“After a full belly all is poetry.”
Before I visit a new destination I do loads of research when it’s about good dining and so I did with Madrid too and we hit a jackpot every evening.
My friend Anna Liisa has very bad sight and so to take her to a restaurant where the food is presented as art … is pointless. She can’t enjoy it. It’s important that we chose restaurants where she can ask for a spoon for her main course and where food is comfortable and great.
I’m not very spontaneous when it comes to eating while away. I book every a restaurant for evening good in advance and I compare reviews. Neither do I want to have to take a taxi every night for great a dining experience, one evening is okay – but preferably in walking distance from and to our pillows.
In Madrid, we stayed at postcode 28013 – Metro Opera – and the Palacio Real de Madrid. Plenty good restaurants to choose from except on Monday when 90% is closed.
At the restaurants, I picked were we the only foreigners – all guests locals which are great. Except our last evening when we dined with only tourists.
Our first evening we arrived late to our hotel because of heavy traffic, so we decide to eat at their cafe, El Café de la Ópera and then take a walk afterward down to the Palacio Real de Madrid. But I will come back our great hotel … it’s worth its own post.
In the meantime will I introduce you to some hidden gems where we were well taken care of and enjoyed some great dishes.
El Abrazo de Vergara
Calle de Vergara, 10,
phone; 0915 42 00 62
Modern Fusion Spanish
Nice little restaurant – about 20 seats. In Madrid, they eat dinner very late. We booked most restaurants for 20.30 and we were the only guests for at about one hours time and that was the same on all restaurants we enjoyed.
Ordered a vodka & tonic as pre-diner drink and they didn’t get it right and Anna Liisa wanted a whiskey and she got automatically Coca Cola with it. They also present you with a big glass with ice and they bring the bottles to the table and it’s up to the guest to say stop. Must be common in Madrid, because we notice at many places. Not a problem for us.
We got a very nice pre-drink on the house made from gin, sugar, lemon and blackberry juice and a little surprise dish of roast sesame seed Hummus with a fantastic thin roasted bread flan.
My menu for the evening came to;
The tempura soft shell crab in corn batter with yogurt
Open Oxtail lasagne in jus and gorgonzola gnocchi
Caramelized French toast brioche bread and vanilla ice cream
With that, I had a glass of white wine, mineral water, and a cappuccino. And the damage came to 71€ for 2 with 10% tip.
Calle de la Unión, 8
Phone; 0915 42 41 31
A very intimate little restaurant run by 2 sisters, Isabel and Pilar (well-known chef in Madrid). Again we were the first guests for the evening, but it was full when we left. It was like dining in their home.
The welcoming and the hospitality of Isabel fantastic it was like we known her for years. Pilar’s cooking top of the class and from all the articles about her hanging on the entrance walls .. she is a chef with a fantastic reputation. There is loads of love and passion in her cooking.
The menu on their website isn’t up to date – so I can’t describe the dishes I had correctly.
My starter was the BEST sardines I ever tasted and They were de-boned and in filet marinated in herbs and olive oil topped with some tomato-onion concasse.
The main course was slightly cooked pork filet with loads of sweet caramelized onion. A fantastic dish, but a bit too generous on the meat, but I eat it all. Nearly licked the plate. I think the dish is called – Chumarro con Cebolla Confitada – Gracias Google!!!
As the grand finale, we had both Toffee apple foam cup.
I don’t understand why I didn’t use Oscar more than I did … I think I was too busy talking or enjoying the food.
We didn’t have pre-drink but had glasses of wine, mineral water, and coffee. It was our most expensive dinner it came to 92€. But it was worth every cent.
More tasty food and nice restaurants will follow.
My cloud over this post Madrid’s own son – Julio Iglesias – “Pobre Diablo” (Poor Devil).