ibex bar madrid

IBEX: the new, Wall Street inspired, bar in Salamanca

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When we read something like “the first place in Madrid…” doing something or the first restaurant offering something we are quite suspicious, because in such a vibrant city it seems that we have already seen all the offers available.

But this time we were totally wrong, not only IBEX is the first stock exchange bar in Madrid, but it is likely to be the first in the whole country. There should be something similar in Barcelona, but not that sophisticated as the IBEX offer.

What should happen in a stock exchange bar? Why it is called like that?

Ibex is totally inspired to the classic stock exchange mechanism of prices ups and downs depending on offer and demand.

This concept, with the live price billboard on the top of the bar is dedicated to beverage prices, every price category, like beer, rum, wine, goes ups and down after every order.

Two things really impressed us with this concept. First is that the software has been developed by the founders, recently graduated in IE Business School, and second that the prices goes down to the lowest point, every 30 minutes more or less.

But there is something more, this “lowest point” has been calculated after a full time research at the bars close to IBEX.

The lowest price is really the lowest price in that area.

Then there is the food offer, with a traditional Indian menu, all inspired by the names in the finance world, from the dot.com bubble to the well known idol of the finance: Mr. Gordon Gekko. Traditional but with a modern twist willing to introduce some latinos tapas in a near feature.

If you are wondering why and what a strange mix of an innovative bar offer with traditional indian food, imagining a classic burger and fries situation, considering Wall Street as the most evocative stock exchange, so that it all sounds like an american concept.

Well, this time you are wrong, the concept is more popular in the east end that in the wild west. But the choice of the indian cuisine was not chosen because of this trend in the middle east, but because all the founders are Indian.

Their homeland is present also at the bar with special Indian beer and selected Indian rum.

IBEX is really a place to be at least once, the concept is really funny and if you love Indian food the quality level is really high.

ibex madrid ibex madrid

We eat very special recipes that are not the usual food we have at an Indian restaurant, expect from the butter chicken which is very popular and it’s exquisite.

What can’t never miss in an Indian dinner is the nan bread, the cheese is like the ultimate for us, but their Ibex version with dried fruit is a very good alternative choice.

Lamb it’s a mandatory meal too, if not in a tikka version, we have tried a very distinguished starter plate with lamb meat presented as cigars, little tubes of lamb, delicious.

The dessert were very good too, the pistachio indian ice cream, and the fried milk balls.

ibex madrid ibex madrid

Really good.

IBEX is suggested both for dining and drinking, with resident deejay and thematic nights like beer pong every now and then. Better follow their social media profiles for all the updates.

It is also a great idea for a special event, from corporate team building situation to more friendly friends night out.

More information: IBEX – Calle Maldonado 7, 28006 – Madrid

Chueca best restaurant

The 10 Best Bars and Restaurants in Chueca

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Madrid is a city full of colours, and we all know, from the metro station to the barrio decoration, which is the rainbow district in Madrid: Chueca.

We wish that this article will be a guide in honour of the World Pride Madrid 2017 that we are more than proud to have in town this year.

Chueca has turned into one of the most lively barrio in Madrid, for sure we have reviewed more bars and restaurant in Chueca than in all the other districts. Calle Pelayo for the restaurants and Calle Reina for the bars are as good as Calle Ponzano or Calle Cava Baja.

If you are in Chueca for the Orgullo and don’t know the city, don’t worry, you can find all you need between Calle Hortaleza and Gran Via.

1)Best Paella: Socarrat

The first thing everyone asks in in Spain is “Where is the best paella?” well, guess what, it’s in Chueca, the restaurant is called Socarrat and it’s real Valencian traditional receipt, the Paella de la Abuela, Paella Valenciana, Paella Vegetariana and much more.

It’s open just for lunch, it’s a tiny take away spot with some tables. Try also the craft beer made in Valencia named as the local. It’s open just for lunch, because paella was born for that specific meal.

SocarratCalle San Marcos, 2, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 663 43 91 10

2) Best international restaurant: diurno

If you know madridiana you will remember the diurno article and posts on social media, we are in love with this place and it’s our first suggestion when friends are in town and want to have a tasty lunch or dinner in a beautiful space. The lunch menu is perfect and you can either try spanish food or international quality dishes. It’s a well known location, a meeting point in barrio also for breakfast and the traditional afterwork.

DIURNO [Madrid] – Calle de San Marcos, 37, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 915 22 00 09

3) Best japanese restaurant: Sr. Ito

And here we are in Calle Pelayo, it’s such a nice street that it is good to have a pleasant excuse like dining in Sr. Ito for walking almost until Alonso Martinez. This is not the typical japanese restaurant, if you are a all you can eat sushi consumer, this is not your place. Sr. Ito in Chueca is the place for beauty lovers and slow life living. The decoration is incredible, we talk a lot about this place in dedicated article where you can see all the dishes, especially the cake, impressive.

