under 30, Massimiliano Alejmo is capable of achieving. But Alejmo has clerked both at Veyrat (and I believe Adria) and the "brother" Bux is mentioning(I was told there are 4 of them and one is the sommelier) perhaps has not had the chance of making his rounds in the leading establishments. He(whoever among the 4 is preparing the creative dishes) has great raw talent. Had I not eaten the espardenyes with lamb brain at Adria, I may have fallen head over heels for Coque version with duck foie gras(instead of brain)but, it was not yet at the very exalted level. This is how my mind works: if I think a dish is worth thinking about, I compare it against the very best in the same category and ask myself whether something can be done to improve it. I also like giving scores and ranking things-- a professional deformation of being an academic for some time. Fortunately, this practice does not deduct from my enjoyment level. At this point I will judge Coque to be an excellent restaurant, honest and it has the potential of joining the ranks of the great ones in Spain(the 4, 3 stars, despite stylistic differences are culinary forces to reckon with), but it was not there about 12 months ago. I am very excited to have the opportunity to return and I also have a mental note of the hospitality they accorded us which made me feel that I was home away from home.

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The jamon plate may or may not have been in the menu

In many Spanish restaurants they won't include the ham in the menu - you just order it. No top-notch place will be without some top-notch ham.

Mario Sandoval has undergone some of the most thorough schooling any young chef has had in the world: Berasategui, Adrià, Santamaria, Arzak, Subijana, Bras and Madrid's Zalacain and Cenador de Salvador.

His brother only cooks the suckling pig - period. He needed no other schooling than watching his forebearsdo it since he was a child.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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If you can get out to Humanes de Madrid, some 26k south of Madrid, there is no finer food, nor more successfully creative, in Madrid. Of course my experience is a bit limited and some people tell me El Bohio is as good, but I believe that's even further from the city. Anyway, I believe it was named as the best new restaurant in Madrid by El Mundo last year. Vserna has touted it here in the forum and it was the best meal we've had in the immediate area. For all the creative and inventive food available, you should not neglect the roast pig, which was the last savory course on our menu, but I don't know if it's on the standard gastronomic menu. In Madrid, I'd also recommend Viridiana, although it's not in the contemporary mold as much. It still offers a very personal and creative cuisine. Locals may have new suggestions for hot spots.

Coque

Viridiana

I see Coque has two tasting menues, at 60 and 90 EUR. Does Viridiana offer one?

And regarding Coque's, can anyone comment on either/both menues? Is Humanes only accessible by car? if so, how much would a taxi cost approximately?

I'm going to Madrid and the wife is allowing me ONE night only for culinary debauchery... so little time, so many restaurants...

Silly.


Edited by Silly Disciple (log)

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

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I see Coque has two tasting menues, at 60 and 90 EUR. Does Viridiana offer one?

And regarding Coque's, can anyone comment on either/both menues? Is Humanes only accessible by car? if so, how much would a taxi cost approximately?

I'm going to Madrid and the wife is allowing me ONE night only for culinary debauchery... so little time, so many restaurants...

Silly.

If I only had one meal in Madrid I'd go to one of the restaurants in town, and wouldn't bother travelling (after all you have already travelled to Madrid...) :wink:

Viridiana does have a tasting menu, it's called El Menú de Abraham and changes daily. It normally also include wines. Highly recommended, number of dishes and quantities are enoumous. You might not be able to eat everything! I think around 100 €, but not 100% sure.

The other places could be Santceloni (prepare yourself to fork out 150+ per head), La Broche or La Terraza del Casino. I'd go to Viridiana myself.

Let us know how it goes.

Cheers,

Luis

Edited to correct spelling mistakes. Laying in the sofa Satuday night is not the best for typying!


Edited by Luis Gutiérrez (log)

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