Although I am in Madrid, mediocre and bad food is abundant, just as it is an any city. The “smaller bites” here, like a quick bit of jamon iberico or a lovely pastry, are actually quite delicious. But finding the right tapas or recoletos has been a very difficult feat. A friend of mine from Madrid decided we go out to a place in Salamanca called La Cesta de Recoletos. Ah, finally an (almost) Michelin-worthy meal.
A few minor complaints. First, the service sucked. 45 minutes from the time we were seated to when a beverage crossed my lips. Just one of many other issues that bugged me. Second, there was no music in the place. Fortunately I had 15 friends dining with me. Third, the floating lamps were just annoying. Finally, some of the dishes were not executed quite up to the level that I would expect, but it was still pretty damn good.
Ciervo carpaccio | Deer carpaggio
Huevos rotos con jamon | Scrambled eggs with ham
Tartar de salmon | Salmon tartare
Jamón ibérico de bellota arturo sánchez y pan con tomate | Cured ham served with tomato brushed bread
Cecina de León con aceite arbequina y pan con tomate | Cured Ox meat with olive oil and tomato brushed bread
Terrina de foie-gras con chutney de pera y jengibre | Exquisite foie micuit with pear and ginger chutney
Tosta de burrata con tomate, aceitunas de Kalamata y rúcula | Burrata Crostini: cheese on toast with tomato, rocket and Kalamata olives
Tortilla de patata y cebolla hechas con huevos de corral | Traditional omelette of free-range eggs and onion
Lomo de merluza con compota de berenjena ahumada | Hake fillet with finely mashed potato and smoked oil
And my personal favorite, one of the best dishes I have tried all year:
Arroz de cochas de bacalao – Cheeks of cod rice mixed fresh vegetables
Yes, yes. That last dish was simply perfect. Fresh, flavorful, perfect.