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robert brown

Madrid Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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Hi,

I'll be in Madrid from tomorrow afternoon till sunday afternoon;

tomorrow's diner is already booked, but I am looking for reco for my 3 other meals.

I am considering DASSA BASSA, but am also looking for simple but great tapas bar, or anything else that is worthing it.

thanks a lot


Let Eat Be

Food, Wine & other Delights

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If I only had to choose one meal in Madrid I'd go to Viridiana and ask for the chef's menu.

About tapas my actual (and always) favourites are Casa Lucas at Cava Baja street for the food and the ambience of the area and Asturianos in Chamberí area for the food, wines and fun.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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If I only had to choose one meal in Madrid I'd go to Viridiana and ask for the chef's menu.

About tapas my actual (and always) favourites are Casa Lucas at Cava Baja street for the food and the ambience of the area and Asturianos in Chamberí area for the food, wines and fun.

Viridiana offers a good blend of creativity and satisfaction. If there's a fault, it's that you may get too much food.

Asturianos is the only place in Madrid to which we've been three times. It's the ideal place when we don't want a formal meal. We've always just shared plates with however large a group we are with. That's been from three to maybe seven or eight. Rogelio's our "go to" guy for tapas bars and especially the Cava Baja, but I'll add Taberna Temperanillo to his recommendation of Casa Lucas as you can't really appreciate the street without trying a few places. I can't swear that many of the other places will come close in the food department. We did notice Orixe, and I hope I have the name correct, on Cava Baja. It's brand new and rather upscale, but it looked inviting and as much as I could read the review in Spanish it sounded worth a try. It appears to be a real restaurant, but I had the impression it also served tapas. The review, by the way, was mentioned in one of Rogelio's digest posts this year. Cava Baja is a stone's throw from the Plaza Mayor, a lovely place to sit with a beer perhaps, but I'd suggest you pass the opportunity to have some tapas there.

Not necessarily representative of anything, but just outside the plaza is this little place we skipped in our search for lunch. Nothing personal, I've skipped Mr. Patate in France and I assure you I'd likely skip Mr. Gaspacho or Mr. Paella as well. Without further comment I present Mr. Shawarama and his Iraki comidas.

gallery_9_1353_15976.jpg


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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Mr. Shwarma is definitely skippable.

More tapas in the Cava Baja/La Latina constellation...

Taberna Almendro (c/Almendro) for roscas and huevos rotos and sherry... Marisqueria La Paloma (c/Toledo) for gambas and raw oysters... Toma Jamon (c/Calatrava) for, well, jamon... The aforementioned Tempranillo (Cava Baja) for great wine by the glass... Juana la loca (Plaza de la Cebada) for pintxos.... Sanlucar for tortillitas de camarones and sherry...

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A bit late, but I've been away. The two most impressive new restaurants in Madrid over the past few months have been (to my taste, of course), El Patio de Leo and Antojo. Good stuff, modern with roots, no excessive display of technology...

More (addresses and such) here:

http://www.elmundo.es/metropoli/restaurant...o_criticas.html


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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thanks to you for your advices.

As my trip has been shortened, I only had the chance to give a try to DASSA BASSA.

as bunch of friends has told me great things about it.

well, rather have been for a cerveza i bocadillos instead.

the chief seems to be an ex elbulli-an. we were served sfericos de..... , marshamallow of...... but not a single dish was memorable, some of them were even not finished.

ok 50 euros for a degustation menu is more than correct especially for me who live in Paris; but it's far too much for what I got, not to mention 3 glasses out 4 were notched or broken, and the waiters ( not sure about the term in english) succeded in beeing the noisiest I have ever seen !

I wasn't expecting anything in particular but a nice meal, and maybe I was there a wrong night, but it was not a good experience....too bad


Let Eat Be

Food, Wine & other Delights

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Creative cuisine is alive and well in Spain, in many different forms, but Adrià's brand may not survive as well outside of elBulli, even in his own restaurants. See vserna's comments here.