Sr. Ito – Calle Pelayo, 60, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 910 81 66 15

4) Best Galician Restaurant: Morgana

Opened less than two month ago and it’s already a hit. The place is tiny but there is no place like Morgana to try galician food with a twist. The owners are Miguel, the chef in the kitchen and Augusto, at the bar making great tailor made cocktails. The ambient is nice, both the higher tables at the beginning and the lighted room with paintings and sculptures. If you are wondering where to have a real smashy tortilla, with the original liquid inside, this is your place.

Morgana – Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 33, 28004 Madrid

5) Best Italian Restaurant: Fratelli d’Italia

We are huge consumers of Fratelli d’Italia pizza in barrio Lavapiés, where there is not a restaurant like in Chueca Calle Hortaleza but a takeaway pizza spot that is a paradise for Italians missing a good pizza at a proper price. In Chueca Fratelli d’Italia it’s a pizzeria and a restaurant, but more than that it’s a Sardinian restaurant, where you can try really good pasta and fresh fish.

Fratelli d’Italia – Calle de Hortaleza, 28, 28004 MadridTel. 915 15 41 06

6) Best bocata: La casa tomada

If Calle Valverde is the west limit of Chueca instead of Calle Valverde, La casa tomada can definitely be included in this barrio. The best bocata in Madrid has Venezuelan blood and it’s address is Calle San Lorenzo 9. José Antonio the owner and chef of Casa Tomada is a perfectionist, his bocatas XXL are works of art. Even if they are so huge you can’t visit La casa tomada without starting your meal with a chili cheese fries, you better go with friends.

La casa tomada – Calle San Lorenzo, 9, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 915 13 84 48

7) Best asian restaurant: Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in Calle Barquillo is one of the numerous Tuk Tuk restaurants opened in Madrid with the visionary idea of sharing the best asian street food from Bangkok, India, Philippines, and Vietnam.

We have been to Barquillo and Alcalà which is the newer, and widely discussed about how much we are in love with the sexy baos and the delicious pad thai or hokkien.

8) Best east european restaurant: Khachapuri

Khachapuri is a discovery, it’s a typical Georgian restaurant in the middle of Chueca. It’s a mono product restaurant serving that Georgian pizza with eggs in a middle and a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of melty cheese, and it’s mandatory that you enjoy the khachapuri with the hands piece after piece. For this multi sensorial tasting experience and nice modern atmosphere of the restaurant, it’s a worth visiting restaurant. Read more in this article.

Khachapuri – Calle de Víctor Hugo, 5, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 916 68 38 65

9) Best cerveceria: Källa

Recently opened in Calle Barbieri, in the heart of Chueca, Källa is not just a cerveceria, it is also a beer factory, with a nordic name and simple style, even if the owners are two venezuelan entrepreneurs. This hybrid space of a bar and a factory offers three variety of crafted beer branded Källa Origen (IPA), Ritual (ALE) and Esencia (Lager), with an additional offer of beers from Madrid and other locations.

Källa – Calle de Barbieri, 20, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 915 21 01 32

10) Best cocktail bar: Angelita

Angelita Madrid has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because of its craftsmanship. This The accuracy that Borja and Jose Luis put in the preparation of each cocktail, they way you see it served looks more like a work of art rather than a cocktail.

Not to mention the fact that the service should be a benchmark in town, when you seat you already have your fresh water and a little sweet tapa well presented in a tiny box or a box of popcorn.

Angelita – Calle Reina, 4, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 915 21 66 78

+ The latest openening Som Thai Club

In the already mentioned Calle San Marcos a new space has just opened, it’s called Som-Thai and it has a special gastro-barra: the Som Thai Club, offering tapas for less than 2€ that are perfect to pair with a cerveza muy fria. For all the oriental food lovers or for those you want to try it, this tapas are the greatest because they reflet the Thailandese culture.

Restaurante tailandés Som-Thai – Calle San Marcos, 26, 28804 Madrid – Tel. 910 410 429

 

meat

MEAT quality food for brunch

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The brunch at MEAT is like THE BRUNCH with bold capitals letters in Madrid.

If you know Meat for its burgers or cocktails, or just because you hang out in Alonso Martinez and for sure you’ve seen the space, well, you might not be surprised but this blog post, because we are talking about an institution for Saturdays and Sundays.

meat madrid 4

To be honest, I am not the biggest brunch fan in general, as a concept, because a lot of time you find buffet or fixed menu and you can’t choose.

Of course if you are reading this is because in MEAT let you choose exactly what you want to eat and combine everything. You can choose a sweet brunch or a tasty one, or a mix of the two, it’s up to you.

And what is even better is that when you are undecided between the burgers and the avocado toast you can share it with friends, because this place is amazing for a date but also for a friendly relaxed brunch with your mates.

What I loved about MEAT is their focus on a high quality burger, they opened two years ago with this idea of a mono product restaurant with cool music, atmosphere and great cocktails.

meat madrid 4

The quality is guaranteed not only by the meat which is their mission, offering a selected beef from Sierra de Madrid and just adding salt and black pepper, less is more I would say, and the bread is custom made exclusively for them.

