Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer is shaping up to be
anything but a slow season on the Madrid restaurant scene, with new ventures
arriving in rapid succession all around the city. When it opened a few weeks
back, El Imparcial in La Latina elicited headlines heralding the return of
gorgeous restaurants. Open from noon to 2 a. m. (all-day kitchens are a
welcome trend in Madrid), it's certainly been drawing the city's beautiful
people who come for lunch, an afternoon drink and some browsing the
restaurant's design shop, or a late dinner. The menu features lightened up
and easy-to-share versions of Spanish classics, simple pastas and even an
eco-version of a Big Mac, which surprisingly nails the taste of its notorious
namesake.     Across town El Perro y la Galleta (pictured)
the second restaurant by Carlos Moreno Fontaneda, scion of Spain's first
family of cookies, has just opened opposite the Retiro Park. Building on the
success of the year-old and wildly popular Bar Galleta (galleta means cookie),
the new restaurant also serves all day and already has a loyal clientele days
after opening (meaning: reservations recommended).   Many of the
standout dishes on the menu use the traditional Galletas Maria—the preferred
snack of generations of Spanish youth—in innovative ways, such as the
perfect sweet-salty breading for lightly fried eggplant. Of course the
cookies get reinterpreted in virtually all the desserts. The grand but casual
dining room has a neo-Victorian vibe with quirky collections of objets and a
fetching mix of furnishings.   Tatel is also landing with a splash,
given that backers include singer Enrique Iglesias and Spanish sports
superstars Pau Gasol, and Rafael Nadal. Though its high-profile investors may
call to mind the days of the supermodel-marketed Fashion Café, all food
critics and gastronomes are talking about Tatel's market-driven menu of
spot-on Spanish fare and its sumptuous dining room. Plans are afoot for
locations in Mexico and the U. S. A.      Other locales
worth adding to your address book for the season include Lady Madonna and
Babelia Café.   Andrew Ferren is on the Spain beat for Travel +
Leisure. He lives in Madrid. More good reads from T+L:
• World's Top 50 Hotels
• Food Worth Traveling For: What to Eat and Where to Eat It
• Best Places to Travel in 2015 Did you enjoy
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