Archive for the Las Huertas Category

Madrid – Cortes – Las Huertas – two meals to remember at Triciclo

Posted in Centro, Las Huertas, Las Letras (Cortes), Madrid, Madrid Comunidad, Spain with tags on February 15, 2019 by gannet39

Triciclo (High Intermediate A), 28 Calle Santa Maria, www.eltriciclo.es

As of Spring 2017 I’m very happy to say that Triciclo, located within my favourite tapas zone of Las Huertas (see my other post), is a new addition to my shortlist of essential places to eat in Madrid.

It was the place to be for the blogosphere when it opened in July 2013 but now things have calmed down it’s much easier to get in. You’ll still probably have to reserve at peak times though.

When I first came on a Thursday evening I had to squeeze into a tiny space at a raised table by the bar (my only gripe) but ended up liking the experience so much that I came back with a reservation for Saturday lunch and got a more comfortable seat in the pleasant dining room next door.

What made my experience so memorable was the superb service I received from Luis, the young sumelier (sommelier) who at only 26 is amazingly fluent in both English and wine.

On the first night I had the Menu Degustacion, seven dishes for €50, and the Maridaje (wine pairing); seven wines for €30, and it was worth every penny.

The bread and olives were excellent of course, as was the amuse bouche, whatever it was (A).

First off was a Fino from Bodega El Maestro Sierra which I really enjoyed (B+). In addition to producing great wine, the bodega is also notable for being run by a woman who took over thirty years ago when her husband died. Apparently this was very much frowned upon in traditional Andalucia.

I later procured a couple of bottles of this for my personal cellar.

The following descriptions are often incomplete as it was hard to keep up.

The first starter included some of the famous white prawns from Huelva which were paired with coconut milk, shichimi powder and trout eggs to superb effect.

This was paired with a stunning French white called Meursault. I later found out it costs around £40 a bottle but Luis had opened it for a table of the owner’s friends and very kindly given me a glass when he didn’t have to. I’ve since added one to my collection as it was superb (A+).

Whatever came next had a lot to compete with, but the mackerel did well (A).

It was matched with a Ribeiro called Finca Viñoa which had a subtle flavour and nose (B).

After this Alcachofas (B+); artichokes cooked on the plancha with a pil pil sauce, seaweed and Callos de Bacalao, the flotation bladders of cod, which are one of my favourite things to eat for their amazing flavour (A+).

Luis told me artichokes are usually best with sherry but he matched them with a favourite white of his called Artifice from Tenerife which had a very unusual petroleum-like taste(B).

After this; butter beans with clams and prawns (B).

This was matched with a Ribeira Sacra called Tolo do Xisto which had a medium nose and flavour (B+).

Next up, some Merluza (hake), which was very good (A).

The Gramona cava Luis served it with was also stunning (A) and I later bought some.

Apparently the bodega’s owner takes into consideration the astral biodynamic calendar to decide when he picks his grapes!

Then Mollejas; sweetbreads with beans (B+).

They went well with a glass of Scala dei Garnatxa from Priorat (B+), Spain’s finest red wine region.

To finish, Apple and Lychees (B+).

The best match for this was a slightly sweet wine; Moscatel de la Marina by Enrique Mendoza, which knocked my socks off (A). I later bought twelve bottles on the internet for my pop-up restaurant.

For a final digestif with my coffee I asked Luis for something special from the bar’s liqueur collection and I was given a glass of Don Papa; a new rum on the market from the Philippines. He advises cooling a drink with ice cubes but removing them with tongs before they start to melt too much.

Having loved my first experience so much, I came back for Saturday lunch, and Luis worked some more magic on me.

I’ve not graded them as I was too busy speaking to Luis but it was all superb again.

After an amuse bouche of I forget what…

…matched with a Manzanilla called Sacrista AB from Barbadillo…

… I restarted with the Tosta Atun.

And a rose called El Aprendiz from the DO Tierra de Leon.

Then a third portion of Ciervo (venison) decorated with salmon roe I think.

Matched with a glass of Llanos Negros ‘La Batista’; a Malvasia from La Palma.

Also a third of Esparragos, the season’s first crop of forced asparagus, arrived that day from Navarra.

And a glass of 2014 L’Equilibrista from Catalunya.

