Cars, noise, hastiness, stress,…It could seem that Madrid is as far from the idea of country life as possible, and that is true, we are not going to say otherwise. Luckily in the Spanish capital city, many people miss rural life and as a result of communications and the resources at our disposal we can now close our eyes and feel very close to that small village we grew up in. Dive in and believe that in Madrid everything is possible, believe that you are once again sitting in your grandma’s kitchen.
- El Huerto de Lucas
Wooden tables that wobble as if you were in the countryside, cushions you could swear that your grandmother made, clear glass bottles filled with filtered water, natural light that bounces off the white walls of the venue…and greenery, a lot of it, everywhere. This is El Huerto de Lucas (Calle San Lucas 13, Madrid) a restaurant and store that invites diners to relax making you believe you are not actually in a city at all. Their philosophy? To bring organic and sustainable products and cuisine closer to the public. For the new season they have gone even further from selling their fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. Now you can also find jam, dairy products, chocolates, breads, canned food and drinks. Plus if you want to be a part of the recycled packaging movement, you can take yours from home and they will fill them with the legumes or cereals you want to buy.
The canteen also has a new menu including dishes such as the organic beef steak tartar, the curry chicken taco or the pulled pork pita with yoghurt sauce. All of them simple creations but with very authentic tastes that come from the quality of the product. A project presented by Pilar Muñoz-Calero in collaboration with her nephew Javier Muñoz Calero.
Average price: 25 euros. Daily menu for 14 euros.
Area: Chueca, Madrid
- La Vaca de La Huerta
Fernando and Ángel were sure about it: they needed to rethink the project for their restaurant LeCafe after 10 years. This is how La Vaca y la Huerta (Calle Recoletos 13, Madrid) was made into a totally renewed concept were prime Galician beef (45 to 60 day maturation) and vegetable garden ingredients are the fundamentals. Their menu changes every few months, including and removing dishes to match the fruit and vegetable season: blossoming artichoke in arbequina oil, burratina and pamplina salad or seasonal vegetable barbecue. Beef meat can also be tried in sautéed grizzards with brandy, rustic carpacio with herbs and Dijon or the chef’s version of the steak tartar.
The restaurant’s decoration is simple, white walls and wood are the main items in the space, but there is a certain strength to it with a mix of rural and modern. There is a charming vegetable garden in one of the large windows and greenery in every corner. And the staff treats you so well you’d think they were your village neighbours. It feels like home.
Average price: 25-30 euros. Daily menu 11.50 to 14 euros.
Area: Retiro, Madrid
- Mama Campo
Mama Campo (Calle Trafalgar 22, Madrid) is its products, its craft, a look back to the past, but mostly it’s its people: the farmers that send their products to this shop. Nacho Aparicio walks around his shop telling a story for each of his products. He knows every single one of them. For over a year, Aparicio and David Ylleda developed the business model that they use today at Mama Campo, while meticulously choosing every product they sell. “We wanted organic products to be in the everyday life of people and that is why we have created a market,” says Aparicio. This place is also de pantry of the great restaurant they have next door. The head of kitchen, Dani Larios, prepares delicacies with these organic products: pumpkin and orange soup, seasonal vegetable stew, rice with mushrooms or stewed pork cheek with mashed potatoes and glacé fruit. All of it using as little oil as possible and adding a modern touch to his dishes.
Soon they will open a new venue, just next door, in the same plaza, which will continue with the concept of Mama Campo but in the shape of a canteen. We can’t wait to try it!
Average price: 25-30 euros
Area: Chamberí, Madrid