The beautiful weather has finally arrived! It literally happened over night too. One minute it was dull and wet and generally miserable, then Salamanca was bright and wonderfully warm, with the smell of summer and birds singing in the air. *content sigh* It really feels like a totally new place, as we haven’t been blessed with such amazing weather since the beginning of October last year.
So this change was in perfect time for friends who came to visit last weekend. We lazed in the sun with wine and tapas, walked around in light summer clothes and the men of the group acquired lobster red faces.
Never saying no to a trip to Madrid, we settled in the city before it was time to collect our guests at the airport. We held off on dinner so we could all catch up over a big Madrid-style meal, but aircraft issues delayed their arrival until 1am, so a hungry Niall and I sought dinner around Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, which was close enough to our hotel in case any flight details changed.
This post is just a quick review on a Restaurante De María, just around the corner from Real Casa de Correos in the Puerta del Sol. De María are a chain of Argentinian steakhouses across Spain..well about 80% of them are located in Madrid. I was attracted to the restaurant’s exterior, deep red paint and an outdoor terrace, lit by hundreds of fairy lights. When you’re hungry, it’s always the conspicuous ones that draw you in.
We sat ourselves down at the last remaining table at the terrace and the staff came straight away with menus and set the table. The menu states that if you sit on the terrace, there is a 10% charge on your bill. This being the first warm night in Spain for a long time, it didn’t bother us one bit to pay extra. We ordered a glass of wine each (only one, as I knew I would be driving several hours later..just in case you gasp!) and they brought water and a basket of bread and small tostadas (they charge for these in most big cities so don’t eat them if you don’t feel you need to!)
Forgoing starters, I choose the salmon stuffed tortellini in a creamy prawn sauce and Niall went for one of the famous Argentinian steaks. While I can’t fault the food – the sauce on the pasta was incredible – there were literally 6 pieces of tortellini in the bowl. Still hungry, naturally, I started on the bread. No bread basket costs could keep me from satiating my appetite. Expensive dinner so far, as the pasta was around €16.00 before the terrace charge.
Concerning Niall’s steak, there’s a reason why these things are so famous. It was perfect in every way, and it came with a chorizo dressing with herbs. A little went a long way though. It had a slight bitter aftertaste.What got us on this dish though – the waitress asked Niall earlier what he would like with his steak – chips, potatoes or salad. Niall ordered chips, not realising they could cost an additional €6.10 on top of an already very expensive steak.
Still hungry after some bread (don’t judge!) I ordered tiramisu as I really can’t resist it. Anywhere. Ever. Give it to me. It was one of the best tiramisu recipes I have ever tasted, but again, at €6.95 for a small slice, it was a little over the top. The bill came to just over €72.
I will reiterate that I can’t fault Restaurante De María in terms of excellent food and attentive staff. Although it’s in a popular tourist area, and I, like most people don’t mind paying a lot for a good meal, they should be a bit more open about additional costs. Consider eating inside (which looks beautiful!) to save on the terrace costs, or better yet, visit during the day when they have selection of tapas which are bound to be a fraction of the price.
We ended up in McDonald’s around the corner, tracking flights using the always dependable free Wifi, over espressos and macarons. Yes, McDonalds (well, McCafé in Madrid at least) make a huge variety of macarons now, and they aren’t far off Ladurée!
Real Casa De Correos
I also treated myself to a new camera. Knowing very little about fancy camera settings, I’m still getting the hang of it..but I’m in love.
All photography tips welcome!
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