Another recommendation from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Madrid, La Gabinoteca is a funky tapas bar with really interesting and innovative tapas. We liked it so much that we came here twice. The dishes featured below are the best of both trips.
My favourite dish here was the egg, potato and truffle. With a description like that, what’s there not to like? It comes in a little jam jar, and they advise you to take a whiff when you first open the jar. The heady smell of truffle hits you and paves the way for you to savour the dish proper. I didn’t stir it too thoroughly, so that I could still taste each element, which all tasted great on their own but even better combined.
A’s favourite dish was the foie gras, crème brulee style. Foie is pureed into a mousse then bruleed. Sweet and slightly tart flavours, which traditionally are paired so well with foie, are added to the mousse in the form of green apple and pineapple, and the result is magic.
The chicken wings are marinated with soy, lime and garlic, and nicely caramelised, and served very considerately with disposable gloves.
Their Gambas Plan Fino is a prawn puree that’s spread in a very fine layer, topped with caviar, fried garlic and an amazing sauce, and just briefly broiled. Another interesting and absolutely delicious dish.
Dessert on the first visit was their signature Juan Palarmo. They provide you with a toolkit that includes brownies, ice cream, fruit and a canister of whipped cream, and you get to play artist and create your own masterpiece. We tried to create Egypt, complete with brownie pyramids and a raspberry sauce River Nile.
The second dessert we tried was a cheese cream, described on the menu as something that they learned at Restaurant Arzak. This was really good and a lot lighter than I expected.
The waiters here were really friendly, and one of them even ran after us when they realized that A had left his metro ticket on the chair. After DiverXO, this was possibly our second favourite restaurant of the trip.
Highly recommended. So good we went twice. Highlights include the crème bruleed foie gras, the jar of egg, potato & truffles, the cheese cream dessert, and the Gambas Plan Fino (prawn puree).
And the service and setting are also awesome. Towards the high end of casual, with an emphasis on good food and good fun. Good grief, that sounds like some bullshit copywriting.