I have a pending “The 10 best burgers in Madrid” list and MEAT has for sure deserved a place a in that list.

The brunch is more recent, since 9 months, with a very simple but effective menu, guaranteeing fresh and quality products.

meat madrid 4

The founders Guillermo Ramos Albritton, José Luis Martín de Bustamante y Gabriel Santaeulalia Yarte, have travelled a lot before opening the successful MEAT in Madrid, thinking about a place to be friendly and well integrated in the barrio, living a sort of slaughterhouse experience with many elements taken from a real Spanish Matadero.

meat madrid 4

As mentioned before there is also a strong component of amazing cocktails, I’ve always knew MEAT as a cocktail bar, and tried the cocktails before the brunch, hanging out in Alonso Martinez.

The atmosphere at night is really cool, the barra is incredible, but the real thing is to try the cocktails with the brunch, pairing avocado toast with gin.

You can’t end a real brunch with something sweet, and relax with a dessert. This chocolate cake is really impressive, so good, probably the best I’ve ever tried in my life, you need to share is because the portion is huge but worth the calories.

More information: MEAT.

Circulo Marisqueria: the place to be for the best pescado

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I’ve always thought that the hardest kind of restaurant to advise is the fish restaurant, because it’s difficult to make sure that you will always find fresh fish, coquillage, that can be cooked in several ways, but even in the most simple ways, fried or grilled.

Where you can find a great pescado restaurant in Madrid?

Now that I’ve been to Circulo Marisqueria I have finally answered to this question related to Madrid fish restaurants.

circulo mariqueria madrid

Starting from the open air kitchen where you can see how they the chefs deal with a 2.000 meters restaurants, to the smiling faces of the clients, and the impressive quality of the fish market, you can definitely state that this is the Marisco paradise in Madrid.

The space is really curated, with many different areas and terraces, open all year long, serving caňas from midday to late night.

There are also lots of events, and the restaurant is great both for a quick tapa than for a full course menu.

I’ve been in particular to a special event, which is well known in Circulo Marisqueria, and in June will see the last happening of the season, starting again in September.

It’s the maridaje night.

Every third Thursday of the month it’s all about pairing, that can be either with beer or wine. The menu and the wines are decided together between Circulo chefs and the producers, it’s different and specific everytime.

It’s an occasion to try all stars wines paired with the best pescado in Madrid, from the starter to the dessert.

circulo mariqueria madrid

And it is not an event for wine masters, everyone can participate and learn something about the wines or beer present in each Thursday night.

This experience is called #CirculoClubDay which is a great way to get to know this hidden gem outside the center of Madrid, for a really affordable price, just 30€ for the whole wine degustation and food portions, which are normal portions, not tiny tapas or half glasses of wine. Next one will the on the 15th of June.

circulo

I was at the Circulo Club Day number 14, so more than one years of success for this monthly format rendez vous, and had the chance to try Bodegas Muga wines, which is a well known brand in Spain for excellent productions of wines plus japanese Nikka Whisky for the dessert.

Just to give you an idea of the success and professionality of this restaurant that opened just two years ago and why you should consider to try it asap, these are some numbers:

  • 370.000 people served in two years
  • 60.000 liters of beer served in 2016
  • 13.000 portions of octopus
  • More than 4.500 portions of mussels in 2016
  • More than 4.000 portions of fried fish in 2016
  • More than 10.200 oyster units in 2016
  • 47 employees working every day.

More information: Marisquería Círculo

C/ Oliva de Plasencia, 1, (C.C. San Ignacio)

28044, Madrid | Tel: 91 73 70 421

www.circulomarisqueria.com

Hop in the Box, el maridaje y el arte de acompañar

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Después de haber probado las cervezas de Estonia y las de Estados Unidos que nos ha mandado Hop in the Box a lo largo de estos meses, ha llegado el momento de probar las cervezas alemanas “Freigeist Bierkultur“, que, aunque localizada en Colonia, puede considerarse una cervecería gitana.

¿Que es una cervecería gitana?

Una cervecería gitana o cerveceros gitanos no tienen equipo e instalaciones propias. Operan de forma temporal o itinerante, alquilando las instalaciones de otras cervecería.

Esto significa productos unicos ya que no volverán a repetir su fabricación, y esto es el mismo concepto de Hop in the Box.

En las ocasiones precedentes ya hemos utilizado las cerveza para crear recetas, este mes pero hemos decidido de acompañar las cervezas con platos de gastronomía.

Aunque las investigaciones realizadas apuntan una serie de conclusiones coherentes y hasta con cierta “lógica” gastronómica, no existen explicaciones científicas ni razonamientos exactos en el encuentro de los maridajes de la cerveza y la gastronomía. Es verdad que algunas combinaciones entre comidas y bebidas funcionan mejor que otras pero, al fin y al cabo, todo es cuestión de gustos.

