4 days in Madrid

19 Sep

I met C in Madrid a little over a week ago and we started our journeys by eating and sleeping, of course. We actually didn’t see that much of Madrid as both of us needed sleep. But, we had some tasty meals, we saw a flamenco show, and we spent 2 hours watching the finish of the Tour de Spain bicycle race. That was exciting, as it was right outside our hotel.

First, let me say, I recommend staying at the Westin Palace Madrid. See www.westinpalacemadrid.com . It’s in an outstanding location in which to walk to the jazz quarter and good food, and it’s surrounded by gorgeous buildings. It’s also a beautiful hotel with very nice and large rooms.

The first meal we had was at the oldest restaurant in Spain called El Botin. Andrew Zimmern did a show on it. Here’s the YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGhhHsIfoAE

It’s all about the suckling pig here. So, we had it. And, we had the roasted lamb, as well. Both were incredibly rich and tasty. We loved the environment. There are so many little nooks and crannies that serve as dining rooms and it’s old school service – men waiters in suits, all very serious. We washed it all down with a pitcher of their sangria, which was necessary on a hot Madrid day 😉 The feature picture at top is one of the cooks roasting more pigs. You can see the pigs on the shelf behind that are done.

The image below is what you first see when you walk into the restaurant. It was a fun meal!

Then, it was on to a flamenco show that night at Corral de la Moreria. C had not been to one and people in Madrid claim to be excellent at flamenco, so we decided to go. Plus, I wanted to see another one to compare it to the show I had seen in Seville a few days earlier. Here’s a photo of a dancer in action:

I have to say I didn’t think it was as good as the show I saw in Seville, but it was also different. I thought the singers and guitar players in Seville were much better, but I think the dancing was about equal in both cities. The Madrid show certainly was entertaining, however.

Then, it was lots more sleeping and our big adventure out the next day was to watch the Tour de Spain. Here are a few pics of the peloton and some riders out in front.

We also met some very cool Bulgarians. This was the first time they had left their 3 and 1 year old kids and had a vacation together. They saw us looking for an outside table at a bar and they invited us to join them at their table. They were super nice, very smart and had taught themselves English just by watching t.v. Very impressive! Here we all are:

A few more days of resting and we were ready for our last big meal in Madrid at El Club Allard, which is a 2 Michelin starred restaurant. It was a bit of a strange place to find and it was in a business building. But, when the chef comes to your table within the first 10 minutes after you sit, that’s a great start.

I learned that he came to speak with every table shortly after they sat down to ask their likes, dislikes, dietary restrictions, etc. Yep, the chef. He caters – within reason – to what types of food you like. You have a choice of how many dishes you want and he goes from there. We chose the medium-number of dishes and here was our menu:

Here are a few pics of the dishes. See if you can match the pictures with the menu.

Our favorites: The butterfish tapa, the egg in pastry, the smoke and foie dish, the mushroom soup, the rabbit in mole sauce taco, and the chocolate, sea-themed dessert. All dishes were technically executed to perfection. We thought some flavor profiles were outstanding and others just really good. There wasn’t one dish we didn’t like. So, overall it was superb. And, it was the same price we’ve paid for several bad 1 Michelin star (and some no Michelin star) restaurants in the past. I highly recommend it!

And to boot, they brought us out a “Happy Honeymoon” pre-dessert. Soooo nice!

Next stops: Back to the Costa Brava, the Empordá, and Barcelona.

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2 Responses to “4 days in Madrid”

  1. Peter September 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Beautiful Food and again nice to see you are enjoying life as well as the love of your life!

  2. Diana September 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    This food setting looks much nicer than the one in Gelonch. Ha ha ha!!!

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