Five hot fine dining places in Madrid

Fine dining: popular journalist Julia Pérez Lozano opens up the road to the most recent new openings in her capital

The sandwich from the guys at Pedegrú in Madrid

The sandwich from the guys at Pedegrú in Madrid, inspired by Japanese katsu sando. The establishment, founded by 3 guys who trained at Mugaritz is one of the most interesting culinary news in Madrid (photo

Ramses Arzak 
(Plaza de la Independencia 4, +34914351666, 60/90 euros)
Facing the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá, this place decorated by Philippe Starck, opened in 2007, recently joined Arzak Instructions. This means that the cuisine of the Arzak family has arrived in Madrid and therefore this is one of the news that has created the highest expectations in town. Fine dining designed to satisfy as many clients as possible, through contemporary, conventional, predictable dishes but with a touch of humour. Oysters seasoned in the Peruvian way; Lobster salad; Egg cooked at low temperature with Petrossian caviar; Roast potato with black truffle, carved like cheese; Steak tartare, cocochas, Cod in salsa verde or Grilled tongue. Small compromises that perhaps give up on creativity but not on finesse, in coherence with the elegant mise en place.

Etxeko Martín Berasategui
(Hotel Bless Madrid. Velázquez 62, +34915752800, 70/90 euros)
At hotel Bless, in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood, Martín Berasategui and his team offer a contemporary cuisine focused on selected products. A twofold offer, with fine dining dishes and dishes from the grill. A charming potpourri of hot and cold recipes that range from the simplicity of a Steak tartare – finely seasoned, respecting the flavour of the meat – to the Partridge salad in escabeche. Some specialties like Tail cannelloni, Cream of artichokes with foie gras and truffle, or Egg yolk carbonara with herbs, fluctuate between popular roots and classic recipes made current. Flavours with a traditional background, interpreted with modern techniques and criteria. Rice dishes sizzle on the grill, as well as magnificent chuleta de vaca, served with their bone marrow and piquillo. Too bad the intentionally vintage interior design of famous Lázaro Rosa Violán does not meet the same standards, as it ignores the functionality that should always be featured in a restaurant.

El corral de la Morería: historic flamenco...

El corral de la Morería: historic flamenco...

...and excellent cuisine 

...and excellent cuisine 

El corral de la Morería
(Morería 17, +34913651137, 75/90 euro)
Who would have thought you could eat great food in a tablao of flamenco? Since recently, this is the case. In a room next to the most ancient and prestigious stage in the capital, they serve a tasting menu for 4 exclusive tables. In front of the stoves, David García creates elegant and contemporary recipes with fine ingredients that define a unique menu. The Percebes asado are delicious, with stewed artichokes and the juice of red cabbage; the Calamari rings with their juice are memorable. Then there’s the Cod asado with consommé of eel. Lovelybocados, harmonious and convincing that encourage you to continue. A well-designed wine list, with a surprising list of Jerez, with ancient and unique bottles that patron José Manuel del Rey collected over the years. The selection is captivating, one of the best in Spain, and turns this into a pilgrimage destination for Sherry lovers. And after dinner, the best flamenco.

(Raimundo Fernández Villaverde 28, +34910648805, 75/100 euros)
A bubble of happy calm. A wide, sober and luminous place, overlooking the garden or the kitchen, depending on where you turn. There is no list. At noon there’s a short menu called "A la carte" (55 euros) because the client can choose from 4 starters, 4 main courses and 2 desserts. There are two more menus: "Clasicos" (60 euros) and "Degustazione" (85 euros). Dishes with a classic soul, in which products have a big importance, interpreted in a contemporary way. At Clos people come to eat, and that’s it, something that may sound strange in the era of experience-hunters. Except for the Cappuccino with churro served as a starter – a trompe d'oeil, extraordinary – there are no surprises, no extravagance, no games. Austere yet tasty dishes, signed by Madrileño Víctor Infantes and paired with splendid wine, so you can taste food without the need to think. Xabier Iturraldedirects the young, professional and attentive service. A successful establishment that Marcos Granda, who owns Skina, one Michelin star in Marbella, opened and strengthened in Madrid.

Arroz de pichón at Clos (photo from facebook)

Arroz de pichón at Clos (photo from facebook)

(Avenida de Valdemarín 167, Madrid, +34910698158, 35/55 euros)
Of the five places in this piece, this is the most casual one. Three professionals who left Mugaritz created one of the most promising restaurants in Madrid. It’s a place where popular cuisine is seen through different eyes. Peas, asparagus, artichokes, mullet, eggs, prawns... What are these three avantgarde chefs, who bet on products touched as little as possible, doing in a casual place in the metropolitan area? Changing style is a way of starting a new chapter. Dani LasaLlorenç Sagarra and Miguel Caño are distancing themselves from conceptual cuisine and invest all their extensive knowledge on frank dishes, designed to satisfy most people. The bet on seasonal and market-based cuisine is clear. It’s a multifaceted, attractive, yummy offer: croquettes, Russian salad, Stewed cod tripe with salsa vizcaína and cocochas; Octopus with chorizo sauce; Grilled mullets seasoned with a light escabeche and fantastic Fried eggs on breaded potatoes. Another forte is the Chuleta de vaca kept in a room to mature, and grilled. The Sandwich of matured loin is not to be missed, inspired by Japanese katsu sando. All this, 15 minutes from the centre, just after the Cuidad Universitaria.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

1. To be continued


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