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Fine dining in Madrid - please help me choose

Fine dining in Madrid - please help me choose

Jul 23rd, 2012, 06:34 AM
  #1  
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Fine dining in Madrid - please help me choose

Please help me choose the best option for fine dining in Madrid. We want to eat at variety of restaurants, so only 1 night will be dedicated to "upscale" dining. Right now I am thinking of one of these:

Sergi Arola Gastro
Zalacain
La Terraza del Casino

Thanks!
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Tough choices as all three are highly rated (Michelin stars and Repsol Suns) and recommended in Maribel's Madrid Dining Guide. Of the three, my first choice would be to go with Sergi Arola. After dinner there, you can then check out his new place, Vi Cool, for lunch (www.vi-cool.com).
Robert2533 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:01 AM
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If you want the absolute in fine dining, head to San Sebastian.

Arzak and Mugaritz are considered among the top 10 restaurants in the world.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:12 AM
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The CASINO( this word in Spanish meant "meeting place/ Cultural center in the old days) is not a gambling casino but a world class private club. The building itself is stately, decadent and unbelievable. It would be difficult to duplicate this entrance to any other restaurant. The food was also excellent when we were there.

I have not eaten at the others but ASSUME they are all good choices.
lincasanova is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 09:04 AM
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I am going to be awful and say "none of them". Have you thought of Club Allard or Diverxo?

Between these three, I´d go with La Terraza del Casino or with Zalacaín if you are going for something classical. I don´t know about Sergi Arola. I had dinner there last year, and I thought it so-so, and some of my friends think the same.

Bye, Cova
cova is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 10:22 AM
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I totally agree with Cova. Definitely make DiverXo your number 1 pick, after its 2nd Michelin star nomination, a reservation is well required, but diners leave satisfied - even mind blown. Modern Spanish/Asian fusion from a young chef on the rise.

Club Allard is also gaining some attention, but I find the atmosphere to be a tad stuffier. More traditional, classic dining room. Food is also less adventurous.

Over La Terraza del Casino, I would also recommend Ramón Freixa, but if you were stuck on wanting to experience Paco Roncero's fine dining options(chef of La Terraza) try to get into his new sensory laboratory project,"El Taller de Las Emociones."
Jamon_y_Vino is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Yes, "el taller de las emociones" sounds pretty amazing, but I think that you must be invited.

I would really try to get to Diverxo. I have been a couple of times, one before the Michelin star and one after, and it wasn´t so difficult to book, as long as you keep in mind that the sooner you can do it is a month in advance.
http://diverxo.com/
cova is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 11:59 AM
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As for lunch I also recommend La Cesta de Recoletos
http://www.lacesta.eu/paracomer.php
Revulgo is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 12:11 PM
  #9  
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Thanks to everyone who responded. Part of my consideration was to try more spanish-inspired menu. Would DiverXo fit that or would others be better?
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 12:30 PM
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DiverXo would provide a more Asian influenced menu. If you are looking for regional fine dining, I'd go with Ramon Freixa or splurge for La Terraza del Casino, both Catalan/Spanish/Mediterranean based, keeping in mind the latter tilts more to the molecular gastronomy angle.

Enjoy Madrid!
Jamon_y_Vino is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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There's an article in today's NYT in the Dining section that discusses the problems these chefs are having because of the economic crisis. Also a Blog post. In addition, the expected hotel occupancy rate for August is only 80% of the capacity. Hard times for Spain.
Bedar is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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@Bedar - thanks. Interesting read, although it does not make for the best article when you are mentioning both TGI Fridays and DiverXO in the same argument....
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 11:06 AM
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There's no argument to the article. It's simply saying that ALL restaurants are going through rough times. That said, I think your choice of restaurants is good with the possible exception of the Casino. Believe I read some very poor reviews of it, perhaps on TA, but we haven't eaten there. While the building is supposed to be interesting, the restaurant part of it is not.
Bedar is offline  
Jul 24th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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When will you be in Madrid?
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jul 24th, 2012, 02:03 PM
  #15  
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@eksrunchy - middle of Sept
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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@Bedar - can you let me know where you saw bad (and maybe good) reviews? I am skeptical about using TripAdvisor for high end restaurants
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 06:37 AM
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And I very rarely look at TA and use it for nothing ! But, yes, that's where I saw the poor reviews and also great reviews (just looked).
Bedar is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Half the people who post restaurant reviews on TA, know not of whence they speak, particularly on ethnic foods.

Although there is a smaller sampling here, the advice is more accurate and knowledgable.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 08:02 AM
  #19  
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So in US I trust Yelp in general. What is a good site for spain's restaurants?
foodie_vvv is offline  
Jul 25th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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TripAdvisor is a terrible site for restaurant reviews, in my opinion. In Spain and everywhere else.

The review sites for Spain are mostly in Spanish, of course. There are others, and locals can give more info, but I look at the Repsol site, and this site, which seems to have pretty intelligent contributors in my experience:

http://11870.com/k/restaurantes/es/es/madrid

In English, there are some helpful posters on Chowhound's Spain board.

And Maribel's Madrid Dining guide is excellent; she has steered me so well in many Spanish cities and towns over the years...

Here's my food-centric report from last year, discussing where we ate in Madrid, but I am not a local and I did not eat at the top end:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...k-in-spain.cfm

I will be returning in a few months and am busy compiling my own list!

Madrid is a fabulous eating city! Just a great city all around!!
ekscrunchy is online now  

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