Four Days in Madrid - Specific Questions
My daughter and I will be in Madrid for four nights (including the dreaded Sunday) in March. I have pored through the posts here and around the web, including the NYT article from October 2012. I have already reserved Club Allard for dinner on Tuesday night, but would appreciate further guidance for our other nights; my aim is delicious food and drink and engaging ambience, preferably with an only in Madrid flavor - cost is less important, although good value for money is greatly appreciated. The restaurants which sound most appealing for Saturday and Monday nights are O Pazo, Lua (not open Monday), Sacha and Laredo; which two of those four would give us the best diversity of Madrid dining experiences (taking into account that we're going to Club Allard)? And, of course, if you have a different suggestions for those nights, please weigh in! I have read the many posts here that explore the paucity of Sunday night options, and think that we will probably do some tapas bar hopping instead of going to one restaurant. Are many tapas bars open on Sunday night; is there a specific area which is better than others on Sunday night? And finally, we're staying at the Westin Palace, but would prefer to find nearby places for our morning breakfasts - any suggestions for atmospheric cafes with excellent coffee and pastries?
I had another idea... depending on when in March you are in Madrid, Gourmet Madrid is starting to run their tapas tours in the historical district (i.e. around Plaza Santa Ana, close to the Westin) on Sunday nights from the 18th March.
I tried a few tapas tours when I was last in Madrid and this was by far the best option. Small groups, great food, excellent host and not too expensive (pay up front).
That would be an excellent option to try a variety of tapas in authentic tapas bars in the area. I found myself going back to almost all of the bars I was taken to on the Gourmet Madrid tour. Well, all bar one, which I could never find again!
I second DOCC on calle del Prado (right around the corner from the Westin) as a great spot for a quick breakfast around the hotel.
I think you really should have breakfast at the Westin Palace on at least one morning. It really is a special spot under the stained glass domed ceiling. Food and service was always great when I have been there.
What about Estado Puro for modern tapas on the Sunday night? Its in the nh hotel practically round the corner from the Westin. I checked their website and they are open on Sundays. They also list that they are open for breakfast so could be another option for you. I went to Estado Puro a few times when I was last in Madrid and enjoyed the experience although I thought the service a little slow when they weren't busy.
I've stayed in the area of las letras a few times now and haven't had a problem finding somewhere interesting to eat on a Sunday night.
* There is a great restaurant open on Sunday night: Viridiana.
* Monday: Dantxari. Basque cuisine. Try: baby squid with onion, piquillo peppers stuffed with crab, hake 'ondarresa'.
* Tuesday: Club Allard
* Wednesday: El Senador. Try: either cordero lechal asado (roast suckling lamb) or cochinillo (roast suckling pig).
* Best breakfast at La Rotonda, under the dome.
*DOCC on calle del Prado 28, near the Westin Palace. Breakfast and snacks.
Club Allard's chef, Diego Guerrero, left last fall and you may want to reconsider your choice. During our visit last March, we loved Sacha, La Tasquita de Enfente, Viridiana, and Diverxo. Club Allard, Ramon Frexia, and Santceloni, and La Terraza were OK 2 stars, but not places we would go back to. Guerrero's food at Allard was very impressive looking, but somewhat lacking in flavor intensity. La Terraza offered good El Bulli style food, but DiverXO's modern Spanish fusion was truly amazing. Have a great trip.