Maridaje de cerveza y gastronomia con Hop in The Box de Mayo

maridaje cerveza hop in the box

La primera es una Session IPA elaborada en colaboración con la cervecería Pizza Port Brewing en California. En boca encontramos sabores dulces, afrutados y herbales que se combinan dejando una deliciosa sensación de cuerpo ligero. El regusto es amargo, afrutado y levemente carbonatado, invitando un segundo sorbo rápido. Una cerveza que marida perfectamente con un plato oriental, los nathan road noodles, fideos udon con mermelada de chiles, cebolla roja, puerro, gambas o pollo y hierbas frescas. El sabor fuerte de la cerveza se combina muy bien con el pescado fresco y picante de los noodles.

maridaje cerveza hop in the box

La segunda es una Wheat Beer elaborada con la pimienta blanca Kampot de Camboya. En la boca, una agradable y suave sensación gracias a la levadura y a una malta dulce y delicada. El regusto es limpio con un final agradable y especiado. Excelente opción para disfrutar con un pretzel.

El pimiento es muy reconocible, y bastante raro, pero con el toque de sal del maridaje parece que no necesita un contrasto dulce, y que los dos sabores se mezclan en una manera especial. Toda las cervezas de este mes estan a tope, per sin ninguna duda esta fue nuestra favorida.

maridaje cerveza hop in the box

La tercera es un IPA, elaborada con mandarinas, naranjas de sangre, limas y limones. Miss Florida se caracteriza por su color naranja ámbar brumoso, con una delgada cabeza blanca. La amargura y una sutil nota agria también están presentes en el sorbo. Una frescura increíble, medio carbonada y cuerpo medio, deja un acabado maravillosamente seco. En esta ocasión, decidimos acompañarla con una pizza con mozzarella, tomate passata, parmesano, queso de cabra, cebolla caramelizada y pesto. La tipica comida para llevar con ingredienties ricos y de cualidad; l’encuentro de sabores citricos de la cerveza y sabrosos de la pizza. Muy recomendable.

maridaje cerveza hop in the box

Y por último pero no menos importante, una Imperial Stout de inspiración alemana. El chocolate, las ciruelas y el café se mezclan con sutiles aromas tostados y de vanilla. De cuerpo medio a alto, esta cerveza deja una rica y cremosa sensación en la boca, donde el sorbo empieza dulce y termina un poco seco y de cacao amargo por esto la combinamos con un tiramisù. Esto fue el toque magico, un maridaje 100% dulce, sin contrastar los sabores, ponendole mas fuerza.

5 razones por las que Hop in the Box es una buena idea:

1)Viajar por el mundo saboreando diferentes cervezas.

2)Recibir una caja sorpresa, no tiene precio.

3)Disfrutar de esta caja directamente en tu proprio hogar.

4)Difundir la cultura de la cerveza artesana ayudando los proveedores locales.

5)Ser el colecionador de botellas de cervezas más chulas entre tus amigos.

bEST COCKTAILS MADRID

The 10 Best Cocktails in Madrid

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Quote for the best cocktails in Madrid: My life is 50% wondering if it’s too late to drink coffee and 50% wondering if it’s too early to drink alcohol – Anonymous [This article is written by Enzo Lauretta]

First thing to say: this not a chart. It is based on my experience as Cocktail Lover spent in almost all the most particular cocktails bar in Madrid.

The experience of drinking a cocktail it’s only not about drinking what each barman serves but also take a sit a the counter, meet the bartender, listen his story and most of all the story of the cocktail.

In this short time frame between the cocktail preparation and my first sip, I always need to hear what he/she has to say, about the cocktail chosen.  What I appreciate the most is to hear their ideas about bartendering, their vision and how those ideas are transmitted into each cocktail, and while they are explaining I love to take these kind of pictures that I’ve been collecting in one year here in Madrid.

And I am already feeling the smell of cocktail and how they mix it, it’s craftsmanship, artesanal work, the more I see that sort of maniacal detail attention and the level of the cocktail rising perfectly until the glass limit, the more I’ll be back to that bar, spending more time with the mixologist, enjoying new tastes and new stories.

Best cocktails in Madrid

1. Angelita Madrid

Angelita Madrid has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: craftmanship. This is the keyword, even if it sounds a little weird that’s exactly the impression I had. The accuracy they put in the preparation of each cocktail, they way you see it served looks more like a work of art rather than a cocktail.

Not to mention the fact that the service should be a benchmark in town, when you seat you already have your fresh water and a little sweet tapa well presented in a tiny box.

The space is really nice and what surprised me was also the great number of spirits that Angelita does, 100% homemade with serveral tastes, that are added in all the cocktails of the menu.

Angelita Madrid, Calle Reina, 4, 28004 Madrid

2. Benares Madrid

Benares has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: the way they reinvented the barra as we wrote in the article “The barra esperience in Benares” is something really unique in Madrid, but I guess even in Europe probably.

I’ve never tried an indian cocktail, but I know really well how reach is the indian variety of tastes that I had really high expectations about the experience, but than what I’ve discovered talking to Santi (the barman) is a Menu where each cocktail is dedicated to an Indian city and where you can taste the differences of every city through a unique mix of ingredients.

