Dining in Madrid

When I travel, I try to eat local food and I encourage all of you to do the same. There are few opportunities to truly experience another country’s cuisine including foods you would not necessarily eat or even find at home.

My dinners have been truly exceptional and with all of the benefits of my recommedation. The first one I want to mention is a restaurant at the higher end of the spectrum, Asador Donostiarra. It is a well known restaurant here in Madrid and the walls are covered with pictures of celebrities and VIPs. I was delighted to attend with a large group which allowed us the opportunity to try a variety of items.

Here in Spain, one of the specialities is Iberian Ham, similar to Italy’s Proscuitto it is cured, but unlike Proscuitto the curing process lasts up to 3 years depending on the grade and quality. As an appetizer, they serve it simply, sliced thin on a platter.

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We also had a variety of olives and roasted asparagus as appetizers. We decided that of the dishes ordered, the stars were the monkfish with salsa verde and the steak tartare:

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Dessert came with complimentary digestifs, unfortunately I couldn’t get the names from our waitress who spoke only Spanish, but I think I have captioned them correctly. Both were good, but I prefer the Orujo.

Orujo and Patxaran
Orujo and Patxaran

Caramel flan is traditional and my personal favorite, but the cheesecake with blueberry sauce and rice pudding were also well received. The pudding didn’t even last long enough for a picture!

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At the other end of our dining experience we stoppped by Mercado de San Miguel, a market near Plaza de Mayor. It is essentially the ultimate in tapas dining. I have included a number of pictures of the available items:

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Fresh and Fried Seafood
Fresh and Fried Seafood
Fresh Mozzarella Bar!
Fresh Mozzarella Bar!
Just yummy.
Just yummy.
Fresh shellfish and molluscs
Fresh shellfish and molluscs
Gulas (mock Angulas) on bread
Gulas (mock Angulas) on bread
Pizza with Spanish toppings
Pizza with Spanish toppings
Jamóm Ibérico de Bellota
Jamóm Ibérico de Bellota
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Olive bar
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Desserts
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More desserts

Today we rounded off our dining with with a dish I missed in previous visits, Arròs Negre which for ease of explanation, I will call black paella.  It is prepared in the same way but is made with cuttlefish and rice. The color comes from squid ink. Although it has an alarming appearance, the taste was wonderful.

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