Madrid: restaurant in a theater?

Old Sep 28th, 2003, 04:05 AM
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DMG
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Madrid: restaurant in a theater?

A friend just returned from Madrid and told us not to eat at Botin (which many had recommended to her). She suggested eating in old theater that is now a restuarant and called Teatro(?). Does anyone else know about that restuarant? I can't find it listed so that may not be the right name.
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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DMG,
It's Teatriz. It's located in the tony Salamanca district, right in the middle of a great shopping street, Claudio Coello, at the corner of Hermosilla, and it attracts a handsome local crowd plus some foreign visitors, since it is mentioned in some guides.
It's a clever, "trendy" refit of the old Beatriz theater, done in '90 by Phillipe Starck and Javier Mariscal. The entrance has a few tall, postmodern tables where you can have a stylish "tapas" lunch, or in the theater itself, you can have a dinner of creative mostly Italian cuisine (original desserts) in the round, where the audience used to sit, or just have drinks at the translucent bar on the stage. The downstairs library turns into a disco like bar open til very late. They have international designer boutique openings here. Don't miss the bathrooms! Worth the trip alone. It's fun.
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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DMG
Botin and Teatriz are two totally different restaurants, teatriz well describe by Maribel serves mediocre food.But certanly trendy.
While Botin a classic restaurant in the old town near puerta cerrada in the Madrid of the Austrias(seventeen century) decoration matching,serving tradional castillian food.
Cannot really compare.
The latest trendy resturant in Madrid is call, Calle 54, in Paseo de la habana(again food not terrible).
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 06:20 PM
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Thanks Maribel. Your information is great; no wonder everyone wants your files! Any thoughts about Botin? We are also planning to go to Casa Pacco.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 04:42 PM
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Hi DMG,
My review of Botín from that now infamous document:

"Antigua Casa Sobrinos de Botín" (Calle de Cuchilleros #17), the world's oldest restaurant, dates from 1725, according to Guiness Book of Records. A Hemingway favorite, where Jake Barnes dines with Brett in The Sun Also Rises (also featured in Michener's Iberia)-Hemingway called it "the world's greatest restaurant"- It's packed with tourists all the time, as it's the one Madrid dining spot everyone wants to visit either for the nostalgia or for the authentic, classic roasting tavern ambience. One of the few Madrid rests. that opens at 8 p.m.. It's best to reserve, as if you walk in at 8 you'll be seated in the less atmospheric front room. Since there are 5 levels, ask for a table in the cozy, dimly lit caves or on the prettily decorated and tiled 3rd fl, where madrileño business types entertain their foreign guests. But if you want to see Spaniards, go after 10:30, preferably at 11, when strolling university student (or aging former students) troubadours ("tunas&quot come in to serenade. The Queen took Nancy Reagan and Hillary to dine here. Specialties are roast suckling pig and roast lamb cooked in centuries old wood-burning ovens fired by evergreen oak. The original stoves are still in use. Also serves a nice filet mignon with mushrooms ("solomillo Botín&quot, very fresh fish as well. I like their "merluza al horno" (oven baked hake) and the "almejas Botín" (yummy clams served in a clay cazuela). Very good gazpacho, and the house bottle of Valdepeñas is o.k. and the Rioja is fine. Many order pitchers of sangría, but not the natives. Folding menus in English that you can take as souvenirs (practically every Spanish teacher in the US who's been to Botín has one in his/her classroom!)
Skip the flan and have the Botín cake ("tarta de la casa&quot instead or the fresh strawberries from Aranjuez with whipped cream or freshly squeezed o.j.

The place is still family run with great aplomb. The staff has been around forever, including the maitre d' who has manned the house for 30 years. The chef is a 40 yr. veteran. The same family runs the restaurant of the Hostal del Cardenal in Toledo, and there's a branch of Botín in Coral Gables, Fla.
Can go in practically any mode of dress. (not so at Casa Paco where shorts are a no-no) I've seen diners bring in their backpacks-no problem.

