Une petite pause entre deux articles sur le vin…

June 2009


Face OffPaseso de la Castellana 57
With 2 Michelin stars and worth every sparkle, this restaurant is for your fancy, blow-the-bank night in Madrid. They do DE-lish with seafood and tend to showcase their amazing Spanish almonds whenever they can. We had Cigal lobster with soft almonds in almond milk and basil – and then – Pagra fish over white asparagus and parsley butter. Although I knew it before, fish and butter are BFFs. And – It would be an absolute sin to not save room for some cheese from their impressive collection.

CJDT Julian De Tolosa

C/ Cava Baja, 18
This is the best steak I have ever had in my life. Period. It wasn’t on our initial list and you won’t find it in many guidebooks, but we happened upon it as we were walking around. It triggered good food memories for my husband from his previous Madrid life. Budget for what you’d think a typical steak dinner would cost. This steak would be on my Fed-ex list.

Ribeira Do Mino

C/Santa Brigida, 1
For 31 Euros, you can get a platter full of seafood to share for two people, but I really think it could feed a family of four. It’s plain and simple, with the same fish nets on the wall that were there at least 15 years ago when my husband first found this local gem. It won’t rock your world for decor, but who cares. The food certainly won’t disappoint and it is a favorite of locals. When we mentioned this restaurant and Santceloni to the concierge at the hotel as the two places we had reservations during our stay, he smiled at the contrast in our selections. Instantaneously, we shared that foodie bond. He knew we were not messing around.

El Sobrino de Botin

C/Cuchilleros, 17
What can I say? People in Madrid are very proud of their suckling pig. If it’s on your to-do list, this would be the place to do it. Tourists are everywhere here, but locals are too.

Mercado San Miquel

OlePlaza de San Miquel, Los Austrias
Dean and Delucaish in feel, this is a beautiful mercado to grab a glass of wine from one vendor, a few slices of melt-in-your-mouth lomo and/or pata negra from another vendor and scrumptious cheeses from yet another vendor. Conveniently located, it was an ideal place for a light lunch or snack.

Also – Let’s not forget the many fabulous neighborhood wine bars…

If I could eat lomo and have a good Rioja or beer any day of the week and watch the world go by in Madrid, I’d be a happy camper. There are so many random wine bars in the various squares that will not disappoint. Be adventurous and pick one.

OK.. I told a fib….maybe a little vino… I can’t help it.


This wine store has an impressive collection of Spanish wines and a very knowledgeable staff. It shouldn’t be missed, especially if you are loading up your suitcase with Spanish wines. Double-check what they charge you for. I think and hope I had the one and only experience of being charged for 2001 Riojas and not 2004. When I brought it to their attention, they quickly changed it and reimbursed the difference on my card. Again, as with every buying experience, caveat emptor.