As I contemplate new horizons, I leave you with a few old favorites from El Retiro, El Museo Reina Sofía and El Palacio de Oriente. Enjoy.
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The culinary adventure side of our trip to Madrid continued today with a great visit to the Museo Reina Sofía. More on that in my trips and travels section of the blog, because for now I´d like to tell you about our meal.
Having had a wonderful meal yesterday at the neighborhood-y ¨Restaurante Lope de Vega¨ I was excited about mixing it up a little bit at this museum café-cum-restaurant for the gourmande. It didn´t disappoint. Well, let me rephrase that. My husband was not thrilled with the price, nor was he ecstatic over the smaller portions. It was he that described the ¨Restaurante Lope de Vega as having done the:
¨Least amount of damage to my wallet, and the most good food in my stomach. Best ¨darn¨ deal in Spain.¨ (He didn´t actually say ¨darn¨… he used the other ¨d¨ word but you get the picture.)
Anyway, from the moment we entered the double doors to the restaurant we knew at a minimum that we were in for, if nothing else, a visual treat.
The interior of the restaurant delighted the senses as did the roof. Shiny red surfaces reflected the functional interior creating a tremendous sense of space. The place was divided into two parts. Under the shiny red blob there was a long bar from which you could place an order and either sit and eat at the counter or move to one of the long tables available. This was the choice of most families… but not ours. Oh no, I chose to eat at the stuffier formal side of the room separated only by a velvet cord and a maitre´s table.
The well heeled crowd on the other side of the rope were mostly not Spaniards. Those that were, were to my well trained eye, very well dressed, very well mannered, older and very comfortable. The younger families there were French or German. I know. I listened.
The food was great. There was not ¨kid´s menu¨ and that was perfectly fine with me. I think kids should eat what adults eat, short of what might genuinely irritate a sensitive and untrained belly, or bankrupt the wallet. Let´s face it. If it´s expensive and you know they´re not going to eat it… don´t order it. There´s a fine line between educating your kids and being silly.
The girls did enjoy their meals, however, and learned a thing or two about Spanish food in the meantime.
My hubby and two of the girls opted to start with a beautiful salad of salmon and mixed greens. Yes, the orange cubes are salmon. I don’t usually like this fish, but the quality of the cut was amazing and eating it was biting into a uniformly soft, uniformly textured piece of fish with no fishy taste whatsoever.
My youngest daughter and I opted for the salmorejo, a creamy cold tomato and bread soup – rather a distant cousin of the gazpacho, I might say. The description of the plated stated that it would be served with a piece of ventresca de bonito, a reduction of balsamic vinegar, jamón and green onion, all of which were evident. The dish also included egg, which you can see from the photo. However, what delighted me most was that the egg was emulsified. Upon stirring the soup once, it disappeared, and left only the taste of the egg. It was beautiful.
The entrecote as the main was somewhat less inspired, though tasty. The hubby didn’t have any problem eating it, while two of the girls found it too fatty for their taste.
Once again, my little one and I ordered the same dish – the poularde with a bean puré. The bird was cooked separately from the skin, which was wrapped over it and then crisped. Another wonderful dish… but in truth the puré reminded me a little bit of refried beans…
We all ordered the torrija for dessert. The waitress told us it was wonderful. She was right. What was so comical about this torrija was it´s size and shape. Torrijas, typical to this time of year, are big and clunky and soft and ¨down home¨. They are a sublime dessert made from old bread. This torrija was small and compact and as tasty and sublime as its antecedents. The sugar was crystalized and provided a surprising light crunch. The ice cream was great and the quantity was just right.
All in all we loved our meal at the Museo Reina Sofía restaurant and would recommend it to anyone planning on spending the day at the museum. It was easy to break up the visit in two parts, and have a great meal without leaving the premises.
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