For example, vodka, beetroot “rubidus” juice, homemade chutney with just a hint of spice, lima sour, silver dust, accompanied by aromas of Delhi’s market and a jelly from the gardens of the Red Fort, is the composition of the cocktail Old Delhi.

Benares Madrid, Calle de Zurbano, 5, 28010 Madrid

3. Museo Chicote Madrid

Museo Chicote as one of the be cocktails in Madrid because: historical. Museo Chicote needs no introduction. Chicote is a stop on the Hemingway trail in Madrid. His tecnique and his way of mastering the mixology art has fascinated not only the cocktails lovers, but but also artists like Salvador Dalì and international actresses and actors like Ava Gardner, Rita Hepburn and Frank Sinatra.

The Museo Chicote is the history of mixology as it was the first cocktail bar in Madrid, with the best position, on the most famous Street of Madrid, the Gran Via, it maintains the classic allure with some shift in modernity with special nights and video mapping shows, always maintaing the focus on cocktails. The red lighted barra makes the experience even better because it catches the attention, and the barman are all great professionals. The Menu spaces from the unmissable classics to the new inspiring creations of the new generations of bartenders.

Museo Chicote Madrid, Calle Gran Vía, 12, 28013 Madrid

4. Del Diego Madrid

Del Diego Madrid has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: familiar. Don’t waste your time looking for website and social media accounts, Del Diego in calle Reina is a familiar bar, at its second generation of Del Diego batenders. We met Fernando junior that is the son of the founder,  that is keeping alive the family tradition of how to manage a bar and prepare cocktails as they should be done.

They have a very old school barra, where you can comfortably sit and relax, admiring the Del Diego’s barman in action. The new bottles and the spirits collection are protagonists, both at the entrance and behind the barman. During the week you can have the opportunity to speak with the Del Diego Brothers and hear about their passion for the family business.

Del Diego Madrid, Calle Reina, 12, 28004 Madrid

5. Harvey’s Madrid

Harvey’s has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: it is pure old fashioned, what you expect from an american bar in the 50es.

Located in calle Fuencarral, really close to Tribunal Metro station, with its shiny neon lights and the american style seats. But as in all the other locations, I never seat on the table, I want to stay close to the barman, ask some advice on the menu and see the magic. Because of course I’ve been to all these bars, but to more and more, and from one reason or another only these ten are on the list.

Perfect service also here, and they passed the test of my favourite cockail: Manatthan, and I cannot tell you how many bars can’t do a Manatthan or a Margarita, the basics.

Then with the Sazerac and the French55 on the menu they are stating “we know the history of mixology” and they really know how to mix.

Harvey’s Madrid, Calle de Fuencarral, 70, 28004 Madrid

6. Hermosos y Malditos Madrid

Hermos y Malditos has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: you feel like you are out of space. I had the impression to be suddenly catapulted in a downtown diner late at night portrayed by Hopper in one of the most recognizable of paintings.

Distinguished, elegant, sophisticated that captured me for one of the best Instagram profile in town, exactly when it was opened.

Reading a bit more about the cocktail bar I also discovered the cocktail menu had one super hipster mixology tresure called “Wes Anderson”.
When I ordered it the very kind barman told me that due to the decision of creating this Scott Fitzgerald atmosphere, this key cocktail was renamed as the famous writer. Hermos y Malditos is infact the spanish version of the very renowned “The Beautiful and Damded”.
Well, the cocktail was very good, and I also appreciate the candies and the still water as soon as I sat down to the blue velvet sofa (yes, another Director’s quote, Mr. David Lynch).

Hermos y Malditos, Calle de Hermosilla, 23, 28001 Madrid

7. Meraki Gastrobar Madrid

Meraki gastrobar has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: special. Yes this place is special and deserve a place in this list, because as for Hard Rock barman, talking to the master of mixology you hear a completely peronal why of developing and creating a cocktail. Unique.

I had the chance to meet the bartender Joaquin Poyatos at the same event where I’ve met XXXX from Hard Rock. Joaquin prepared a special cocktail that it will be included in the new menu of the restaurant than I was able to try and preview; a cocktail made with Spinach, called Popeye, paired with a spinach biscuit that perfectly matches with the taste of the drink.

His idea of the contamination between the cuisine and the barra, as a liquid exchange of knowledge really fascinated me, and the same it was during the Made in Love event when his creations were aromatized with olives, like if the tapa was inside the cocktail.

Moreover they have in Meraki a tremendous complete selection of Vermouth, with the Martini Italian version called Riserva Speciale Rubino, Cinzano 1757, then Casa Mariol, the classic Zecchini and much more. Every thursday and saturday there is always live music in Meraki so that know you don’t have any excuse to not trying this unique place.

