For lovers of gastronomy and restaurant owners in many European countries, the Michelin Guide is a Bible, a document which is the hallmark of gastronomic perfection, and which can transform the finest chefs into truly galactic artists. It is the bestselling and most prestigious guides of its kind, and its judgment is rarely called into question by those foreigners who come to Madrid in search of the finest Spanish nouvelle cuisine.
The capital now boasts nine Michelin-star restaurants and another four in the Madrid region. Madrid is home to around 3,100 eateries of which a number have Michelin stars: DiverXo with 3, Santceloni, La Terraza del Casino, Sergi Arola, Ramón Freixa Madrid and El Club Allard with 2, and Zalacaín, Kabuki Wellington and Kabuki with 1. Wellington, with one, has been selected by the prestigious guide. Their claim is backed up by well-prepared dishes, a painstaking service and a select atmosphere.
In order to appear in the pages of this prestigious guide, an immaculate kitchen is an essential, although by no means sufficient, characteristic. The quality of the service is another factor taken into account, from waiters to maîtres and sommeliers, all of whom work together in order to offer the customer in-depth advice and unbeatable service. The design of the venue along with a decoration which helps to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere are other areas which cannot be ignored. With these qualities in mind, Madrid has several establishments offering a veritable delight for the senses.
Young chef David Muñoz is the man behind this restaurant on Calle Pensamiento, in the Tetuán district, an area which is characterized by its fusion of national products and recipes with flavors from Asian cuisines.
Santceloni has stuck to its guiding principles from the very beginning: a cuisine based around the best the market has to offer, with a respect for the finest ingredients. For the maitre, Abel Valverde, the highly coveted star represents “an important recognition given the prestige of the guide, which puts us in an excellent category, both at a national and international level. We have fought to really stand out,” he says. “We fight for what we believe in and this is a reward for our efforts”.
La Terraza del Casino
Paco Roncero, one of Spain’s leading contemporary chefs, helms the kitchen at La Terraza del Casino, a delightful establishment in the 19th-century Casino de Madrid. Offers a truly original selection of dishes. Its seasonal menu includes tapi-dishes, which consist of all kind of ingredients, including nitro maize with black truffle jelly and foie gras, sole with asparagus and mandarin purée, and fillet of ox with ravioli stuffed with Iberian belly pork and potatoes. On the other hand the Tasting Menu offers a cocktail for starters - namely caipirinha made from liquid nitrogen – and snacks such as a paella made from Kellogg’s cereals. Moving on to the tapas, you’d do well to try, among others, the unusual pork sausage or chorizo sandwich, made with toasted cocoa bread stuffed with Iberian salad marinted in red pepper. Main courses on offer include meat and fish dishes. And dessert comprise other little bits of madness and original creations such as sherbert-based peta colas or the false pine kernel shortbread or polvorón.
Sergi Arola, in this restaurant, one of our most famous chefs tries to express on his tasting menu the complexity of the sensory world he feels and believes in. This is reflected in the four set meals – Sergi Arola, Descubrimiento (Discovery), Lunch and Infantil (Kids) – currently on offer to cater for guests’ different needs and tastes. Besides, he tries beyond trends and presentation tendencies to get back to the warmth and textures from his first stages in his previous restaurant in calle Doctor Fleming.
Ramón Freixa’s restaurant is located in the Único Hotel, in the heart of the Salamanca district. This gastronomic Mecca was awarded two Michelin´s Stars. Based on a fusion of traditional dishes and the most sophisticated creations, all his cuisine has a Mediterranean flair. The restaurant offers three tasting menus to suit all tastes.
El Club Allard-16
El Club Allard one of Madrid’s most important gastronomic temples while, at the same time, accommodating a vast range of cultural activities, from painting exhibitions to literary presentations, not to mention the Enrique Ponce & Allard bullfighting awards. El Club Allard’s kitchen is helmed by young Álava-born chef Diego Guerrero. His secret is signature cuisine that combines tastes and textures in simple but original recipes, like his cod with pil pil sauce on a bed of brandade sponge and garlic bread fritters ¡ or the eggs with bread and lardon on a light potato cream.
Zalacaín is a long established restaurant which, 30 years after being founded by Jesús de Oyarbide continues to be a reference point of the capital’s gastronomic scene. The kitchen is now helmed by Antonio Medina who took over from Benjamín Uridaín. Although originally based around the cuisine of Navarra, the manager José Jiménez Blas defines its cooking as “creative and international”.
Kabuki Wellington: Sushiman Ricardo Sanz helms the kitchen of this Madrid-based restaurant where traditional Japanese dishes incorporate Spanish products leading to such succulent creations as the quail’s egg sushi with white truffle. To put the cherry on the cake, Kabuki serves desserts prepared by Oriol Balaguer, one of the best pastry makers in the world.
Kabuki: Although this is elder Kabuki restaurant, it wasn’t awarded its first Michelin start still 2010. The prestigious award recognizes Ricardo Sanz’ talent for preparing the highest quailyt and adventurous sushi. The awardwinning eatery also boasts an impressive selection of exotic fish.