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Text & Photos: Margaux Cintrano
All true gastronomic adventures for the palate begin with imaginative visions and emotions, are driven by passion, and are given shape by colors, textures, aromas of the seasonal ingredients, the magical ambiances they are served in and the evocative epicurism, the expertly paired wines and, of course, the people at the table, and the service, all playing quintessential roles.
Come share the memorable dishes that savour the mysteries of fragrance, taste and texture …
THE SUBLIME AND THE SPLENDID
Calle Duque de Sesto 48
Metroline 2 & 9: Principe de Vergara / O´ Donnell
RESERVATIONS HIGHLY SUGGESTED: 91. 409. 0350
Firstly, the name of this venue translates to taming the wild horses, and with this in mind La Doma presents a perfect balance of sophisticated touches and an amazing brilliant array of jewels for the palate. Moreover, CHEF FRAN J. NAVARRO tames and whispers to the ingredients in such a manner that each and every dish is sublime and exquisite.
CHEF FRAN J. NAVARRO: a native Madrleño, a disciple of Maestro Chef and Professor Salvador Gallego and brilliant Maestro Chef Pedro Larumbe. Hence, one can automatically trust that this recently opened venue is going to be a paradise for the palate. Author and Maîtré Otto Macias and Head Waiter Ricardo provided the flawless service.
The White Wine: 100% Verdejo grape variety, Montebaco Rueda 2011
The 1st Palate Opener: The sublime, ever so delicate sea bass cebiche served in small crystal candy jars, with an array of assorted home baked breads
The 2nd: This gorgeous grouping of hors d´ oeuvres brought on hand blown crystal trays were
Fresh pickled mussels (escabeche)
Foam tomato dice, so delicate to palate
Basque Piparra, a guindilla, chili pepper with perfect balance of heat & piquant notes
Baby Crevettes seared divinely in Evoo (carabineros)
The 3rd : The lovely Herring Salad aboard a bed of cous cous
The Main Course: The rock fish variety called Vieja, or Herrera from the Canary Islands, similar in taste profile to a corvina, and / or seabass. Chef Fran´s delicate hand had comes into play here, serving the rock fish below temperature, and aboard a bed of Pisto Manchego, ever so light and sublime.
The Dessert: As heavenly as heavenly can be, this concoction was simply a slightly and lightly crisp thick hot chocolate, with a scoop of home made vanilla icecream aboard.
My view: Deserves a Michelin Star
IT LOOKS LIKE AN ITALIAN MOVIE SET
Plaza del Carmen 4
Metroline 5: Callao
RESERVATIONS HIGHLY SUGGESTED: 91. 523 . 2610
The first thing you notice when walking through the tiny plaza is this beautiful light Tuscan rose colored historic circa townhouse, and the lovely shady tree lined open air dining terrace. The action, of course, is centered around the open air dining Trattoria where lingering over the Italian Carte is where you want to be.
For starters, there is a very worthwhile Laboral Lunch Carte for 12 Euros Monday through Friday. The bill of fare is broken down into sections, for example: Antipasti, Salads, Pastas, Pizzas, Risottos, Carpacchios, Fish and Meat Dishes.
The interior certainly could remind its visitors of a fusion between an Italian movie set and a Manhattan duplex loft, with its ceiling to floor windows, contemporary neutral palette of tones, yet stunningly modern dark wood flooring treatment, beautiful cherry toned columns and gorgeous bar.
Our lovely waitress, Sandra, had brought us a divine palate opener of Reggiano Parmesano 12 month aged Parma cow cheese with Italian olives and a caviar dip with breads.
There are uncountable gastronomic pleasures from Italy, it was hard to select. However, here are the chosen.
White Wine: The Galician Trio of Grape Varieties, the Albariño, Loueiro, and Treixdura, from Terra Guada, a lovely refreshing standard which pairs perfectly with seafood and salads.
1st, the Insalata Sophia: This wonderful salad is comprised of arugula or rocket field greens, fresh shrimp, walnuts, sliced pear, Evoo and Modena Balsamic Vinaigrette.
2nd, the Caprese : Fresh mozzarella di bufala di Campania, red ripe tomato, and fresh Genovese basil infused extra virgin olive oil.
3rd, Frutti di Mare: This thick luscious ribbon pasta similar to fettuccini, however, wider, called pappadelli, was served with heavenly fresh shellfish and a light tomato sauce.