 

Meraki GastroBar, Avenida de Carabanchel Alto 138, Madrid

8. Salmon Guru

Salmon Guru has one of the best Cocktail Bar in Madrid because: Diego Cabrera. In Madrid when you talk about mixology of cocktails, the first name that you will hear is him, Mr. Diego Cabrera, born and raised in Argentina, he is the owner of Salmon Guru. The service is excellent, when you sit you already have a fresh glass of water and some candies waiting for you. Details makes the difference, and everytime I go to calle Echegaray I find the same perfect service, and it’s unusual that Diego itself is welcoming with like this. The bartenders serving at the table create a connection with you, because they are making your cocktail so they need to know you and wish you to enjoy it.

It’s a chic bar, the ambient is amazing for sure, but the cartoons inspired neon are all part of the experience, a different experience where you can feel that connection to Diego’s passions.

You can find some pictures of Diego mixing but for this blog post we have chosen this funny one with Alex.

 

Salmon Guru Madrid, Calle Echegaray, 21, 28014 Madrid

9. El Palco Platea Madrid

El Palco Plate has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: theatrical. The space is unique.

For those who don’t know, Platea is an old theater turned into a gastronomic center, with chic bars and restaurant. El Palco, located on the second floor offers an impressive view on the stage that can distract the atterion for the original reason why you are there, and it’s so hard to sit at the bar with the theatre on the back, but it worth a chat with the bartender, and than back to the seats.

 

El Palco Platea Madrid, Calle de Goya, 5-7, 28001 Madrid

10. Torre Barcelò Madrid

Torre Barcelò has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: design. Yes, no doubt, it’s strenght is the design, in the spaces, in the menu, in the business card too. Nothing is left to change in this men made paradise.

Barceló Torre de Madrid really strenght it’s uniqueness with an incredible architecture from the outside and a great design on the inside. The view is reserved to the higher floors for the hotel accommodations and the spa. The cocktail bar is on the ground floor, right in front of Plaza de Espana shining through the fountains water.

I loved the atmosphere of the bar and service was perfect. I mean, if you bring me nuts and candies I’ll be in love with you forever.

 

Torre Barcelò Madrid, Plaza de España, 18, 28008 Madrid

My advice is to try it all as I did it. And I am quite sure that my barra experience will not end here, my research will continue as long as there will be new cocktails to try.

Meraki, when passion meets food

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How many times your favourite bar or restaurant was so full of people and impossible to get in on a random weekend? What about the bruch? Sunday morning queueing, the Madrid revisitation of Sunday Bloody Sunday by the U2.

Madridiana has the solution for this annoying weekend madness.

The method is: hype cool centric location on Monday or Tuesday, leaving the M30 for peaceful and relaxed locations during the weekend (remember that weekends start on Thursday in Madrid, or better Juernes).

meraki madrid

Meraki is a great example of the perfect weekend location.

Lore and Cris, the owners of Meraki restaurant decided to open their first venture in Carabanchel instead of a more centric barrio.

It’s a challenge but most of all it’s an innovative idea and proposal, and when I see innovation I see future and I have to support it.

The name, Meraki, is the first step into this wonderful world, because Meraki comes from the modern Greek and means “do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention”, exactly what Lore and Cris transmitted me.

Even if there is a lot of green and blue, cold colours, Meraki it’s really a warm restaurant welcoming clients with a unique atmosphere, also thanks to history of how it was built and which materials have been used like the woods that  comes from the Iglesia de Fuente el Saz del Jarama.

At this point you might have already reserved a table in Meraki for the weekend and I haven’t talked about the food and the barra (which will be explained by Enzo Lauretta, the drinks expert).

And to be totally sincere I haven’t mentioned the first two part of the atmosphere that I guess are the most appreciated, the green walls and the beautiful murals in the terrace.

So let’s start with the core point of a this gastro restaurant: the menu.

meraki madrid

This fantastic ensaladilla rusa is the first bite of Meraki cuisine, as a welcoming tapas.

The starter best seller is the tartar, in the veggie, fishy or classic meat version, it’s really special, and the famous guakamola, which is a sort of avocado tartar, the paradise of avocado lovers.

meraki madridmeraki madrid

Look at the mango and the tomatoes in the veggie version, no filter picture of course, with my Nikon, it was delicious, I could have two more, even if the portions are huge, and dine with it, as starter, main course and dessert.

Choosing the main courses was not an easy task, the burger with beer bread sounds incredibly tasty, the tuna tataki perfectly matches with the tomatoes tartar, tortilla and croquetas for the classic spanish food with a Meraki touch.

In the end as for the guakamola we went for the funny naming, with the Maki taco as a mix of japanese uramaki and mexican taco, and a classic dish de toda la vida, the carrillera de ternera with patatas purea.

meraki madrid

Like a happy kids I was surprised to find my favourite water, San Pellegrino, the best sparkling water in the world.

Not to mention the tablas of quesos and jamon, cecina de Leon, with many starters and main courses made with cheese, Italian with the Burratina and French with the queso Camembert.

So many different cultures in one menu, totally in harmony between each other as a fusion concept should be considering that our tastes are changing every time we travel to a new destination and its culinary tradition and culture.

Creativity is the fil rouge of Meraki, it’s in every mesa, in every sofa, in every dish, that’s why this is not an ordinary restaurant.

