Óscar Velasco
Óscar Velasco
Country: Spain
City: 28046 Madrid
Address: Paseo de la Castellana, 57. Hotel Hesperia.
(+34) 912108840
Closed: Saturdays midday, Sundays, Holidays and August.
Price: 140/200 €
Tasting menu:: 150 y 180 €

We will begin with two of the most lavish dinners of the past few months. First, there was the crab quenelle with onion and celery sauce is a hymn to nature and to all things exquisite, coupled with a simplistic approach, but even more dazzling was the sautéed baby squid: immaculate and tender, with blood sausage oil, crumbled pieces of the same sausage, apple and arugula foam… a bold composition with idyllically resolved contrasts. We were also served what must be the finest cod tripe we have ever tried, in both texture and flavor, served in large cuts to strengthen its intrinsic qualities, accompanied by an entire garden full of vegetables, all prepared in a casserole. The lobster with vanilla oil, green beans, pear and hazelnut is unforgettable. The doneness of the John Dory could only be qualified as sublime–seared hot on the grill, which brings out its flavor, and brilliantly accompanied by a cauliflower puree and a pineapple and mint marinade. The dove was also immeasurably good–such quality of product… such juiciness! Served with a potato, parmesan and bacon pastry. The most recent visit started off with baby Norway lobster alongside beautiful Llavaneras peas intermingled with onion and a few delicate, microscopic spring onions with caviar. The translucent cannelloni stuffed with black truffle, chopped onions and pine nuts were marvelous–a perfect ensemble expressing all the elements cleanly and exquisitely. The pork jowl was succulent and gelatinous, offered with La Armuña lentils prepared in the traditional way (of course), with the further addition of truffle to the formula: a refined, distinguished dish in which the main ingredient is the meat, prepared independently of the vegetable, but nonetheless it is still lacking a certain intellectual flare. For pure, unadulterated delicacy we turn to the baby octopus: the size of a small fingernail, sautéed with precision and presented in the company of small peeled broad beans and a sweet and sour apple quenelle; sublime in its simplicity. Another three protagonists clearly defined (but which can, and should, be eaten separately): monkfish medallion over a bed of pig ear with bone marrow slices–impeccable. And even though it had been previously frozen, the woodcock was unforgettable for its intrinsic quality–fat and bursting with wild flavor–and for its doneness, which left the bird remarkably juicy. It is served with a sumptuous mousse made of its offal and a potato-parmesan pastry, the same one that accompanies the dove in summer months. In short, a very, very, very, very.…………………..menu. With regard to service, Abel Valverde provides one of finest experiences in any dining room in Spain.