4th, Risotto di Rosso: a dear friend had selected the Gamberri, jumbo red shrimp with her Risotto prepared with Italian Arborio rice.
The Dessert: The treasure chest brought to our table included the delicious modern Tiramisu and the fresh strawberry glazed Italian cheesecake.
INDISPENSIBLE ADDRESS IN SAN SEBASTIAN DE LOS REYES
Avenida de Moncayo 2
San Sebastian de Los Reyes
Metroline 10: Hospital de La Infanta Sofia
RESERVATIONS HIGHLY SUGGESTED: 91. 140. 7652
In the Madrid Capital and surrounding neighborhoods too, there are indispensable addresses for lovers of fine quality cuisine. This noteworthy venue, and cousin of Restaurant Sixto (83 José Ortega y Gasset ) specializes in fresh shellfish, fish and seafood including Kokotxas, the delicacy which are simply neckglands of the cod or hake, freshly caught lobster, cctopus, and the daily catch. The bill of fare for laboral lunches is high quality based on product, and changes daily. The highly recommended laboral lunch that Gonzalo Niederleytner, of Grupo Nuria, and I had included –
To start off: the dynamic stuffed baked aubergine (eggplant ) in béchamel
The main course: freshly caught hake, and since I am not fond of hake, due to its need for delicate care, as it becomes extremely dry very easily if overcooked, was melt in your mouth perfect.
Gonzalo had the Chicken Caccitoria which he enjoyed immensely.
We shared the Chocolate Bar XXI dessert concoction which was luscious and the delightful freshly made cream cheese cake, a lovely conclusion.
PEAK PRODUCTS INSPIRE PEAK FLAVORS
Calle Orellana 1
Metroline 4, 5 & 10: Alonso Martinez
RESERVATIONS HIGHLY SUGGESTED: 91. 702. 4234
Firstly, the culinary philosophy of both the dapper owner Gino Cavalliere and his award esteemed Chef, Carlos Duran, agreed wholeheartedly that
Rita & Champagne, the 9 month old bistro, is all about Peak Products Inspire Peak Flavors.
The Chef has been involved as the Captain of the new Selection of Young Iberian Chefs of Spain, also having been awarded 2nd place in the Nestle´s World Cup in both the Dominican Republic and prior in Thesasaloniki, Greece.
My guest on this bespoke dining experience, a colleague I admire tremendously, author and gastro historian founder of El Trotamanteles, Mr. Rafael Rincón.
The Bistro boasts a duplex loft, with elegant yet casual innovative and dynamically illuminated ambiances, sure to exceed your expectations.
We had begun with a lovely chilled champagne, and a refreshing palate opener, a shot glass of gazpacho Andaluz.
SAVORING THE BISTRO´s CARTE
White Wine: Terra Gauda – O´Rosal, Rias Baixas trio of 3 indigenious white grape varieties: Albariño, Treixdura and Loureiro.
1st: The scalded sunny side up egg, below temperature, producing a perfect egg texture, of the white and the yolk, served with truffle infused Evoo drizzle, Boletus wild mushrooms, and luscious quality acorn-fed air-dried Iberian ham, just so lightly sautéed.
2nd: The exquisite extraordinary Guancialli Pork Cheek Ragù, Pecorino Sardo and aged to perfection Reggiano Parmesano, filled lasagna rolls served on a bed of home made Carbonara sauce, served with a crisp thin cracker of Fiore Sardo Pecorino & Reggiano Parmesano.
3rd: The freshly caught and hand crafted ever so delicate white tuna taco was flavorful and aromatic, served on a bed of Guacamole, with perfectly balanced piquant notes. Both Rafael and I agreed that this dish would have been absolutely awesome if prepared with fresh red tuna, versus the white tuna.
4th: The final was a wrapped magret of Duckling Confit stuffed with green apple, calabaza, fresh mango and then drizzled with pan juices and garnished with edible flowers.
Dessert 1 was consummate aromatic artistry. This simple fragrant dessert is a hand made yogurt, which is perched above a bed of fresh dill, fresh spearmint, fresh cucumber and infused almond extra virgin olive oil drizzle.
Dessert 2: As we know, all lovely lunches or dinners come to an end, and with this in mind we delighted in the Torrija Dice served on a slate board, and the interiors were pure hedonism of a French toast, creamy like texture, sported by a sugary coated exterior, melt in your mouth heaven.
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