Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Ramón Freixa Madrid
A two-Michelin-starred restaurant found within the Hotel Unico, Ramón Freixa Madrid serves artful cuisine with Catalan influences and undeniable flair.
Celso y Manolo
A contemporary tapas joint in Madrid’s Justicia area, Celso y Manolo has a neighbourhood vibe and a prodigious selection of delicious, creative dishes.
Mama Campo
Found in the Plaza de Olavide area, Mama Campo encompasses a restaurant, a cantina, a shop and a space devoted to encouraging kids to eat healthily.
La Tasquita de Enfrente
Chef Juanjo López’s La Tasquita de Enfrente is a popular restaurant in the Malasaña district offering contemporary Spanish cuisine.
Hakkasan
Laydown
Hake steaks marinated in lime juice or succulent ribbon fish go down perfectly between sips of an amazing list of stimulating cocktails. Look out for troupes of belly dancers who come out on certain Las Mil y Una Noches theme nights.
El Estragon
Bienvenido Alarcón is head chef at El Estragon Vegetariano (Vegetarian Tarragon), where paella is cooked to perfection without meat or fish, using white couscous or basmati, organic or integral rice.
La Isla del Tesoro
Vegetarian house specials such as boletus mushroom raviolis or mojito sorbet are not to be missed. An amole wine list includes many organic labels and some surprising gems, such as a 2000 Barranc dels Closos from Priorat.
Lhardy
Super luxurious piece of old-school elegance. On the ground floor and bar area, traditional tapas are served, and the second floor houses an elegant dining room with chandeliers, mirrored walls, antique display cases and 17th century oil paintings.
Negro de Anglona
A labyrinthine venue with a fascinating history; the tunnel which houses Negro de Anglona was once a passage for adulterous royalty to move around the city undetected. After a delectable glass in the Moët bar, enjoy Italian cuisine downstairs.
Teatriz
Designed by Philippe Starck, both the restaurant and its toilets are a feat in design. The bar is popular for pre- and post-dinner drinks and the food (Italian/Mediterranean) is surprisingly good value for the location.
Pan de Lujo
Alberto Chicote provides top quality dining in Madrid's exclusive Salamanca district at a reasonable price.
Larios Cafe
Cuban restaurant, bar, club and lounge rolled into one, with ultrachic, New-York style furnishings, Larios Cafe is a great place to sip a mojito any time of the day.
El Chaflan
Most famous for its cheese board, this restaurant's nondescript location belies its excellence. A large, double-glazed window allows diners to see exactly what goes on in the kitchen - fascinating, albeit distractingly so.
Ojala
Ojala is all about fun: those who eat downstairs will find themselves perched on cushions in a large sandpit. The waiters are hunky, customers write in chalk on the bathroom walls and everyone tucks into tasty tapas to a clubby soundtrack.
La Chantarella
Inventive combinations such as couscous with foie gras or a surprising egg dish cooked with Emmental cheese make this one of the city's favourite eateries.
Dassa Bassa
This stylish, vaulted white-brick basement restaurant is popular with models, aspiring actors and general jet-setters.
Don Pelayo
Both the décor and the dishes on the menu deceptively make this restaurant appear run-of-the-mill. But Don Pelayo's secret is the twist it gives to Spanish classics: potato croquettes combined with cocido broth, for example.
La Broche
A disciple of Ferran Adrià, Arola is one of Madrid's few chefs to elevate the restaurant business to the status of creative art. Two Michelin-starred La Broche will leave your senses heightened, particularly with its 10-dish taster menu.
Le Marquis
The food may be so-so, but the decor sets Le Marquis apart - nowhere else in Madrid will you find a chair trussed up in a corset. Fetishism needs darkness to thrive, so definitely a dinner-only option.
La Piazzetta
La Piazetta and La Dolce Piazetta are two new top-notch Italian eateries situated amidst the perennial buzz of the Plaza Chueca. One is a smart restaurant; the other caters to the sweet tooth.
Kikuyu
This chic contemporary restaurant located on the edge of the Chueca uses atmospheric candles, good background music and a delightful small, private garden to woo its fashionable clients. Make sure to book at weekends.
El Jardin Secreto
Nicolas
Fashion for men and women at Nicolas.
Santceloni
Housed within the 5 star Hesperia, Santceloni offers an unforgettable gastronomic experience. The set menu includes quail's eggs, onion consommé, fennel and black truffle and plenty of Catalan wines help make the list one of the best in the city
Casa Carola
For those in search of traditional Madrileno cocido"
Botin
Typical Castillian food includes gazpacho, suckling pig and a delicious cream tart made with a sweet biscuit base, egg meringue and pastel cream.
Citra
The house specials are jacket artichoke soup; salmon slices with vanilla sauce; grilled wood pigeon with sheep cheese (idiazabal); and gnocchi and radish sauce. The most interesting thing is the way in which savoury is mixed with sweet...
Midnight Rose
A thrill for both the eyes and the tastebuds, surprising starters at the Midnight Rose include 'oreo-biscuit' appetisers actually made of black olives and parmesan. Other dishes on the menu include sushi; popular with the fashionista crowd.
Europa Decó
It doesn't get much more exotic than this: African masks on the walls, totem poles from Papua New Guinea, table mats and plush seats upholstered with Vicuna skin resembling a smooth crocodile texture. Fish is definitely the speciality.
Montana
Delicious food as beautifully presented as the clientele. Many of the fresh ingredients come from the owners' farm just outside Toledo, and although the cuisine borrows Italian and Oriental influences, ingredients are genuinely Spanish.

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