Back in Time at El Club Allard, Madrid

The time: June, 2013
The place: El Club Allard, a two Michelin starred restaurant in historic Madrid, Spain
The company: Sr. Antonio
The celebration: Departure for America!

Nearly two years ago, we "set sail" for the US to begin our American journey. We had no idea where would we end up, what jobs (or not) we'd be employed with, nor the very state of residency -- our goal was California and we ended up in Colorado, so things can certainly change, and expectations are better left unthought. However, we did know that we needed to give ourselves the proper sendoff with a decadent meal cooked by one of Madrid's top talents, Chef Diego Guerrero. He's since moved on from 13 years at the restaurant to open one of his own, so I'm glad that we could experience before his own departure.

I've heard that the now Executive Chef María Marte, is doing a fabulous job, and since she was by Diego's side for nearly 10 years, much of his legacy and plates live on, now combined with her ingenuity. It is also said that she started cleaning plates at the restaurant in 2003, and now direct a team of 15 masterfully.

Scone con mantequilla verde de ajo | bread starter with green garlic butter. Right on the corner you can see the imprint of the dome of Casa Garallado where El Club Allard is located in Madrid. 

Caballa Encurtida | Pickled Mackerel with Avocado, Kale, & Garnish. The "cabbage" - since in 2013 kale was not a phenomenon in Spain - is frozen with liquid nitrogen - a perfect bite all around and one of the most memorable of the meal, if not the most unique. 

Trufa de caza con foie y setas | Foie Gras "Truffle" with Wild Mushroom Soil and Foie "Sawdust." When first presented to the table, it emitted smoke that smelled of thyme from the lower area of the dish. A mini forest recreation inside of this crystal terrarium. 

Huevo con pan y panceta sobre crema ligera de patata | Egg yolk and Bacon filled Pastry with a rich Potato Puree. Sooo good.

And then this happened. Brace yourself...

A succulent butter fish dish with subtle Japanese influence, it was covered with a seaweed tuile and surrounded by a light vegetable dashi, or consomme. We'll just play some intermission music here and admire the flower cut-outs. 

Cordero lechal con crumble de tandoori | Suckling Lamb with Tandoori Crumble. Served sans bones, and just a minor nod to Indian cuisine (still has to be palatable for Spaniards after all).

Pre-postre Gin Tonic | The palate cleanser was a glorious spring 'Gin &Tonic' infused with Nordés, a Galician gin that I highly recommend. 

Another angle of this Club Allard presentation. The actual beverage was frozen into this sphere and frozen berries, also infused, were found inside with edible flowers. 

La Pecera | 'The fishbowl' that of course resembles Finding Nemo for many. The coral was white chocolate covered with freeze dried raspberries, the mussel shell also chocolate, the rock a bizcocho or pound cake, the sea foams of yogurt and the other of curaçao (orange liquor), and finally the red tea and raspberry marshmallow fish.

Whimsical themes continue in the dessert category. Meringue mushroom with cafe au lait mousse (soil) and cocoa powder dust. 

La cara de Buddah | Buddha's Face on dry ice and mini desserts - also known as mignardises - to end the service with a sweet bite. 

An edible sugar Buddha (although not sure the metaphoric significance the Chef was going for, or if he had recently been back from a trip to foreign lands); an eye-catching ending to a temple of Spanish gastronomy. 

Calle Ferraz nº2, Madrid  (advised to make reservations)
+34 915 59 09 39
Average price per person: 90€ - 100€

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