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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Bux, I do totaly agree w/ you.

in fact I had my2nd meal at el bulli 2 weeks ago and it still was amazing, and going to Dassa Bassa, I was not expecting a "bulli-like" meal, just a good modern spanish food.

It reminds me of a LAfontaine's fable about a frog wanting to appear as big as a beef ( my english translation might not sounds great ;-) : I think it's great to offer a degustation menu at that price, but before that make sure you have qualified enough waiters and correct glasses. I also had lunch at cellar de can roca 2 weeks ago, and I'd say there is kind of a gap between those 2 restaurants.


Let Eat Be

Food, Wine & other Delights

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Based on my meal there last month, I'd have to say that Celler de Can Roca has to be one of the best restaurants in Spain, Europe and the Western World in terms of food, waiters and correct glasses. I thought it was a restaurant operating at the highest level in just about all the ways you could expect from a restaurant, but that's for another thread, perhaps here.

I believe Antojo was first brought to our attention in the forum by Pedro


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'm bumping this thread up to the top, because I have basically the same question.

My train from Toledo is arriving at 9:30, and my flight to Munich isn't departing until 4:30. So I'm looking for a top-class restaurant for lunch.

Coque sounds great, but is it too far? I'd be taking taxis, or the train, to and from the restaurant.

Anyone care to meet me for lunch on Sunday?

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Remember that no top Madrid restaurant will serve you lunch before 2 PM, and that you must be at the airport by 3.45 PM for a 4.30 PM flight. Looks too tight to me. Támara-Restaurante Lorenzo is a 5-minute taxi drive to the airport, so that would be one (iffy) possibility.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Remember that no top Madrid restaurant will serve you lunch before 2 PM, and that you must be at the airport by 3.45 PM for a 4.30 PM flight. Looks too tight to me. Támara-Restaurante Lorenzo is a 5-minute taxi drive to the airport, so that would be one (iffy) possibility.

3:45 at the airport for a 4:30 flight is what seems tight to me! Go to the wrong terminal, find a queue at the desk or to go through customs and you can look for a place to have dinner in Madrid that night! :wink:

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This is a recap of my 7 days/nights of eating in Madrid & Barcelona.

We had some really good eats thanks to recommendations from egullet, chowhound and other sites.

Madrid

--------

Arrived in Madrid Sunday afternoon to find out that almost everyone had booked their favorite restaurant for Sunday lunch. Asador Aranda & Asador Tierra Aranda were both full. By chance bumped into El Cantábrico, a marisco serving mainly chilled cooked seafood on Calle Padilla. Their cold gambas was one of the best gambas dish of the trip. Nicely flavored & succulent. Cold Necora(crab) was good. Choriso was tasty, the potato chips was pretty good. Overall Rating – Very Good.

Sunday dinner was at Cazorla Restaurante on Montessa. It’s a small restaurant w. a small bar area in the front for tapas. Their apps of Gamblas al Aijillo , Mixed Fry & Sepia a la Plancha were all great. The small order of Mixed Fry was a tremendous bargain(11 Euros) consisting of a huge platter of deep fried sardines, baby flounders, navajas, scallops, zucchini, calamari, pulpito and a single cigale. The mains were less extraordinary. The baby lamb chops & baby goat leg were pretty good, the seabass was good. One can have an excellent meal based soley on the seafood apps. Overall Rating – Very, Very Good.

Monday Lunch was at Julian de Tolosa on Cava Baja. Had an amuse of tasty small deep fried sausages. Started w. the Jamon & Lomo de Iberico - very good. For mains had the Chuleton de Buey & Fried Hake. Both very good. The roasted pimiento was tasty and abit pricey. The steak while very good was not as good as the ones at Trattoria Sostanza in Florence, which I consider outstanding. I also consider the Boeuf Grillee at Per Se & the Rib Eye steak at Daniel to be better than Julian’s. Overall Rating – Very Good.

