Category Archives: Drinks

Sherry and Andalusian ambiance in Madrid

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For the best Sherry in the world simply travel down to Spain’s southern coast around the town of Jerez. But here in Madrid you can get a taste before you go. Don’t like sherry? Maybe you do but just don’t know if yet. Unlike wine, sherry does not benefit from being in the bottle so the closer you are to it’s source, the better. Here in Madrid we are relatively close, same country, but step inside the Madrid bar “La Venencia” and you are immediately transported to Andalusia circa 1950 or before.

Since the 1920’s La Venencia’s unassuming exterior has welcomed visitors on the street Echagaray near Madrid’s center, Puerta del Sol. The wooden bar has fresh chalk marks, which are the clients tabs, dusty bottles line the wall behind the bar, along with some decorative sherry barrels and a “venencia”, the bar’s namesake which is the cup on a rod used for extracting sherry from barrels in the solera system. The yellowing walls hold antique posters announcing the Jerez spring fairs from years such as 1949 and 1957, a friendly cat sleeps on one of the tables at the back. Order your sherry at the bar along with tapas before taking a table. Olives (REALLY good ones) or almonds come free with the drinks but you can try ham, cecina (cured beef), mojama (cured tuna), manchego cheese etc, for about 2 euros per tapa. La Venencia serves a variety of types of Sherry or “Jerez” as its called in Spanish. They are: Fino, Oloroso, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Pedro Ximénez and Manzanilla. For a description of these sherries, visit madaboutsherry.com. Wikipedia has a good explanation too. I like Palo Cortado, so if you aren’t sure what to order you can see if you agree with me.

And in keeping with good Andaluz tradition, you pay at the end. The bartender adds up your tab in chalk right on the wooden bar and probably won’t accept a tip. Before you step back out into the busy Madrid nightlife you sigh, aahhh, this is Spain.

La Venencia/ Address: Calle Echagaray, 7 / Tel: 914 29 626 / Metro Stop: Sol or SevillaClick here for a map of the location

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Filed under Drinks, Madrid, Places, Tapas Bars

Taberneros – Taste and Fusion, Spanish Style

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Tucked away in the quiet maze of historical streets between the Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace in Madrid is a fun inventive restaurant that I love to visit for special occasions and entertaining visiting friends. With the climatized glass case of wines and warm brick walls Taberneros is a harmonious mix of modern and the traditional. This theme is also reflected in the culinary creations you will be served. Some Spanish classics such as “salmorejo cordobés” are available as are Mediterranean dishes influenced by French, Italian and even Japanese cuisine. The inventive menu changes with the season and if you are not sure what to order the attentive and helpful waitstaff will help guide you.
Although tapas are on the menu this is not a typical tapas bar, because it is meant for sit-down meals. There is a small bar and it’s possible to go for just a wine and a tapa. However, the bar may be full with patrons waiting for one of the twelve tables. Although seating is limited the high ceilings and low lights give the space an open yet intimate feel.

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The multi-page wine list not only has a good representation of wines from Spain they also offer wines from other, mainly European, countries. A sommelier is on staff to help you choose the perfect match for your food. The bill with an average priced wine comes to about 25 euros per person and is an excellent price to quality ratio.

For reservations call 91 542 21 60, however, Friday and Saturday evenings are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Address: Calle Santiago, 9. Madrid, Spain.
Tel: (+34) 91 542 21 60
Metro stops: Sol, Opera

Below is a handy map to help you find your way! Qué aproveche!
-Janelle

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First Post

I’m going to write about tapas, those wonderful little plates of food served at bars all throughout Spain. They are now popular throughout the world. I’ll give you authentic recipes direct from Spain and information on where to go, what to eat and what not to eat! Stay tuned for more!

Janelle

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