Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >
Aug 27, 2012 02:51 PM

Madrid - Best High-end, Fine Dining

My girlfriend and I are going to Madrid and the rest of southern Spain in November. We have 6 dinners in Madrid and would like 2 of them to be upscale. We've looked through numerous blogs, CH, Michelin, Guía Repsol, etc.. These are our top 4 and we need to get it down to 2:

Diverxo (still concerned that the food isn't as good as the hype)
Club Allard
Ramon Freixa
Sergi Arola Gastro

Are there two that stand out more the others. Any strong opinions would help. We'll have many more questions for the rest of the trip in the near future. Thanks for your help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I 've been to both Ramon Freixa and Sergi Arola - loved Freixa, hated Arola! (Strong enough?)
    Freixa was innovative, used fresh ingredients and the only drawback (for me) is that I found the place somewhat soulless - super-modern but not welcoming. Arola was mediocre all-round - just coasting (IMO) almost no interaction. Both had sparse wine lists.

    More 'Alinea' like is Casino del Terazza (although many people say they prefer Club Allard, (which I haven't visited). If you've been to El Bulli, then this is just an imitation. If not, then the food (not ambience) is as close as you'll get - essentially a series of 'greatest hits'. Service super-professional and the best winelist I found in Madrid.
    Still haven't made it to Diverxo - but a friend will be there next month and will report back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: estufarian

      Yes, strong enough and helps answer the question. My girlfriend had Sergi 1st and then Ramon. I had Diverxo 1st and then Ramon. I'll let her know your two cents. I thought Allard looked better than Casino. Did not get a chance to go to El Buili, but we've been to Alinea together and enjoyed it. Please report back and include best ways to get a reservation and if they allow photos.

    2. Though I live in Italia, I have professional press and media commitments in Madrid Captial and spend 2 wks a month in Madrid centre.

      My choices would be:

      1) Fernando del Cerro - Aranjuez in southern Madrid
      2) Paco Roncero ( he prepared the wedding lunch with Juan Mari Arzak & Ferrán Adrià for the Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia.)
      3) Joaquin Felipe: Hotel Derby - Restaurant Europe Dëco
      4) Club Allard - Jesús

      I had interviewed Sergi, lovely gent and a real rocker. However, he is in another category. Great for his Gastro Bar For Tapas ... However, the other 4 I mentioned are truly unforgettable for lunch ...

      If you get up to Girona, go to Joan Roca´s Celler Can Roca or in Sant Pau, Barcelona: Carme Ruscadella.

      Margaux Cintrano.
      Margaux CIntrano.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodeditormargaux

        Thanks for the other recommendations. We have 6 dinners , but only 1 lunch in Madrid. So, hopefully these places fit our schedule. Sergi is better or worse than the other 4 you mentioned?

      2. I really loved Arola when I went a couple of years ago (2008), it was fun, inventive, very good (food and service); the menu I had was a twist on traditional tapas.

        1. Club Allard from the list above.

          I highly suggest the following:

          Chef Paco Roncero - La Terraza - michelin stars
          Chef Pedro Larumbe - michelin star
          Mario Sandoval - La Coque - Michelin
          Fernando del Cerro - Casa José - michelin
          Hotel 5 star, Europa Dëco Restaurant, Chef Joaquin Felipe

          have lovely time in Madrid.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodeditormargaux

            Thank you for the input. Does anyone here have opinions/comments about Restaurante Lua?