When I was in Madrid, I had the fortune of spending some time in the kitchen at Restaurante Paulino (c/ Alonso Cano, 34 — Metro Alonso Cano). It was an amazing experience, learning about Spanish cuisine through Paulino’s eyes. While he keeps one eye on traditional flavors and techniques, the rest of his menu is truly imaginative.
As for entradas, try the foie gras with vinaigrette (con pan tostado *photo 1*), roasted vegetables with goat cheese *photo 2*, gelatina de tomates con anchoas (tomato gelatin served with anchovies), or pastelitos de langostinos y gambas en su jugo (little pastries of prawns and shrimp in their juices — my favorite!!!).
For main dishes, I highly recommend the lubina con salsa de puerros (seabass with leek sauce — it literally melts in your mouth!), atún rojo (grilled red tuna that comes with a delectable tomato confit), or the secreto de cerdo (literally means “secret of pig”, and just may be the best bite of pork I’ve ever had *photo 3*).
As far as dessert goes, you really can’t go wrong. Everything that I have had has been delicious. Try the tarta de queso con salsa de arándanos (cheesecake with blueberry sauce), tarta de chocolate (decadent chocolate cake), helado de almendras (almond ice cream), mousse de albaricoque (apricot mousse — served with crispy pralines), or pralines con mousse de maracuya (“pralines” served with with passionfruit mousse — very difficult to describe, but delicious — not pictured).
My days in Paulino’s kitchen (and evenings in the dining room — I brought my parents and some friends to see how wonderful it is) were truly enjoyable. The only thing better than the food at Paulino’s are the people who work there — in the kitchen, in the dining room, and of course, Paulino himself. Gracias a todos. =)