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Casual and Delicious in Madrid

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Hi! I am off to Madrid for the weekend, and need a great restaurant for Saturday night. I live in Barcelona and am very familiar with the restaurant scene there, but am looking for something particular in Madrid.

My girlfriend and I have reservations to do the tasting menu at Lieu (unfortunately I couldn't get into Diverxo) and are having lunch at Santceloni, but I have also been charged with choosing a restaurant for Saturday night and am not sure what to do, as we are meeting friends who will be more budget conscious, but have slightly high expectations in my choice.

For those of you who are familiar with Barcelona, I would love to find a Mam i Teca or Vineteria de Call type place, but in Madrid. Great food, reasonably priced (around 25€ / person), nice wine list, no frills. Other places that I like in Barcelona which I put in this category are La Paradeta, Bar Ramon, Merce Vins, Iposa, and Bar de Pla.

I am already planing to do a tapas crawl with the same friends on Sunday after some flea market action, so would like this to be more of a restaurant.

For budget, while it is not really in issue for me (especially when we are talking about amazing food!), I do not want to embarrass the couple we are meeting, so I am thinking about a cap at around 35€ / person.

Help me out ChowHounders, you have never steered me wrong!

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  1. My all time favourite is Casa Alberto on Calle Huertas. Last month when passing through I made a point of trying many other tapas bars and restaurants and these guys are still #1.

    www.casaalberto.es

    1. That is not very easy in Madrid, €35pp with wine. Not very easy at all. The best sit down place I know of for value is Casa Paulino

      1. If you don't go to crazy with wine (they have an excellent selection) think you could stick to that budget at Taberna Matritum (Cava Alta 17).

        1. I don't have any suggestions for you, but I'm adding the places you mentioned in Barcelona to my trip list for next month! Thanks!

          1. Thanks everyone! In the end, it was a lovely trip. We ended up tapas bar hopping in barrio Ibiza. We went to La Castela (c/ Doctor Castelo 22) and had some delicious Gambas rojas with glasses of Txacoli, then to La Monteria (c/ Lope de Rueda 35) around the corner for Habitas with jamon and morcilla and some other treats and finally El Capricho (c/ Doctor Castelo 14) across the street for some more pintxos and cañas! It was great. The crowd was rather "pijo", however carefree and fun.

            @currycue, I'll have to try Casa Alberto next time!

            @avry1, I went to Casa Paulino once and had a disappointing experience. I am willing to give it another try though.

            @butterly, Taberna Matritum is a great place! It would have done nicely, although I am not sure I would have been able to keep to budget considering that wine list!

            Thanks again!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Neoyorquino

              Well, 3 out of 4 recommendations isn't bad. Too bad about Paulino - I've probably been there at least a dozen times, there are real hits on their menu, and some misses. I didn't actually expect you to go or I would have been more specific! Whenever we go there, we always order a plate or two of ham (which has to be the best value of ham I've ever had anywhere), the morcilla lasagna, and the escalibada. For main dishes, the salteado de pierna, carrillada, and secreto have always been good. The solomillo and entrecot have generally disappointed.