Monday Dinner was at Viridiana on Juan de Mensa. The meal consisted of 4 apps, 2 entrees and 3 deserts. All the portions were very generous. The egg w. mushroom puree & black truffle sauce was outstanding. On a similar level to Per Se’s “Oysters and Pearls”. The sirloin tip w. mushrooms and the various deserts(in particular the sorbets) were great. A very nice touch was the sweetened fresh mint tea. Overall Rating – Great.

Tuesday Lunch was at El Ventorrillo Murciano. Had the mixed fried sausages(very good), grilled vegetables(very, very good), and arroz con carabineros(very, very good). The Carabineros were humongous bright red colored “armored” shrimp-like creatures that imo taste like lobster. Overall Rating – Very, very Good.

Last dinner in Madrid was at Combarro on Jose Ortega y Gasset. Shared some shellfish apps of Langoustines a la Plancha, Cigales a la Plancha and Scallops a la Naturale. The Langoustines(large prawn) were grilled w. oil & salt and tasted great. The Cigales grilled a la Plancha were outstanding. It was one of my favorite shellfish dishes. The Scallops a la naturale were broiled in it’s shell w. oil, chopped onions & bacon bits. It was abit overcooked but still good. Mains consisted of Monkfish, Sea bass and Turbot all cooked a la Plancha. The fish dishes on average were very good but lacked the cooking expertise of a Con Roca or Abac. Overall Rating – Very, very good.

Barcelona

------------

Arrived in Barcelona Wed afternoon. Had lunch at Universal Kiosko in the Boqueria Mkt. Had the navajas, almejas, setas, gambas & pulpo gallego. Thought the almejas and setas were great. Others thought the navajes were also great(sweet and tender). Overall Rating – very, very good.

Wed dinner was at Cinc Sentits. The cava sabayon shot didn’t do much for me. The other amuses: foie grois torchon & quail egg were great. There was a dish of cigale tail & seafood flavored tapioca. The cigale tail was sweet & cooked just right. However, the tapioca portion didn’t work for me. A fish dish w. asparagus tips was great. The lamb chop w. porcini crust was good. The Pana Cotta desert was very good, The hazelnut parfait was good. Overall Rating – very good.

Thurs lunch was at Quimet i Quimet. Had the assorted preserved seafood(good). I liked the smaller preserved almejas the most. The bacalao con olives tapa was very , very good. The bacalao was very succulent. The salmon, yogurt & honey tapa was great. Leave it to the Spaniards to make an extremely tasty “salmon & cream cheese” tapas. The bouquerones & pate tapas were also very good. I found the food quite imaginative w. very nice combination of flavors. Overall Rating – Very, very good.

Thursday night was drizzly so we opted to goto Cal Pep for dinner. The almejas was a great dish. The tuna tartare & pulpito frito were very, very good. The navaje was very good but not as good as the ones at Kiosko. The raved about fried artichokes were merely good. The arroz w. pulopito was abit salty but good. The pan amb tomaquet had bread that was quite hard. I’ve had better and fresher pan amb tomaquet at Casa Mono in NYC. Overall Rating – very good.

Friday Lunch was at Cellar de Con Roca :smile: . Standout dishes were the cheese tapas, Scallops, Red Mullet , Roasted Lamb & the deserts. The smoked tuna was delicate and very good. The Foie Gras Turron was like a luxurious chocolate bar and tasted very good. Also very good and quite imaginative were the cold apple soup & the cheese and onion soup. The pigeon w. rice was very good. I thought the food was the most creative of the whole trip. Overall Rating – Great.

Friday Dinner was at Sauc. Standout dishes were the sorbet, San Pedro fish dish and the Roasted iberic suckling pig. The suckling pig skin was paper thin! The pig could have been alittle moister and alittle more sauce would have been nice. Overall Rating – Very, very good.

Saturday Lunch was at a nondescript indian restaurant off of Placa de Espana. The chicken schwarma was very good.

Saturday Dinner was at Abac at the Park hotel. We asked for the their signature dishes to be included in our tasting menu. Standout dishes were the scallops w. suquet sauce, seabass w. Pirorat sauce, Roasted Iberic suckling pig & the petit fours. Service was the best of the whole trip and better service than what I’ve experienced in NYC(Per Se, Jean Georges, Daniel,…). Overall Rating : Great.

