I love Christmas, it is the time of the year that I can go back home to Spain to see my family. It is great to arrive to Spain and listen to the people in the airplane clapping after the airplane touches down, that’s when I know I’m back!
Even I’m in theory on vacation it is a busy time, I have to catch up with a lot of people, from work, school, university, family, neighbors… do a lot of paper work, all mixed with some remote work. But it is great to be with my family and stay in the house where I grew up.
This particular diner at Ramon Freixa Madrid was shared with two of my best friends from University, Fede and Ernesto. We share a lot of passions and one of them is food. This year we went together to Arzak, Mugaritz, Arrop and so on, so we wanted to celebrate Christmas with something similar. We re united after several months living apart, me in New York and them in Spain and the Middle East and talk about our new start-up.
Ramon Freixa, is one of the most famous and TV-star chefs in Spain. He was born in Barcelona, his family used to own a restaurant and a bakery. His father won a Michelin Star in 1988 for his restaurant in Barcelona. Actually the bread served at the restaurant is baked by his father every morning and I have to say it was delicious.
Ramon studied in Belgium and France and that influence can be seen in his cooking style. It reminds me a lot to chef Paul Liebrandt from Corton in New York, and ex Pierre Gagnaire, Bouley Bakery, Atlas and Gilt. Corton is a 2 Michelin star Modern restaurant in New York, and one of my favorites in the City for fine dinning. Its a more French influenced menu, that combined tradition of classic French cuisine with a contemporary approach to ingredients and technique. In this case, Freixa reminds me a lot of Corton, since he tries to combine traditional catalan cuisine ( Mediterranean favors, butifarra, … ) with the modern techniques, developing dishes that are compound of multiples plates around a main central plate. It’s like a ultra – refine deconstructed tapas. As Corton, Ramon Freixa Mdrid had 2 Michelin stars and 3 Soles Repsol ( or in New York words 3 NYT stars )
Ramon Freixa owns several restaurants:
- Freixa Tradicio: In Barcelona, this is the restaurant from his father,
- Ramon Freixa Madrid: Newly open restaurant in Madrid.
- Avalon: In Barcelona Grand Hotel
It was our lucky day, Ramon was in the house and he welcomed us to the table. When he saw my camera he mentioned that we can take pictures, but that to his restaurant you go to eat and we better take good pictures. Sometimes there are people who take very bad pictures that is actually a really bad pub for the chef. He said that if we don’t take good pictures he is going to give us a CD with nice pictures, I hope that is not necessary :/
My friend is even worst than me with the pictures! Here there are the ors de ouvres, in a very similar set up as Aline in Chicago: Panes de leche de caserio; Hojas de pipas saladas; Chips de patatas violeta con sal de apio.
We ordered the longest possible tasting menu FRX degustacion, around 4 hours of food, drinks and laughs, lots of laughs. The menu did not disappoint us, but there were dishes that we loved more than others. It is hard to love all the dishes in a very looong dinner. 4 hours of food is a lot of food, so let’s move to the food. I will keep the name of the dishes in Spanish, I’m sure whoever reads this will be able to use google translate…. excuse my laziness!!
Oh, I don’t want to move to the food without mentioning that the service is amazing and the decoration is probably the nicest one I’ve seen in a restaurant in Spain. The dish ware and silverware were just so beautiful, and probably as nice as ABC Kitchen in New York. ( Elise favorites decoration store in New York )
Teja de Zanahorias y Naranja; Bomba de gazpacho; Fideos Rubios con steak tartare; butifarra negra y patata; Croqueta de mejillon y azafran; Macarron caprese
Vieira a la plancha:
Alcachofas cocinadas como a nosotros nos gusta.
Flan de tuetano con salicornias; Umami con hojas cremosas
My favorite dish of the night, the scallop was really fresh and perfectly cooked. The dish smelled like a sea market at 6AM, fresh and ocean smell! The combination with the bone marrow worked perfectly.
Tosta de pan de aceitunas con ajoaceite verde; ortiguilla con hinojo y aceitunas; cilindro de patatas con caracoles guisados. Side dishes for the mediterraneo.
Lubina a la sal con trazo verde;
Calcots en menestra, suquet de butifarra dulce y alubias de San Pau
Liebre a la Royal:
Helado de perejil, Gnochi de castana y raiz de apio; Tapioca lentejas y chorizo; Helado de crema de cacahuete
Seleccion de quesos cocinados.
Dulce de espera.
Panacota de lavanda con pan de especias, Cuajada de albaricoque, Magdalena de aceite de oliva, Gominola frutal,
Chupito de chocolate con fruta de la pasion, Frambuesa rellena de te verde, Manzana dorada
El Chocolate 2011.3.
Leche: helado de leche quemada
Cacao: Royal y merengue de cacao-late
Avellanas: pizza choco de nutella
Azucar: la hoja
This was a very interesting dessert. It was made out of 4 dishes, one per component of Nocilla ( spanish Nutella ): Milk, cacao, sugar and hazelnuts.
The interesting part of one of the desserts was the solid cava or champagned that was poured on top of it. Xanthan Gum is added to the first fermentation of Cava ( Catalan Champagne ) and then the fermentation process continues for nine months, resulting in a more viscose carbonated cava. Visually very interesting.
Avellanas: pizza choco de nutella
Overall a great experience. In my opinion too long, next time we will get the short tasting menu, we end up eating at 2 in the morning. Ramon even left before us! Restaurant to go back with Elise next time we are in Madrid
Restaurante Ramon Freixa Madrid
Calle de Claudio Coello 67 (Hotel Selenza Madrid)
+34 917 81 82 62