Enzo’s thoughts

meraki madrid

As it was for the San Pellegrino water, the same accurate selection for the coffee with Illy and for a tremendous complete selection of Vermouth, with the Martini Italian version called Riserva Speciale Rubino, Cinzano 1757, then Casa Mariol, the classic Zecchini and much more.

Last but not least we also had what we call a “barra experience” with the bartender Joaquin Poyatos that we already had the chance to meet in occasion of the regional final of the bartending competition Made with Love, in collaboration with the Campari Academy, that put together the best bartenders of Madrid.

Joaquin prepared for us a special cocktail that it will be included in the new menu of the restaurant than we were able to try and preview.

meraki madrid

A cocktail made with Spinach, called Popeye, paired with a spinach biscuit that perfectly matches with the cocktail.

His idea of the contamination between the cuisine and the barra, as a liquid exchange of knowledge really fascinated me, and the same it was during the Made in Love event when his creations were aromatized with olives, like if the tapa was inside the cocktail.

Every thursday and saturday there is always live music in Meraki so that know you don’t have any excuse to not trying this unique place.

Wishing all the best to Lore and Cris, we can’t wait to be back to Meraki, convinced that their passion and dedication will be the key for the success and growth of this restaurant, which might be only the first of an amazing series of locals.

More information here: Meraki.

hop in the box

The Hop In The Box Experience

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“Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.” – Thomas Jefferson

This article will take you 1 minutes 22 seconds to read – written by Enzo Lauretta

What were we talking about last time?

In my latest article about Hop in the box I talked about

  1. Travel the world by tasting different beers from the comfort of home
  2. They will rang your door, it’s like Christmas but every month
  3. The excitement of a surprise box, which is priceless
  4. They spread the craft beer culture helping local producers to be distributed
  5. Being the coolest beers bottles collectors between friends.

In the last weeks I have heard and read about at least 5 different events-festivals-fairs totally dedicated to the amazing and exciting world of the beer.

Some were focused on a specific typology of cerveza, some others were totally involved in the growing trend of craft beer, letting tiny producers to speak out and meet their desired target.

I have to admit that in the end I’ve been only to one of these events, the more advertised and far from Madrid center, and it really disappointed me. Prices were too high both for beers and food, few varieties of cervezas and an awful space, desolation …

Probably the other events were great and I just pick the wrong one, but for sure this episode made me think about how much we do expect sometimes from a location and an event and how much we can be disappointed, hopefully in this case I didn’t had to pay for an entrance ticket.

Comfort is what I was thinking about.

hop in the box

So, after that I thought, why I should move from home to look for a craft beer store or to go for beer festivals when I can stay at home enjoying a box of beer?

I have to admit that it is always a pleasure to visit that kind of festivals, meet people, taste different beers from all over the world, or I don’t know, decide to go for a picnic with some friends and bring hop in the box with you, but sometimes you just need to stay at home spending more time with ourselves, a football and a beer, some beers, that knock on your door and with which you can make something to eat as i did it.

To make it even clearer we record a nice video on how you can enjoy the Hop in the Box experience, from the ring bell to the consume, drinking or cooking with the craft beer selection of every month.

Selecta San Miguel

Exploring San Minguel Selecta

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This article will take you 1 minutes 55 seconds to read – written by Enzo Lauretta

Try to imagine a dinner with a great chef from a very special tavern in Madrid Retiro, a unique menu, an impressive location and a lovely blonde girl serving your favourite beer every time you sip the last drop.

It’s a true story that San Miguel made happen last week, organizing a dinner inside the Museo del Ferrocarril, discovering why the Selecta is the greatest beer.

I drank lots of different beers in my life, from several countries, but I do believe that you don’t need to be a beer specialist to understand and taste the difference of the San Miguel ingredients compared to all the other beers on the market.

And after that which was already an incredible once in a lifetime experience I also had the chance to meet David with a tiny group of friends on the occasion of a degustation of San Miguel Selecta in a very characteristic bar of Las Letras, called Kaixo.

I discovered that San Miguel comes from Manila, Philippines, which is a city I love and I have been to 4 times. It really surprised me.

And I learn a lot during these two events, because the only way to learn is to explore, to be in the front row enjoying the experience with all the senses.

Johann, who was our storyteller at the Exploratorium dinner, all his talk along the dinner was focused on the tastes (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, umami or savoriness) and how Chef José Luis Martínez from Taberna y Media has developed the menu of the dinner in order to match the Selecta tastes with his premium quality food.

José Luis Martínez taberna y media

After a talk with Chef José Luis Martínez  I understood why San Miguel has chosen him. First of all for his passion, it really seems to me that I was full of joy when talking about the preparation of his creations, second because he’s an explorer so that this melting’ pot of different countries, tastes, ingredients and culture was crucial point of the dinner, mixing and matching top quality food with the exclusivity of San Miguel Selecta.

I mean it is not just a matter of matching food with beer, all the courses were cooked or marinated with San Miguel Selecta.