ChowAlf

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You seem to have visited all our favourites places. Glad that you liked them all.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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You seem to have visited all our favourites places. Glad that you liked them all.

Thanks to the people here at egullet, I believe I made the most of my limited number of meals in both city.

Special thanks to Docsconz, Silly Disciple, Bux and many others for their insight.

ChowAlf

p.s.: forgot to mention that while at Con Roca,

overheard two ladies from a table of four requesting a "green salad" for their app :blink: .

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I like the marisquería El Cantábrico, too. It's just a hop, skip and a jump away from the comisaria at which so many of us guiris spend so much time extricating our papers from the bureaucracy--it's a nice reward at the end of a several hour wait. One note: there are only a handful of tables, so it pays to get there early for lunch or you'll be left eating standing up.

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Nice report ChowAlf. Thanks. Just reading about the suckling pig at Abac is making me swoon. That was an awesome dish and probably the best suckling pig I've ever had, although I can still remember one from a famous restaurant in Madrid in 1974, the name of which is currently escaping me. Of course that was the first time I had ever had that dish.

The navajas at Universal bring back some pretty good memories too.

gallery_8158_256_91281.jpg


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I  like the marisquería El Cantábrico, too. It's just a hop, skip and a jump away from the comisaria at which so many of us guiris spend so much time extricating our papers from the bureaucracy--it's a nice reward at the end of a several hour wait. One note: there are only a handful of tables, so it pays to get there early for lunch or you'll be left eating standing up.

Indeed, El Cantábrico is an old time favourite. If you happen to be on the area again try this little spot on the wall called La Tierruca in Calle Díaz Porlier where they serve probably the best boquerones adobados in Madrid.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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I'll be in Madrid for 3 nights in the latter part of May. Just sent an email to Viridiana requesting a reservation for one of the evenings. Also, I'm already booked on another evening for the restaurant in my hotel - the Santo Mauro (Have never dined there before-Comments are welcomed).

Assuming that I am succesful with my Viridiana reservation request, I'm looking for a suggestion for the remaining evening in the general vicinity of the hotel. Since I have a very early departure flight the following morning, I'll be dining a bit earlier than normal and possibly before some restaurants commence serving. Casual dining or tapas recs are fine.

TIA


Edited by dls (log)

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I'll be in Madrid for 3 nights in the latter part of May. Just sent an email to Viridiana requesting a reservation for one of the evenings. Also, I'm already booked on another evening for the restaurant in my hotel - the Santo Mauro (Have never dined there before-Comments are welcome).

Assuming that I am succesful with my Viridiana reservation request, I'm looking for a suggestion for the remaining evening in the general vicinity of the hotel. Since I have a very early departure flight the following morning, I'll be dining a bit earlier than normal and possibly before some restaurants commence serving. Casual dining or tapas recs are fine.

TIA

We are going in November so all information is welcomed. We will be there for 1 week staying in an apartment so dining out and dining in advice will be appreciated.

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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A few personal favs:

For galician style tapas Maceira in Calle Jesus is a great place. Smallish, young, loud after 11 pm. Great croquetas and even better Mejillones. They have a place around the corner in Calle Huertas as well, but the small one is better.

Nice basque restaurant. Goizeko Kabi in Calle Commandate Zorita 37. It is a bit out of the way near Metro Nuevos Ministerios. Great old school place. Wonderful Arroz con Bogavante (lobster "risotto").

Maceira is cheap, Goizeko less so, but very reasonable. If you want to spend some serious money - Antojo in Calle Ferraz or La Broche in the Hotel Miguel Angel (Calle Miguel Angel) are great choices.

I've heard great things of Viridiana, but have not been there. Looking forward to getting your report.

cheers

Jakob

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I had two great meals in Madrid while at Madrid Fusion. La Broche was excellent and also a less expensive place Neo was very very good.

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