With over 3,100 places to eat and drink (you can find many modern and traditional bars in Madrid) , there are 9 Michelin star restaurants in Madrid. Seemingly few in number compared to other European cities such as Paris (which has 70 Michelin star restaurants), the quality of the Michelin star restaurants on offer in Madrid more than make up for their lack in quantity.
The diversity offered by Madrid´s Michelin starred restaurants goes against the grain of common thought that Michelin stars today are only sign of overly stuffy and outdated French cooking. Offering a mix of traditional Spanish dishes, with twists of modern innovation and touches of global cuisine, the Michelin starred restaurants in Madrid each offer their own take on gastronomy.
The most outlandish of the restaurants, DiverXO (a play on the Spanish words for ´fun´ and ´diverse´), is the only restaurant in Madrid with 3 Michelin stars. The restaurants Santceloni, Sergi Arola Gastro, Ramón Freixa Madrid, El Club Allard, and La Terraza del Casino all have 2 stars, and Zalacín, Kabuki and Kabuki Wellington each have 1 Michelin star.
In this blog post, we are going to outline the 3 and 2 star restaurants DiverXO ***, Santcelini **, La Terraza del Casino ** and El Club Allard **.
With an award winning chef, maître d with international training and an experienced Sommelier, Santceloni attributes its success to its great team. Having all worked in Can Fabes, the Michelin starred restaurant previously run by the same family in Barcelona, the team are said to work together like a well-timed orchestra, each member executing their part in perfect harmony with the others.
The restaurant itself has a contemporary luxury interior, with a colour scheme that hints at precious stones and metals. The deep golds, emerald greens and plush textures contrast the straight lines of the contemporary furniture, with touches of brightly coloured glass on the tables adding a colour pop to the whole ensemble.
The food at Santceloni is based on Chef Óscar Velasco´s interpretation of Spain´s finest products and dishes, from all over the country. Here you will find traditional Spanish dishes made with authentic ingredients, presented in a modern and innovative way. You can try individual dishes, select the ´menu gastronómico´ of various courses, or choose the ´Gran Menu´, an intriguing concept in which the chef will create a menu especially for you according to your tastes and the freshest market ingredients. You also have the option of purchasing additional wine pairing help from the restaurant sommelier, as well as cheese boards and desserts.
The décor of this restaurant is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll´s ´Alice in Wonderland´- with a long dining hall, black and white checked floor tiling, oversized matt white chandeliers and furniture pieces, mirrored walls and dream-like ornaments such as teapots and winged animals, you could be forgiven for thinking that were inside the novel itself. Designed by interior decorator Jamie Hayón, the décor is a contrasting and vanguard response to the classic style that runs throughout the rest of the building.
Set in the ´Casino of Madrid´, the building was established in the 1800´s by a group of romantic and progressive young thinkers as a tranquil place to meet. Today, the restaurant located in the ´Casino de Madrid´ offers a similar refuge for modern city dwellers to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital and relax with a selection of incredibly innovative gastronomic dishes. With a tasting menu price at around 135 Euros, you can try frozen olive oil toast, shrimp tortilla and mojito mayonnaise, among other interesting combinations. There is also an extensive wine selection (red, white, rosé, sparkling and dessert), with their red wine menu online consisting of 37 pages.
El Club Allard is situated on one of the main streets leading down to the eminent Plaza España. Originally established as a private club in 1998, it opened its doors in 2003 to the public. The ceilings of the restaurant are high, the décor is neutral, classic and simple, and the rooms are full of natural light from the big windows in each room. The overall feel of El Club Allard is friendly, light, classic, and elegant.
The chef of this restaurant is a passionate chef who worked her way up to becoming head of the kitchen: Maria Marte. Her dishes are masterpieces to look at, often mini works of art, with individual vegetables, morsels of meat or fish, sauces and flowers placed carefully on the plate. Described as a ´gastronomic experience´, Marte´s dishes really are more than just food; the creative combinations that she creates are delicious, surprising and bring in all of our senses.
There are 3 tasting menus on offer at El Club Allard, ´Encuentro´ (Encounter), ´Seducción´ (Seduction) and ´Revolución´ (Revolution), all of which can be modified to vegetarian diets. The first menu totals 84€ per person, the second at 98€ and the third at 115€, each including dessert, coffee and petit fours biscuits.
DiverXO is the place to go if you revel in the unexpected and consider yourself an open minded thinker. Beyond the restaurant´s decidedly punk-rock and circus inspired contemporary interior, complete with plastic flying pigs stationed on each table, the dining experience at DiverXO is specifically designed to surprise you and keep you on your toes. The food itself is not presented on plates, but on trays or slabs; equally, conventional cutlery is out the window, with suitable utensils for each individual dish brought to your table in a little box. You should also be prepared for the traditional timings of the meals at DiverXO to be slightly different, another concept employed by the restaurant´s vanguard chef, David Muñoz.
In order to not spoil the experience of DiverXO, we will not give too much away; however, we will say that if you would like a taster of the action, you can go to DiverXO´s website to watch their intro video.
The ´El XOW´ tasting menu at DiverXO costs 145€, and the ´El glotón XOW´ menu costs 200€.
In our next article we will include more Michelin star restaurants in Madrid, we will outline the 2 and 1 star Michelin star restaurants Sergi Arola Gastro**, Ramón Freixa Madrid**, Zalacaín*, Kabuki* and Kabuki Wellington*.
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