Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First real tapas in Madrid

If you really want to get off the tourist trail in Madrid, there are two places you HAVE to visit.

1. Lhardy, a restaurant/shop that has been in business since 1839. You can try their famous caldo
-- beef consommé, and enjoy a sweet or savory pastry (I had a savory pastry with some sort of spicy sausage filling... Tasty!!).

2. Casa Labra -- a restaurant/tavern that has been in business since 1960. If you hit them up at lunch time, you can try their tapas de bacalao -- a piece of codfish that is battered and fried, or their croqueta de bacalao -- a codfish croquette. Both are delicious! To wash it down, try a tiny glass of vermouth (rojo, not blanco). However, keep in mind that there's often a line going out into the street (check out the pic!), and it's standing room only once you get inside. It's worth it, though!

Monday, January 21, 2008

La vita é bella

La Vita é Bella is a TINY Sicilian take out place located at Plaza de San Ildefonso, 5 in Madrid. While the location is small and you can't legally eat inside, the food is abundant. They have a great selection of portioned pasta dishes, pizzas, and desserts. I recommend the mushroom "mini-pizza" (a giant thick-crust square piece). Check out pix here. And hey... once you try their stuff, life is good.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cocido madrileño

Yesterday, I visited a friend's house and enjoyed Cocido madrileño with her and her family. Cocido madrileño is a traditional meal in Madrid, which consists of 3 parts.

1. A soup made with a delicious broth and fideos -- noodles.
2. Carne y garbanzos -- we had brisket, ham and chorizo for meat, garbanzos, and carrots. (meat choices, of course, vary)
3. Verduras (vegetables) -- we had cabbage.

Some people like to eat all three parts mixed together, but we had the soup first, then the carne and verduras together. For a Spanish Wiki, click here and click here for another pic.

As always, there is plenty of bread. And to round out the meal, try a Viña Albali crianza or a gran reserva (both riojas).
Delicious. =)

Friday, January 18, 2008

¡Qué rico!

For lunch today, my host mom made me pimientos del piquillo, rellenos de bacalao -- red peppers stuff with a codfish filling... Similar to the ones I had at Dalí. We also had paella -- a traditional rice dish, made with a mixture of chicken, shellfish, vegetables, and saffron. Tasty! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dinner... Spanish Style

Last night for dinner, my host mom made fabada, which is a traditional bean soup. Our's had white beans, chorizo, and ham. She also made us huevos al plato, which is a delicious (and beatifully-arranged!) dish made of peas, ham, chorizo, eggs, and tomato sauce. I should have taken a picture, but I forgot... Sorry! :(

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cenamos en Gino's...

For dinner tonight, we went Italian @ Gino's on Gran Vía. My friend had the pizza margherita (thin crust, of course) and I had the Fettuccine Pirata -- small shrimp over fresh egg pasta with a spicy cream & tomato sauce. Tasty!!

Tasty ending to my lunch today...

For the third course of lunch in our hotel today, we were served a delicious layered dessert. From the bottom up-- sponge cake, light vanilla creme, blackberry (or black raspberry) sauce, sponge cake, and blackberry (or black raspberry) gelatin with whole berries. Absolutely delicious...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First real meal in Madrid!

We had lunch in our hotel restaurant today. Green salad with a light lemon vinaigrette to start, then arroz con verduras, a rice and vegetable dish that is similar to paella. It's made with saffron and is quite tasty! We ended the meal with kiwis and spoons. Back to the hotel for dinner...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Euro Times Two!!!

Last night, my boy and I went back to Euro for dinner. This time, my boy had Chef Duval's chicken, which is pounded thin and served up with a creamy garlic white sauce. I had clams with marinara served over pasta. Of course, we started with garlic rolls and a chopped salad, and ended with baklava. As before, the staff was very friendly and the food was great!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Do you... fondue?

What a New Year's celebration! Last night my boy and I got together with some friends (and their dogs!!!) for a fondue night... We started off with a cheese fondue made with a tomme from Willow Hill Farm. For dipping -- fingerling taters, broccoli, carrots, bread cubes, apple wedges, chicken bites, and mini smoked sausages. We finished with champagne and a chocolate ganache fondue. For dipping -- shortbread, green grapes, strawberries, bing cherries, orange segments and apple wedges. Talk about a great ending to 2007!
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