Where To Eat Right Now: Madrid

Dec 6, 2011 12:01 pm

With El Bulli done, Spain has a new culinary pulse

Photos: Brad A. Johnson
Photos: Brad A. Johnson
Diego Guerrero is one of Spain’s most talented chefs.
 
Poncelet Cheese Bar offers one of the most extensive cheese selections in Europe, if not the world.
Poncelet Cheese Bar offers one of the most extensive cheese selections in Europe, if not the world.
 

After the high-profile shuttering of El Bulli, and with some of Barcelona’s top chefs recently decamping for Madrid, the capital city has suddenly become Spain’s new culinary epicenter. Here are the 10 restaurants you should eat at right now.

Related: Gallery: Where To Eat In Madrid

  1. Le Cabrera
    Among the hippest of Spain’s new-generation tapas bars, this two-story lounge and gastro bar was opened in 2010 by Sergi Arola and Diego Cabrera, two young tastemakers formerly of Hotel Arts in Barcelona.
    Calle Bárbara de Braganza, 2 +34 913 199 457
  2. Ramón Freixa Madrid
    After making a name for himself in Barcelona at the height of that city’s culinary dominance, chef Ramón Freixa (originally a protégé of France’s Michel Bras) moved his eponymous restaurant to Madrid in 2009 and instantly became one of the most important chefs in town. Extraordinary tasting menus. Rising star sommelier.
    Calle Claudio Coello, 67 +34 917 818 262
  3. El Club Allard
    El Club Allard opened as an exclusive private club in 1998 but changed direction in 2003 by opening its doors to the public. The turn-of-the-century mansion still feels like a private sanctuary of the ultra-elite. Chef Diego Guerrero is easily one of Spain’s most talented chefs, with desserts, especially, that transcend the extraordinary.
    Calle Ferraz, 2 +34 915 590 939
  4. Arce
    Wry and gregarious, chef Iñaki Camba comes out of his legendary kitchen to greet and interview the guests at every table, asking about preferences and likes and dislikes — so he can customize every dish to his diners’ desires. If he asks whether you like mushrooms and risotto, you would be foolish to say no.
    Calle Augusto Figueroa, 32 +34 915 220 440
  5. Poncelet Cheese Bar
    Opening in mid-2011, this new wine and cheese bar offers one of the most extensive cheese selections in Europe, if not the world. And they serve an extraordinary ice cream made with honeycomb and Parmesan.
    Calle José Abascal, 61 +34 913 992 550
  6. Lagrimas Negras at Hotel Puerta Americanas
    Pay no attention to the absurdly designed Hotel Puerta Americanas in which this elegant restaurant resides. Focus soley on the impeccable modern Spanish cuisine of chef José Luis Estevan. Like tea after dinner? You’re in luck. They’ve got one of the best selections in the world.
    Avenida América, 41 +34 917 445 400
  7. Diverxo
    Chef David Muñoz is one of the brightest raising stars of Madrid’s new generation, serving modernist Spanish tasting menus without a trace of gimmickry or pretense in a warm yet minimalist dining room with windows that overlook the garden.
    Calle Pensamiento, 28 +34 915 70 07 66
  8. Gastro
    Chef Sergi Arola is at the forefront of the Spanish new guard. A Barcelona native and protégé of Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnier, he first gained acclaim at Madrid’s La Broche. He and the sommelier from La Broche left that restaurant to open Gastro in 2008—and it’s been one of the city’s toughest reservations ever since.
    Calle Zurbano, 31 +34 913 102 169
  9. Estado Puro
    Funky and fun with an arty clientele, cool music and outdoor patio, this is a modern gastro bar serving inventive Spanish tapas from chef Paco Roncero.
    Canovas Del Castillo, 4 +34 913 30 24 00
  10. Coque
    Chef Mario Sandoval runs one of the most elegant, refined restaurants in Spain, serving a mix of classic regional and contemporary cuisine.
    C/ Francisco Encinas #8, 28970 Humanes de Madrid, 94 +34 916 04 02 02

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