Again, please reserve unless you want to take your chances at 8 with a throng of very hungry tourists eager to dine early.

Yes, it's "touristy" but not only touristy. I've never had a bad meal here, and I've taken many a guest to Botín. It has a fine satisfaction rating among foreign guests.Yes, there are other more splendid gourmet spots in the city, and Spain's Gourmetour guide gives it a 6/10 versus Julián de Tolosa's 7,25/10 on that same street (great steaks!). Down on the Cava Baja we also like Casa Lucio and Posada de la Villa where the atmosphere is very "castizo" (typical of Madrid) . But...since Botín represents a good value, I enjoy Botín for what it is, and my guests leave happy.



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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 07:59 AM
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Maribel: Thanks again. And if I can ask just one more thing: what abour Casa Pacco? Your descriptions are great!
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 09:01 AM
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Hi again DMG,
Casa Paco is a favorite for steaks, located just down the Calle de Cuchilleros from Botín, on the Puerta Cerrada square, to the right. You'll recognize it by the bold red and green exterior. Although it dates from the mid-thirties rather than the 1700s, it's another classic Madrid tavern. It has an ancient zinc bar downstairs, filled with locals at around 9 drinking (pretty bad) red Valdepeñas, where the octogenarian owner used to sit each night talking with his friends (he has since passed away) and pretty dining rooms in back and upstairs. The walls are adorned with photos of the famous who have dined there over the yrs. And like Botín it's also very popular among foreign visitors to the city because of its old time Madrid ("castizo&quot ambience and its steaks, "lomo de buey", served to you on a sizzling platter. The steak arrives actually undercooked and you let it finish cooking on the platter to your liking. But Spaniards will always eat their meat quite rare. The steak is priced by the weight. They also do a nice ratatouille, called a "pisto manchego" and other typical Castilian dishes like garlic soup ("sopa de ajo&quot and "fabada" from Asturias (a very heavy white bean stew). And the wines served in the dining rooms are fine (just don't like the table wine served at the bar). Like Botín, Casa Paco opens early by Madrid standards, at 8:30, doesn't allow shorts (there's a picture outfront to warn you), and reservations are essential. Service by the veteran waiters is very efficient but speedy, and there's no after dinner coffee served. It's closed on Sun. and Aug., as are many restaurants, except for Botín, which virtually never closes!

For the dedicated carnivore, here are other great steak venues in Madrid:
the more contemporary and very Basque Julián de Tolosa on the Cava Baja (huge steaks served rare and wonderful red peppers from the Basque country), its newer sister, Asador Casa Matías right off the Plaza de España on Calle San Leonardo and the two outposts of El Buey ("The Ox&quot at Plaza de la Marina Española, near the Royal Palace and the Senate, and in the tony Salamanca district on General Pardiñas 10.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 09:59 AM
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Dear Maribel,

It's been a long time since I've wanted to say this but will, finally, say it now! I am originally from Spain (Madrid to be exact) and my parents and entire family still live there. I am in New York City but visit there frequently. That said, I just wanted to let you know that your information and very kind assistance to everyone in connection with all things Spain is wonderful, on-target and extremely accurate.

A GIANT "thank you" to you, Maribel. We are lucky to have you.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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P.S. I thought Teatriz was a very fun place and would return even though the food, in my opinion, is quite mediocre.
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Old Oct 1st, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Topping for jennie...
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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I'm back from Madrid. Special thanks to Maribel for her information, as well as to Michelle.

We wound up spending only two nights in Madrid and know that we shall go back because it is such a beautiful city.

Had dinner at Teatriz which was really enjoyable and we thought the food was very good with an interesting menu. The second night we went to Casa Paco which we truly enjoyed. My wife had eaten there 38 years ago and said it was great then and it still is: delicious steaks that are served on sizzling plates.

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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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DMG,
Thanks for the feedback about both places, and I'm so glad you had a great time in Madrid. Like your wife, I had my first steak dinner at Casa Paco 30 some yrs. ago too. A classic that's still going strong!

And thanks michelle, too!
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