Madrid, Spain – Part I
Salamanca was a neighborhood on our to-find list. So we decided to head in that direction with only a plan to explore.
The cutest restaurant, Quintin, beckoned to us. It was around noon and we were ready for lunch…which of course they were not serving. Too early. So we took a peek at the menu and killed time exploring the streets surrounding the restaurant. We made a reservation for 1PM.
When you step inside Quintin, you have the feeling of walking through an outdoor market. Locals are standing at the bar talking about their days, all the fresh fruits and vegetables are out, and the man behind the counter is slowly shaving cured meat as if it’s the most important thing in that moment.
Everyone inside is having fun, the spirit is light – order a bottle of wine (we chose the 2015 Lagar do Merens D.O. Ribeiro a blend of treixadura, loureira, and albariño) and prepare for a leisurely lunch. It gets hopping around 1:30 or 2pm with all sorts of people. Make a reservation around 1:30 or 2:00 and plan to be there for at least two hours.
Below is the menu we enjoyed with some recommendations. I vote for family style, which allows you to taste through a variety of dishes on the menu.
To start, we had parmesan with a complimentary cup of gazpacho. The gazpacho was made with strawberries, bread, and tomato – a refreshing start! Not too sweet, it was a flavor bomb.
1st course: Tomato and pomegranate seed tartare with plum tomatoes and avocado. This was fresh and little did we know how memorable. This was our first lunch in Spain and it became one of our favorite bites we tasted on the entire trip. A perfect example of how something with simple, fresh ingredients can steal the show. Absolutely order this if you are at Quintin!
2nd course: Toast beneath hake, leeks, egg and cheese in a skillet.
3rd course: Pizza with morels. The morel pizza caught my eye because we don’t see this mushroom used too much in the USA and they are so tasty! Especially on pasta or in this case on pizza. So creamy. I was a fan of this pizzas thin crust. Pizza can be filling but this acted like a cracker. Less about the dough and more about the toppings.
Drink: 2015 Lagar do Merens D.O. Ribeiro (blend of treixadura, loureira, albariño)
Cheers from your Pocket Somm! – Arden