Coque, Humanes de Madrid, 12/17/16

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exterior

Coque is a 30 minute cab ride from the center of Madrid in an unlikely looking location.  They do have a good sized building which provides plenty of room for a large kitchen, several smoking ovens, a huge basement wine cellar, a medium sized main floor dining room and a downstairs lounge. Your meal moves you through all these areas in what is undoubtedly an attempt to make it a dining experience, not just a meal. The three Sandoval brothers,  chef(Mario), sommelier(Diego) and dining room management(Rafael), now own the restaurant started 14 years ago by their father.  Definitely a family operation, today even Diego’s son is working as a waiter in the restaurant.

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looking toward the entrance

They offer 2 tasting menus, one having 3 extra courses for an additional 40 euros, but that is based on the translated menus on which there were a number of errors and the waiter even admitted they had not been updated recently.  Either tasting you chose,  you start in the wine cellar with a designated cocktail and a series of snacks that ranged from okay to good.  The room is entertainment enough, to look at the various wine storage areas and the floor filled with wine bottles.

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Bar in wine cellar
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wine cellar
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Making the special drink
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end opposite the bar
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display in the floor
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end opposite the bar
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Frankie posed on the barrel
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Liquid chestnut of sherry from Sanlucar
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Merlot macaroon with cheese “torta de queso” – fun taste
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Airy bite of red wine
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Souffle of cheese (manchego) with poniphenol from albillo grape – served warm. Good
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small guacamole taco
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wine cellar

 

From there you move to the kitchen and meet Chef Mario and get his explantation of some of the equipment and watch all the workers beginning meal preparations while you enjoy a snack and drink.  Chef then takes you to his large suckling pig cooking oven and demonstrates a turning of the pig.  He also showed us several smaller ovens each using a different kind of wood.  Another snack in here and then you are off to the dining room.

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Chef Mario Sandoval with Frankie
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kitchen
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Soup of cocido with mint foam, bao bread with chickpeas
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Frankie looks around the kitchen
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oven
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Chef showed Frankie his bonsai plant
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Checking the oven contents
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checking on the suckling pigs
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Brown enough to turn
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Ready to cook on the other side
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Saam of suckling pig trotters with a sweet cantonese sauce
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little closer
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Chef Mario and his brother Diego with Frankie
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Portrait in the hall of their dad
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Food or modern art?

 

In the dining room you can look over the 2 menu choices and the massive wine list which is on a computer pad.  We chose the shorter menu which didn’t sit well with the waiter as he replied to our order with , “the longer one.”  We corrected him again when he brought the warmed napkins.  The music is more subdued upstairs but they had an uncomfortable high-backed, high seat bottom chair for the woman whereas the men got a normal comfortable chair.  The thing made me feel claustrophobic and too high above the eating surface of the table.

longer tasting menu
longer tasting menu
shorter tasting menu
shorter tasting menu
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table set up
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Frankie thought the table decoration matched her colors
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interior
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interior
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interior
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interior

 

The meal started with a consommé made table-side by the waiter who poured the water into a cooker and then left for a while.  When he returned to pour up the broth, he also brought a bun topped with truffles and a plate of mushrooms with truffles and ham.  All were mild with the bun having the most flavor.

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Begginning of the consome
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almost finished
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Consome wit fungi wood blewit stew and pate
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closer
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closer
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consommé
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inside bun
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wine front
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wine back
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Frankie napped on the purse stool

 

Next was a line of vegetables and herbs that you were to eat from the right to the left.  There were too many things to identify any one of them  and again was mild. The bread was served and it was dense, warm and crusty.

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Gastronomic of smoked seeds and spiced vegetables with aromatic shoots
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closer
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Bread

 

The crab stew was mixed with grilled octopus, cockles, mussels and sliced prawn. The crab was sweet and it was a nice mixture of tastes.

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beginning
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King crab stew with molusc and red prawn with grill octopus
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Frankie thought the cork dish was just her size

 

The sturgeon was not mixed with other fish as listed on the menu but was mixed with a number of vegetables. It was nice.

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Old marinated sturgeon with apple vinegar, juniper, mustard and spring onion
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closer
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another angle

 

The braised tuna was caramelized  and served with tomatillos, pomegranate seeds and grainy crackers. It was filled with textures but alone the fish was too strong.  When all were combined it was a much better taste.

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Braised tuna with tomato tree and crunchy beetroot
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closer

 

The oxtail was served in a sticky, long cooked sauce. It was shredded meat with a fudgy poached egg. The truffles in it were more aroma than taste but overall it was rich, tender and very full of flavor.

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serving bowl
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Ox tail of lidia with poached egg, Iberian jawnl onions and with truffle
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Frankie and the porcelain lady exchanged secrets
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mixing in the egg

 

The pig was presented under a glass receptacle that trapped the smoke of the Athena wood. It was tender and juicy with a beautiful crisp crust of skin. The small bit of vegetable with it was more decorative than tasty – this course is all about the pork.

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presentation of pig
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Glazed suckling pig tender and juicy with its crackling spicy pumpkin puree and roasted pear
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from the top
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from the side
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another angle
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Frankie liked the sinks and tile

 

A pre-dessert was served with a blueberry sauce flamed and reduced table side. It was served with yogurt and ice cream but for all the effort I’m not sure that the taste of the blueberries were enhanced that much.  It was fun to watch, but then more flames awaited us downstairs.

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table side cooking
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We have flames
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Gin sponge of Brockmans hibisco ice cream and blueberry
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closer
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Frankie shared the information about Coque

 

Down the stairs to the Lounge area was next where the walls were hung with large video screens and the music was much louder.   The video screens were different but it did cast a color tone on some of the photos. Desserts started with a tea and plum drink that was a beautiful color but very tart.

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interior with stair behind
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stairs to lounge
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downstairs lounge interior
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Lounge area table set up
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Frankie found an award
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interior

 

Next was a ‘baked Alaska’ type dessert with flaming meringue and a nice mix of tart and sweet that worked very well together.

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more flames
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Sunflower of yuzu and vanilla with flambed meringue and rum
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second one on fire
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inside
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Frankie and the cookbook cabinet
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outside the lounge area

 

The chocolate was enhanced with a center bowl of non-edibles over which they poured a liquid nitrogen that enveloped the table in smoke. Another visual treat – the plate was small bites of a lot of different tastes, chocolate, berry, mint, caramel, meringue.

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next course
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lots of effects
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Chocolate of origins with smoked cheese of idiazabal
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Frankie in the smoke
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the plate as smoke clears
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lots of ingredients

 

The meal ended with a wild copper sculpture holding a cinnamon sugar cake which rated a yum. The round chips were a brittle and the  macaroons were an okay rendition. The final treat was a creamy praline with white chocolate.

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Frankie played on the coffee condiments tray
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Final treats
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Frankie thought the serving thing was a jungle gym for her

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