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Mar 26, 2012 03:00 PM

Madrid trip report: La Terraza del Casino, El Club Allard, Le Cabrera and more

Last month my companion and I spent 6 days in Madrid and we were impressed. It took us years to go back, but I guess we'll return very quickly (some photos on
We went to Mercado de San Miguel a couple of times, having crab toasts, salpicon de mariscos, tapas de terneras, wine. The first time was a thursday afternoon, which was very pleasant and the other time saturday around lunchtime and it was packed.
Churros and chocolate at Chocolateria de San Gines were amazing, we ended up going twice.
At Casa Labra we had cod croquetas, we wanted to have more another day but there were more than 20 people on the queue!
We also went to Mercado San Anton in Chueca, close to our hotel. One of the days we had lots of duck tapas, everything delicious: duck sausage hot dog, foie gras poele (delicious and it costed around 5 euros!), duck croquetas, foie gras corquetas, still wanted to try more. The other day we sticked to the seafood counter, having pulpo a galega, scallps and oyster, everything excelent as well.
At Sula we had the famous Joselito iberico ham and it was much better than I expected. We sat at the bar, which is adorable.
We loved going to El Club Allard.The staff was very nice, chef Diego Guerrero asked about our preferences and allergies and at the end returned to know our impressions which were the best ever.As amuse-bouches we had sort of cream with a card that's standing in front of you saying that the silent revolution is about to begin, salmon roe, foie truffle, camembert trufee. There was a consomee with oriental influence, scallops empanadilla and the famous egg yolk with pancetta that was outstanding, I could have eaten more of that huevo. The main dishes were monkfish and pork belly, both delicious.The desserts were also delicious: the fish bowl (with white chocolate, yougurt, dark chocolate, red berries) and the egg (chocolate, coconut, mango).
La Terraza del Casino was also terrific. The decor is impressive. We had the degustation menu, that started with a cocktail made with passion fruit, mint and coffe, frozen in front of us with liquid nitrogen. Then there were some snacks like tomato galleta, boletus madeleine, rhubarb with pepper and the 2 I preferred most: guacamole and uni tempura.Then we were served the tapiplatos: octopus sashimi (very tender, with ginger and soy sauce), clams and artichokes, gnocchis with sepia squids and pesto sauce, peas, oysters tartar lasagna with bone marrow sauce, foie gras bouillon (which was my preferred dish as I love foie gras and it was brilliantly executed), monkfish and the wagyu beef with mashed potatoes, that was incredible. Then there was a pre-dessert, the palomitas de maiz, and 2 desserts: a version of carrot cake and then chocolate with cream, and with the expresso the mignardises.I preferred the desserts at El Club Allard, but both of them are amazing and if possible, both should be visited.
We went to Le Cabrera, stayed at the counter upstairs.We had a few cocktails and jamon croquetas (which both of us loved and think were the best we had in Madrid), patatas bravas (Sergi Arola is famous for them and they didn't let us down), scallops salpicon (it wasn't what I expected, wouldn't ask it again), terrine de foie that was delicious, and bombas de carne (mini hamburgers with foie gras) and cheesecake. A place to come back.
We went to Botin, where we had more croquetas, my companion had tthe suckling pig and I had the roasted lamb. I think it's a restaurant worth going al least once.
At Biotza we had calamaris and jamos croquetas, as usual.
Bocaito was a nice surprise, having very good prawns croquetas and jamon iberico de bellota.
We ended up going at least twice to Museo Chicote, Bar Cock and Del Diego Bar (staying nearby made that easy).The cocktails were fantastic at Del Diego and senor Diego, his son and the whole staff were very nice, it's definitely worth going. Museo Chicote was also good, thursdays and fridays are excellent if you like djs. Bar Cock is more fashionable (the cocktails were more expensive as well), although I had a very good dry martini and my companion also liked itas negroni a lot (its gin and tonic selection is also good).
Overall it was amazing, despite of the weight we put on during the trip!

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  1. Thanks for this detailed report. Very helpful for our upcoming trip to Madrid!

    1. Echoing the thanks above. I'm interested in Club Allard for an upcoming visit so glad you read about your experience there. Do you have a general idea of the price of the meal?

      5 Replies
      1. re: erica

        erica, I'm looking at it as well. Their website lists 3 prices: Encuentra is 74 €, Seduccion is 84 € and Revolucion is 99 €. Those prices seem to be per table, not per person. The website at has more details.

        1. re: Chris VR

          Thanks, Chris. I took a look at the site you kindly linked above. It means that the menus have to be served for each person at the table, or "for the entire table." The 8% tax is extra, as are drinks and wine.

          Did you notice that you can EAT the presentation card at Club Allard? What does it consist of, I wonder??

          There are so many great-looking places to choose is so difficult to narrow them down.

          1. re: erica

            Ha! I missed that. I wonder if it's that edible rice paper or something else...

            We're coming to Madrid from Paris and going to Lyons after, and we have some big splurgey meals planned in those places. I'm trying to decide if we want to add in another splurgey meal to see the difference between such a meal in France vs. Spain.

            1. re: Chris VR

              Well, I've not been to Club Allard but my take on Madrid is that there are so many great eating experiences apart from the splurgy meals that even if you don't include the big ticket places, you can still eat astoundingly well.

              1. re: erica

                Exactly. So much good food everywhere! Looking in particular at Rafa and Arzabal.

      2. I went to Madrid a couple weeks ago and wanted to go to Allard but couldn't get a table despite calling three weeks in advance. Don't have the luxury of going during the week though, oh well.

        Nice review.

        2 Replies
        1. re: avrv1

          question: El Club Allard or La Terraza del Casino? While I can appreciate fine dining at a fine price, top shelf spanish cuisine does not have to be $$$$. We want to do one $$$$ meal. Curious on everyone's take on one or the other as we have researched some new options at competitive prices

          1. re: jmdhsmiami

            My partner preferred El Club Allard, I would be in doubt, but we are going back in february with a friend and we are definitely taking him to El Club Allard. Enjoy Madrid!