Kalma - Madrid Marriott Auditorium, Madrid, Spain

On the last night of our road trip vacation, we opted to stay at the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Center. Our original plan was to stay in the city central one more night to go out and return the rental car before our 10:15 AM flight. We were exhausted, however, due to a drive directly from Cascais, Portugal that day. The hotel is in close proximity to the airport and has a few restaurants and bars. We dropped the car at the airport on the night of the 15th and were really glad we did when were readying to catch our flight the next morning.

We made reservations inside the hotel at Kalma because we noticed over a hundred guests who had arrived by coach checking in around 7:00 PM. I had spotted a filet mignon on the menu posted outside the restaurant door and didn't want to miss out! We wore casual attire and did not have any issues.  It turned out the reservations were not necessary as we were one of only a few tables in the place. This could be because the hotel is also a convention center and many groups have a catered dinner, or because our reservation was at 8:15 PM and most Europeans do not think about dinner before 9 PM. At any rate, we were pleasantly surprised. 

The restaurant has a pleasant modern decor mixed with some traditional elements. Almost all of the colors were neutral with turquoise accents. There was one small area with two walls displaying painted tiles in the traditional style.

The service was impeccable. It felt like the establishment was staffed 2 to 1 in our favor! Our water and wine glasses were filled non-stop; well - until we finished the wine! We never had to wait to grab someone's attention. We were given breads with butter, cream, and cheese to start. We also ordered an appetizer of jamón ibérico (cured ham) that came with fresh grated tomato before we knew complimentary starters were on the way. It didn't matter because on the last night in Madrid, one must eat jamón! It proved to be some of the best we had and almost, just almost, melted in your mouth.


You can see in this photo I did not cut correctly. The temperature was perfect!
We both ordered the filet mignon with grilled scallion, butter potatoes and black truffle cracker. Medium-rare, of course. It was outstanding. I honestly do not have any complaints about this dish. The steak was clearly the main subject of the plate. So many times, these types of plates are filled with starch and an underwhelming smallish cut of steak. Especially when the weight is not provided. This was not the case. There were just enough vegetables to have a  little with each bite of mouth watering steak and none left over when the meat was gone. The truffles and sauce, similar to bordelaise, made the meal savory and gave it depth. The fresh baby watercress had just enough bite to add a pleasant peppery crunch. The steak itself had just a little bit of char but an amazing flavor that is not typical of a filet, which are known for texture more than flavor. The flavor was similar to what I have experienced when I cook on a perfectly seasoned grill. 

We paired the meal with a very nice and reasonably priced bottle of 2014 Torremilanos Crianza from the Ribera de Duero region. The selection was recommended by the maitre d after I showed him a photo of a bottle of Viñarranz we enjoyed on our previous visit. The restaurant price was under 30 euro. Using my Vivino app, I found it averages $67.50 a bottle in the US.

Overall, this restaurant is worth the trip or the stay the night before a morning flight. The prices were reasonable for the outstanding meal and service. I will definitely book this hotel in the future, simply to enjoy the fine cuisine in the Kalma.

No comments:

Post a Comment