And you know you is a great fan of the beer foam for cooking?

Ferran Adria, one of the most famous chef in the world, a revolutionary man for the cuisine and restaurant world s widely credited with starting the trend of foam on food, always preferring beer or sparkling wines to the still once.

First Course

Fattened hen chicken pickled with foie and ras el hanout.

Roasted scallops with confit artichokes from Tudela.

Second Course

Roasted beef cheek and venezuelan cocoa.

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with gianduia.

With David few days after all the attention was on San Miguel Selecta, the history of San Miguel, the development of Selecta, taking into consideration all the ingredients with a five senses approach, from the hearing to the taste, analysing the smell of hops and of more complex tastes like chocolate, galleta and cinnamon.

We admired the color of the beer with the sight, and did a three tasting phases analysis on how different they were one between each other.

It was a blast. Stop thinking about everything else and just turn on the focus on what we were drinking and the sensations that we felt.

You can only reach excellence with knowledge and what’s better than exploring for accumulating more and more knowledge. This is the spirit and the vision of the Exploratorium project that we had the chance to live twice, first with the “mesa nomada” inside the Museo del Ferrocarril and than with the cata viajera at Kaixo in Las Letras.

There are lots of “mesas nomadas” you can participate, unfortunately not in Madrid, but that’s that’s an explorer challenge, to move forward.

picasso arzabal

Arzabal does Picasso

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When I see a designer, an architect or a chef that creates a dress, a building or a plate inspired by work of art from a famous or even an unknown artists I am really impressed.

A chef is an artist and doesn’t need to be inspired by painters or sculptors, everything he does is magic, combining food in new ways is always a work of art.

But there are some rare and unique occasion where the two disciplines can merge and give birth to a really special art menu.

This is the story of two young chefs that almost one and half year ago opened a restaurant in one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world, I am talking about the restaurant Arzabal and the Reina Sofia Museum, in Madrid of course.

The name Arzabal should sound famous because the Arzabal Museo history might be recent, but the Álvaro Castellanos and Iván Morales work ,as owners and chefs, is known from the Arzabal tavern in Retiro since 2009.

They have always worked with attention to details and creativity in all the possible senses, putting the client experience always at the center of the research.

Having a restaurant inside a Museum can be challenging sometimes but can also offer unique opportunities, like as the title of this blog post have spoilered a bit, a restaurant like Arzabal Museo can offer a unique menu and an exclusive visit to the closed Reina Sofia museum for a really once in a lifetime dinner.

Arzabal does Picasso from the 4th of April until the closing date (5th of September 2017) of the Reina Sofia exhibition dedicated to Pablo Picasso called “Pity and Terror, Picasso’s Path to Guernica”.

How Álvaro and Iván are doing Picasso?

Well, there are paintings that really seem to be perfect as food reinterpretations and there Pisacco is not easy, he is not an impressionist with fluid colours and he’s not Giuseppe Arcimboldo with a blaze of fruits.

There arere painting, like the Guernica, so deep and so dark such a strong political message and and lots of restlessness, that transforming them into something eatable is taught challenge.

But Picasso’s life have been a lot things, a lot of places, colours and stories so that the Arzabal team was able to develop two special offers dedicated to mr Pablo P.

Two offers for all the wallets, one on a daily basis, 32 euro and an easy menu that doesn’t need to be reserved (drinks excluded), and a second one with a special tour of the exhibition when the museum is closed and for more than 13 courses at 185 euro.

Lots of Pablo Picasso obsessions have been transformed by the Arzabal duo into an eatable experiences. For example his passion for horns and bulls have been reinterpreted with a very typical spanish speciality: the robo de toro.

Same thing on the drinking side, the wines can be for example from Malaga, where Picasso was born, of from France where he spent most of his life.

It’s really a matter of a unique experience because the exhibition with 150 exclusive pieces from all over the world is going to be a powerful message as the title states, and I guess walking along the rooms in a very tiny group of 20 people when the museum is closed will be hit the visitors with stronger feelings about Picasso state of mind, how he perceived the world and most of all how he ended up painting a masterpiece like the Guernica.

The art section of Madridiana has a quote on the top of it and it’s from Picasso, so you can just imagine how excited we can be about the exhibition and even more about these two menus, it is really like a once in a lifetime opportunity, never happen to me living in London or Milan, or travelling to Paris. A lot of restaurants that are connected with famous museums are inspired and might have dedicated menus to an artist or to an exhibition but the Arzabal initiative is something different and comes in two alternatives, one opened everyday for everyone, one for few people (only 20 seats every dinner) that needs to be reserved.

arzabal does picasso

Probably each of the 13 courses will let tablemates discover something new about Picasso, something that Álvaro Castellanos and Iván Morales have seen browsing between hundreds of paintings and thousands of lines about his story.

Hearing them talking about Picasso is fascinating, because it really seem that they know him, talking like if they really understand his feelings. It’s like the work of a curator, but instead of collecting and organizing works of art, the two chefs are organizing a special menu.

For more information and reservation: Arzabal Museo.