La Manduca de Azagra, Madrid, 12/14/16


La Manduca de Azagra is a fairly long restaurant spread over numerous rooms with good spacing between tables that are appointed with lovely linens.  The lighting and noise level are perfect.  There is a fairly large menu with nightly special vegetables being featured.  We split a number of dishes so we could sample a good variety of their food, and the portion size was perfect. Not all the staff spoke English but they couldn’t have been more accommodating, gracious and helpful.  The woman, Anabel Arriezu Navarro, who helped us design our menu for the evening turned out to be the co-owner and wife of the chef,  Juan Miguel Sola Prado.  They have had the restaurant in this location since 2003 and still have their farm in Navarro. Together they make you feel like you are having dinner in their home – they are so friendly and welcoming. It was a totally delightful evening.  Continue reading

Restaurante Alabaster, Madrid, 12/14/16


Our lunch at Alabaster was not as planned so here’s an important word of warning. When you make your reservation and confirm it, have someone who is fluent in Spanish make sure they have you in the main dining room.  We thought we were but they showed us reserving a seat in the bar where they assured us the same menu was served.  It is not!  The menu is not the same nor is the service but you get to share a bathroom if that’s any consolation. There is a menu for the bar, as shown, as well as some chalkboard items, but there was very little explanation or help from the waiter. Most items seemed to be available in half-portions that are suitable for 2 people to share. We ordered small portions when possible. Continue reading