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May 21, 2012 06:12 PM

Diver XO

Just watched a video of Bourdain eatind at Diver XO in Madrid.
Has anyone been there? Is there a tasting menu? How pricey is it?

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  1. DiverXO is reportedly among the most difficult reservations in the city. According to their website, which may not be up-to-date, menus range from 75 to 120 Euro plus 8% tax and exclusive of wine.

    I'm curious: Is Anthony Bourdain the Rick Steves of the restaurant world?

    3 Replies
    1. re: erica

      Rick Steves has this niche where he steers people who have never travelled independently into attempting a less herded experience.
      Indeed Bourdain is much more food-focused. Most of all his own charisma may be his main draw. Many viewers like to follow his stories because the food experience as narrated by him inevitably sounds fun and unique and hip.
      The Sichuan hot pot craze is very entertaining.

      Indeed one similarity between them may be how in spite of themselves they single-handedly launch these travel fads and food fads.

      Rick Steves's fans get the impression of traveling off the beaten path when the experience may be better described as slightly off the tourist bus. But we should be grateful for his getting people off the tourist bus, off the organized tour, and off those eyesores on water - cruises.

      1. re: Parigi

        ha ha ha. This is a fun thread.

        Erica, if Tony Bourdain read your comment, he would probably utter some of the profanities for which he is equally famous. :-)

        Parigi, your summation is excellent and hilarious. "off the beaten path" vs "off the tourist bus"

        Estufarian has warned me in the past to mark my calendar carefully and go online to book JUST at the right moment, or risk failure. I haven't eaten at DiverXo although I have been to another restaurant recommended by Tony in that same episode, La Gabinoteca. It was fun and the modern tapas were hit/miss.

        Woodlandchef, DiverXo represents the best of Spanish-Asian fusion, I suppose. It's all a rage but not always well executed in Barcelona and Madrid, imho.

        1. re: Aleta

          DiverXo was on my 'top choice' list - but I mis-interpreted (I think) the spanish and attempted to book 1 month early (to the day) - except they open reservations on 1st of month for subsequent month - so it was sold out when I attempted to go. One of the few places I've wanted to go, where I wasn't able to get in.

    2. Based on only one article by Steves I think so. Bourdain is less of a travel writer, more
      narrowly focused on food.

      1. If you have a credit card that offers concierge service you can try to get a rez through them. Worked for us and we did not have to sit and watch the clock/calendar!

        For us, DiverXO was a good experience, not great. As I recall, they do have a couple of price points for their menus. Not cheap. Fun for a one-time experience. We preferred the tasting meal at Lieu however.

        Oh and Aleta - you KNOW how I feel about Tony. . .!

        3 Replies
        1. re: lindatork

          Linda thanks for that tip about the concierge services. Something I will keep in mind for my next trip to Madrid in the fall... are you speaking of Amex (??)

          Also want to take the opportunity to tell you how very much I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the pics!

          1. re: erica

            Yes Erica - I am speaking about Amex. I have a platinum card and have used the concierge numerous times to make "hard to get" reservations. I have always been successful - Tickets in Barcelona, Diverxo in Madrid, Babbo in NY etc. I contact them well in front of the 30 day window and then let them call the restaurant at the proper time.

            Thanks for the compliment on my blog!


            1. re: lindatork

              Yes, the Amex Centurion Service worked for me too. When I asked them to book (and it was just a couple of weeks before I went to Madrid), they said it was fully booked. However, when I was in Madrid, Amex called and said a table had become available.

              However, my wife and I were not as impressed with DiverXO as we were with Sergi Arola Gastro. I think we were less impressed because some of the things they do at DiverXO are actually quite common to Asian palates (we are Chinese).