Then a third of Manitas; pig’s trotters, or as Luis called them pig’s hands.

The wine was called 30,000 Maravedies from Bodega Maranones near Madrid.

I don’t recall what was on the Taco Carri, sorry. Bet it was good though.

With this a 2013 Syrah called Toc Toc.

To finish, Nuestras Frutas, our fruits, which included kiwi, mandarin, red grape and cantaloupe melon was sublime.

And a final glass of 2012 MR Mountain Wine, a moscatel from Telmo Rodrigquez in Malaga.

This Maridaje of six wines only cost me €22, so I think Luis might have swung me a couple of favours, good egg that he is.

So the wheels came off my reviewing at the end but suffice to say I had two superb meals here and absolutely recommend Triciclo for lovers of fine food and wines.

Madrid – Las Letras – Huertas tapas crawl

Posted in Centro, Las Huertas, Las Letras (Cortes), Madrid, Madrid Comunidad, Spain with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2016 by gannet39

Barrio Las Letras (aka Las Cortes) is the area south of the bottom ends of Calle Gran Via and Calle de Alcala. It’s bordered by Paseo del Prado to the east, Calle de la Cruz to the west and Calle de Atocha to the south. Barrio map here. General map here.

The barrio contains Calle de las Huertas, one of the main tapeo strips, and Plaza de Santa Anna, a pleasant square containing many restaurants (separate post here). The southern half around Huertas is also known as Barrio de las Letras. Personally I like to start my tapeo on Calle de Jesus at the bottom of the hill and head up Huertas to Plaza Santa Ana.

Los Gatos (Intermediate A), 2 Calle de Jesus Los Gatos bar

Madrilènos are known as “los gatos” (the cats) because they like to stay out so late.

mas Gatos

Despite being accused of being a tourist trap, with prices to match, this is my favourite tapas bar on this street, just for the bizarre decoration which covers every inch of the ceilings and walls.

Los Gatos bar

Bull fighting paraphernalia fights for space with classical and pop art treasures

Los Gatos

I love the eccentricity of it all.

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Los Gatos back room

The tapas are top quality too, which makes it a good place to start a night on the tiles.

Beers and canapés are €2.50 each and a racion of Salpicon de Maris is €11 (in 2015).

canpes

La Fabrica (Intermediate B+), 2 Calle de Jesus (next door to Los Gatos above), www.cervezaslafabrica.com

Loved the Roquefort canapé (although the waitress told me it was Cabrales) with a salted anchovy (B+).

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The Bacala over tomato pulp and topped with a mild chilli is also good (B).

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With two creamy cervezas this came to €5, which isn’t too bad at all. Cheaper than their more famous neighbours I think.

El Diario (Intermediate A), Calle de Jesus (no number but a couple of doors down from the above, on the corner with Calle Cervantes).

This Andalucian tapas bar is my second favourite place on the strip, due to the friendliness of the staff (unlike others along this street) and the quality of the food.

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Their Calamares a la Andaluza are very good, especially with their sublime honey alioli, although I wish they’d remove the beaks as they can be a bit off putting (A-).

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And, in summer, their tuna salad is also one of the best I’ve ever tasted (A) but not quite as good in winter (B).

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When you’ve finished, complementary chupitos (shots) of Orujo des Hierbas come as standard.

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Los Dolores (Intermediate A), 4 Placa Jesus (just along the street from Los Gatos above).

Taberna la Dolores

This is a classic 1920’s place with a beautiful tiled exterior and an atmospheric old wood bar inside.

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The tapas are very good but quite traditional and a bit expensive. Cañas are €1.50

I love the boquerones (A).

great boquerones

Casa Alberto (Advanced B), 18 Calle Huertas, www.casaalberto.es

Casa Alberto

This is another beautiful old place with a classic zinc bar.

Days gone by

You can have tapas in the busy bar or sit down in the restaurant at the back.

Service is brusque but efficient because they’re busy.

Vermout Grigio (B+), from the tap, is €2 a glass here.

With that I got a complimentary plate of pork scratchings (B+).

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With a second vermouth, I had a canapé with Solomillo Iberico con Cebolla Caramelizada al PX y Queso de Cabra for €4.75, which was heaven on bread (A).20130618_210330

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