We selected the Al Trapo Madrid restaurant during our recent visit to the Spanish capital as we were looking for restaurants with contrast. We had tried formal and casual restaurants, some tapas places and so a modern, quirky one would complete the list. From our research, the Al Trapo Madrid seemed to fit the bill. They also have this quotation on their website : ” One cannot think well,love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well – VIRGINIA WOLF” . We cannot agree more.
Al Trapo is located on the ground floor of the Hotel IBEROSTAR Las Letras Gran Vía in the heart of Madrid. The name of the restaurant is etched on the metallic trim above the entrance, but the signboard is so discrete that it was almost invisible to the casual passerby. The interior of the restaurant is done up in a casual style, with a somewhat Scandinavian feel. With only around fifteen tables, set quite apart from one another, this restaurant quickly filled up.
According to their website, Al Trapo describes its cuisine as “steeped in tradition, but with hints of modernity”. They have also not segmented their menu according to the usual starter, main course and dessert classification, but has chosen more creative group names for their food items so that one can design one’s own meal without the constraints of the classical format.
Al Trapo’s Menu has eight different sections, starting with “To Eat with Your Hands and Lick Your Fingers”, followed by “Gentle and Classy” and so on. Here are pictures of the menu and wine list. A full menu is available on the Al Trapo Madrid website (link below).
The table setting and dining utensils were very casual, almost cafeteria-like, which avoids the stuffy atmosphere that a well-dressed restaurant sometimes has. For wine, we selected a bottle of Jardin de Lucia (21 euros) from their budget friendly wine list. Most of the wines were in the twenty-something euros category. It is a wine we had not tried before. Jardin de Lucia is a dry white wine with a beautiful label and tasted like un-oaked chardonnay. Subsequent research revealed that this wine was made from the Albariño grape grown in the north-west part of Spain.
We had two items from the “eat with your hands” section. The first was the Spanish Tortilla Soufflé Bites with green bell peppers and anchovies (5,50 € for 4 Pieces). The egg tortilla was presented in a creamy state, contained in balls with crisp dough shells. Quite a novel way of serving this classic Spanish dish. The second starter was Brandade of cod with garlic mayonnaise and parsley (3,50 € for each cone). Again, the taste was good but not exceptional. The method of serving such a dish in an ice-cream cone was interesting and facilitated eating with the hands.
The next item was from the “Roguish and Zingy” section. Roasted red king prawn, paprika mayonnaise, squid noodles and french fries (16,50 €). This was a dish with rich seafood flavours with pasta made from squid and bathed in a thick prawn flavoured gravy. The best dish of the day.
Our last dish was from the “So far and yet so near” category – roasted aubergine with pork jowl and puffed rice (13,50 €). This was a delicious, pleasant-looking dish using simple ingredients.
Overall, dining at Al Trapo Madrid was a nice break from the traditional restaurants. The methods of presentation of the menu and the dishes themselves were creative and novel. The food was good but not spectacularly so. The restaurant is conveniently located along Grand Via, a major road in central Madrid.
Value : 3
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Caballero de Gracia, 11
Tel +34 915 24 23 05