Food is undoubtedly an important part of living anywhere. Continuing with the ‘Restaurants in Spain – What I Pay Attention to’ post, in this article I will comment on some restaurants I have gone to lately in Barrio Salamanca, a prime commercial and residential area of Madrid next to Puerta de Alcalá (Arc) monument. In future entries, I will reflect on my experiences in restaurants in other parts of the city/region and country. Considering you, the reader, I will focus on the ones centered around Spanish food.
For these posts, my selection criteria will be straightforward: where I have had a relevant/meaningful experience. Some variables determining it (not necessarily in order and measurable in the same terms for them all): quality of food, innovation vs tradition, consistency with how the place presents itself, service, location, decoration, type of customers, value for money…
- Restaurante Ultramarinos Quintín: a Salamanca District representative restaurant with the atmosphere of an ancient food and beverages shop with top products that could have been imported from former colonies, reason for which they were called “Ultramarinos” (over seas), besides serving quality food combining traditional with modern dishes, you can also buy delicatessen products (ehem, Jamón Ibérico) or fresh premium products (tomatoes, peppers). You get what you pay (circa 150€ per two people with decent wine), including views of outdated/vintage tv presenters of the outdated/vintage Spanish Television Broadcast. Yeah, our taxes support their relaxed lunch also meant to show off!
- Goizeko Wellington: close to the previous restaurant and inside the Wellington Hotel (5*). Cuisine from the North of Spain, and more traditional and less show off space. Similar price range as the previous one and an experience worth it, led by the maître and co-owner perfectly controlling guests and waiters. Specialised in cods. Without getting into details, I will always remember that it was a very tense day in political terms in Spain and everybody there was relaxed. Did they know anything the rest of people ignored? Does affluence come with more perspective and coldness?
- Taberna Los Gallos: in a similar pricebase to the previous restaurants and closer in physical terms to the first one in a bucolic and pedestrian street of Barrio Salamanca. With a fusion concept very present from the decoration, to the menu, through the different spaces, and options to eat (high and low tables). I went on an evening so the people around were more hedonistic than the ones you find at lunch time, including of course my companions of that night. No more details!
Interestingly, the websites of the previous restaurants are only in Spanish, despite having guests from abroad as well. It tells you that they put more effort into their food than attracting ‘visitors’ to Salamanca’s District and Madrid.
- Oter Epicure: more modern and international and with a bit of market appearance at the entrance. In contrast, its website has more languages than I have ever seen for a restaurant. With a bar before the lunch room for having some drinks or tapas. A wide range of options, particularly around fish and seafood. The clientele is more varied between all-year customers, tourists and business people. A bit more economical than the previous ones if you stick to non-exorbitant dishes and wines.
- SDK Meat Point: yeah, it is about prime meat (primarily beef but also burgers, chicken, tartar, lamb) prepared in an open kitchen. Not sure whether its decoration is rococo or a representation of how the future would look like these days when predicted several decades ago. The entrecote I had was in line with the proposal of the restaurant and the chips accompanying it were delicious. You can view a good part of the street from the restaurant and is a bit more economic than all the previous ones – and again the quality and service goes with it.
Have you gone to any of these restaurants? Any other one worth mentioning in Barrio Salamanca area? Does the experience match the price ranges?
Links of Interest:
Restaurante Ultramarinos Quintín, About (in Spanish).
Goizeko Wellington, Menu (in Spanish)
Oter Epicure, Virtual tour
SQD Meat Point, Press
Taberna los Gallos, Online booking (in Spanish)
Photos: Puerta de Alcala (Arc), Madrid. Goizeko Wellington Restaurant. Oter Epicure restaurant.