Eating and Drinking in Madrid

James T. Murray

Right now, Spain’s capital city is the place to be. Departures drops a line.

With the new smoking ban in effect, hip Madrileños flock to open-air terrazas for their Fortunas. Last night, the terraza at the Mercado San Antón (24 Augusto Figueroa; 34-91/330-0730), the newly opened market in the Chueca neighborhood, was full of directors, models and muses. Around 9 p.m., they headed en masse to the chic La Cocina de San Antón (24 Augusto Figueroa; 34-91/330-0294), where you pick an ingredient and leave it to the chef to surprise you. That is, if you can get a reservation—it’s impossible to get in without one. Instead, we visited one of my favorite tapas bars: El Tempranillo (38 Cava Baja; 34-91/364-1532), run by a fabulous couple, Juan Caballero and Rocio Llera. After dinner, we joined Madrid’s illuminati on the rooftop of the Hotel de las Letras (try a glass of the Hacienda Solano Crianza wine!) (11 Gran Via; 34-91/528-7980; before finishing the night with gin and tonics at Le Cabrera (Le Cabrera, 2 Paseo de Recoletos; 34-91/577-5955), a hip new cocktail bar. I tried the one with chiles, rosewater and lime. Next time you’re here, we have to go. Together.

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