Another day, another cracking lunch in one of Madrid’s many great restaurants with excellent lists of sherries (and other wines). This time, Media Ración, the offshoot which legendary Madrid bistro Cuenllas was kind enough to open near my office in spring last year and which has been one of my happy places ever since.
It really has everything that a sherry blogger looks for in a watering hole. First, they have a well-rounded and continually updated selection of sherries including in particular quality offerings from Equipo Navazos (La Bota de Palo Cortado 72, La Bota de Manzanilla 55 and la Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 59 to name just three), classics like Inocente (which is surprisingly hard to find), Gabriela Oro, Manzanilla la Goya, the superb amontillado and oloroso from Tradición and other wines from Maestro Sierra, Delgado Zuleta, Fernando de Castilla and other top producers. Moreover, that offering is just part of an excellent selection of wines in general, with some quality international references in particular. In summary, noone is going to die of thirst here.
Second, and almost as important, the food is great. My favourites would probably be the callos, the soldaditos de pavia, the tosta de anguila ahumada and the Comte cheeseburger, and above all, the bacalao ajoarriero that I discovered this week (the best I have ever tried) but they also have an outstanding selection of charcuterie, conservas and cheeses, nutty, tangy bread from Panic. Great stuff from the point of view of a sherry fan: it is almost as if someone were deliberately stacking up the pairing options. There is even a daily “bar-menu” for those days when you can’t be bothered to choose for yourself.
Third, and although it doesn’t generally feature very high on my list, the decor is also outstanding. It has a really smart, sheeshy bistro feel to it, making it one of those sherry temples that you can even take clients and family to if the need arises. And no concession made to comfort either: the bar is extremely comfortable with top quality stools and great sight lines.
And on top of all that, and probably most important of all, the service, from a young and charming crew, is just superbly friendly. Maybe I need more looking after than most but they certainly look after me. They even laugh at my jokes!
Really top drawer and highly recommended.