Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600
Dining in Madrid
Dinner at Botin aka the oldest restaurant in the world. Botin was established in 1725 and the Guiness Book of World Records officially recognizes it as the oldest running restaurant in the world. So for the novelty factor we had to try it one evening for dinner.
Earlier in the day on our walking tour of Madrid we got to go inside earlier in the day before they opened up. Ernest Hemingway had a favorite table in the back, upstairs corner of Botin.
We had our concierge at the Westin Palace call about 2-3 hours before and we were able to score a table for the early seating. They have two seatings: 7:30pm and 9:30pm if I recall correctly.
Tapas Tasting Tour
We booked a tapas tasting tour through our hotel concierge. The tour was with Gourmet Madrid and our guide was Carlos. Carlos met us at our hotel lobby and was very polite and informative. We walked from our hotel to our first stop on the tour Casa Gonzalez. We were shown a nice quiet table in the back and Carlos does all the ordering for us. The only options were if we wanted red wine, white wine, beer or vermouth. Once we told him our drink preference he picked our wine for us. He was very knowledgeable about the wines and tapas! These are local places where locals eat. These are places he goes with his friends when he is in the area and are sort of off the beaten path. Not tourist traps. Places that we probably would have never experienced without Carlos’s guidance.
For our wine we wanted a red so he selected: Clos de Mas. D.O. Priorat. Red Garnacha (60%) Cariñena (30%) Cabernet Sauvignon (10%).
And for our food we were presented:
Jamón Ibérico (Acorn-fed iberian ham)
Queso Manchego (Manchego cheese)
Tosta de Bacalao Ahumado (Smoked Cod with olive oil on toast)
All of the food was very, very tasty! The warm ham with bread and honey was amazing. Even the cod which my wife was nervous about was very good!
After a about 30-40 minutes at Casa Gonzalez we walked over to El Lacon. Again Carlos got us a spot and situated then asked for our drink preference. We stuck with red wine again and shortly he was back with us and telling us about what he ordered for us.
Our wine selection was: Red- Mouriz. D.O. Vinos de Madrid. Tempranillo.
And our tapas at El Lacon were:
Espárragos trigueros braseados (Wild asparagus braised and sea-salted)
Lacón (Pork shoulder galician style)
The tapas were absolutely amazing! I loved the lentil stew! My wife loves asparagus and this was the best I have ever had!
Then after that we had the El Lacon dish which was super flavorful ham and potatoes. The wine perfect with the tapas!
After Carlos settled the bill we walked 5-10 minutes to Casa del Abuelo.
We again stuck with the red wine and Carlos chose: La viña del abuelo. D.O. Toro. Tinta de toro.
For our tapas the most amazing: Gambas al ajillo (Garlic shrimps)
My wife could have stayed there for hours having the garlic shrimp and bread!
Casa del Abuelo has been there since 1907 and is a Madrid must visit.
Our last stop on our tapas tour was in Plaza Mayor the popular square in Madrid. We visited Los Gayalos where we had probably our favorite red wine: Dehesa del Carrizal. Montes de Toledo. Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Then for our tapas we had:
Albóndigas ibéricas con barbacoa casera (Iberian meatballs with homemade bbq sauce)
Pulpo a la parrila con patatas revolcones (Grilled Octopus with mashed potato and paprika)
Torrija con helado de turrón (French toast with nougat ice cream)
Since most vacationers in Madrid are going to visit Plaza Mayor I I highly encourage a visit to Los Gayalos! The Torrija was out of this world and a perfect way to end the tapas tour. Honestly by the time we were done we were slightly buzzed off the wine but had an amazing amount of high quality great food!
The tapas tour was highly enjoyable and would encourage visitors to Madrid to set up a tapas tour through Gourmet Madrid.
Cafe De Chinitas
We decided to attend a flamenco dinner while in Madrid. Since we had our two year old we were somewhat limited to what restaurant we could attend as some did not accept children under a certain age. Cafe De Chinitas was accepting of our son so we secured a reservation through our hotel concierge.
We were the first guests there and thus got a table right up front. We waited about one hour before actually ordering our food. Just had some wine or sangria and relaxed for a bit.
Eventually we ordered so our food would arrive right towards the beginning of the show. You could just attend the show and have a free drink included with the ticket if you didn’t want to eat dinner there.
We had the Paella and thought it was pretty good. We also tried some dessert. We found the actual flamenco show entertaining and interesting for the most part. After nearly and hour my son had had enough and was rambunctious so dipped out a bit before the end of the show.
For families with young children this is one of the few options accepting of them. So we would recommend Cafe De Chinitas for families looking for a flamenco show in Madrid.
Those with a sweet tooth would do well with a stop to La Mallorquina. We stopped in this popular Madrid bakery to try a treat.
Madrid is a fun food town and there are tons of options for vacationers to explore! Let us know your favorite spots in Madrid.
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