Calle Santiago, 9
Hours: from 1300-1600 and 2030 to 0000, closed on Mondays
Tel: 91 542 2160
If Casa Lucas is my most favorite wine bar in Madrid (see my previous article), Taberneros is definitely in my top three.
I hadn't been there in a while so I was happy to return there a couple fo weeks ago. We don't get there enough….it's located close to Plaza Mayor, but on the opposite side of the Cava Baja area, where we most often go.
The first nice thing you notice about Taberneros is its size, which is much larger than most wine bars. They don't take reservations, but as long as you arrive by 9PM, you should be fine.
The food is very good, as is the wonderful wine list. The by-the-glass wine program is excellent, though we almost always end up getting bottles.
We had a typical sampling the other night:
1. Salmorejo: a thick type of gazpacho with garlic. Very nice version…good consistency and rich tomato flavour…it had an appealing touch of sweetness.
2. Scallops: Scallops are expensive and hard to come by in Spain L! Taberneros offers a very nice dish, finely diced vegetables, sautéed until very soft…topped with slices of barely cooked scallop with a smooth béchamel sauce. Light on scallops, but intense flavors.
3. Cecina: This is cured beef…a super elegant version of beef jerky. The cured beef is sliced paper thin, arranged on platter, sprinkled with sea salt and topped with top notch olive oil. Wonderful combination! Cecina is often horrible, tough, dry…really like beef jerky, so this is a treat.
4. Grilled venison loin with berry sauce and pumpkin. Very nice preparation, though deer is not one of my favourite meats.
5. Rice with clams and crawfish: a soupy rice with tiny clams and chuks of crayfish. Very nice but very subtle.
6. Fried eggs with Galician potatoes and truffle. This was my favourite of the main courses. Gourmet comfort food. The Galician potatoes have a slightly firmed consistency and paired beautifully with the runny, farm-fresh eggs. The chunks of truffle, some great olive oil and sea salt brought it all together. Outstanding…
I always try new wines in Taberneros…they know their wines and can easily recommend something.
The first wine we had was a favourite from DO Cigales, a little known Denominacion near Ribera del Duero…north west of Madrid. The wine was Traslanzas 2001. The winemaker, Ana Martin, is one of my favorites, a "driving winemaker" who makes wines around Spain. Translanzas is one of the top wines in a region that is still up and coming. It is made from old-vine Tempranillo and comes across initially as closed in the nose. Later plums and black cherry shoes through. Intense mouth, huge structure…big tannins. Needs lots of air, but rewards you.
The new wine that night was a really original Garnache (Grenache) from the winery Parés Baltá in DO Penedés, Catalunya. It was called Hisenda Miret 2005. Very fresh nose…almost put me off at first. Intense cranberry, cherry and anis. Lean and fresh mouth, with bracing acidity and tight cherry fruit. Really long finish with smooth tannins. Didn't show its alcohol level of 14.5% at all! Really original!
Really original…I'm liking more and more of those Penedés reds!