Vaca Veronica in Madrid
We had a really good steak dinner at Vaca Veronica, 38 C. Moratin. As we were walking away from the Prado our eyes were caught by the restaurant's sparklingly yellow exterior -- we looked at the menu, walked inside and made a reservation for dinner.
We shared the steak dinner for two, which consists of a huge filet mignon, chorizo, black pudding, and veal gizzard, accompanied by french fries and fried bell peppers. Although the filet was great, I thought the highlight of the dinner was the chorizo, meltingly tender and packed with flavor. The pudding had a nice flavor; but I have gotten used to rice in my morcilla, which is how the Ecuadorean restaurants serve it; without the rice it had no texture in my mouth. Fries were excellent but not really enough for two people.
Other notes: the bread was served with a dish of pate, which was tasty and a nice touch. For dessert have ice cream -- it is seriously creamy and delicious. I had port wine-flavored ice cream, excellent; also on the menu were banana and fig. My favorite white wine was on the short wine list, and very inexpensive. The interior of the restaurant is beautiful; the only other restaurant I have seen where as much talent and attention was put into interior design is Mombar, in Queens.
Now I don't remember if you were the chowhound who sent me a message. I don't know if I tell you about this restaurant or I told another person...
Anyway, "La vaca Verónica" is definitely a nice place to have lunch or dinner in Madrid. The owner is an Argentinian woman, that's why they have good meat & steak, a very good homemade pesto, and pasta dishes. My favourite dish is "Espaguetis con carabineros" (Spaghetti with large red prawns). Homemade banana ice-cream is excellent.
There are several good places in that area, called "Barrio de los literatos" (Writers Quarter) since Cervantes (Quixote's author), Quevedo, Lope de Vega and many XVII Spanish writers lived there. In fact, Moratín (the street where the rest. is) is the name of another classic writer and author. It's just five minutes walking from Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemizsa Museum and Contemporary Art Museum or Sunday's Flea Market.
Nevertherless, if I had to choose, I would prefer "El pato mudo", a Mediterranean-style restaurant (rices, salads, noodle paella, good wines) in Costanilla de los ángeles street (close to the Opera House and Puerta del Sol).
Xosé Castro Roig
Just a further rave for Vaca - the decor was fantastic - color of the walls in that restaurant still resonate in my memory. It's like walking inside a buttercup. And the presentation of the food and the food itself is 'like a warm embrace' - seriously - I don't know how they pulled it all together; it's magic.