I stayed at the Mercure, off Plaza Espana. I simply let the Trip Advisor app on my iPad find my location and asked for local restaurants. I reviewed the TA reviews and opted for Treze. I was not disappointed; although I wondered whether the restaurant would attract any other diners when I arrived just before 9pm. As foreign visitors will know, madrileños and madrileñas famously dine late. Even 9pm is early! On the advice of the previous reviewer, I opted for the (fixed) menu desgustacion @ €40, washed down with a couple of glasses of reserva red and (separately) a bottle of water. In all, there were 6 (small) courses (I think), may be 7. All were imaginatively created and were delicious. Do not worry about the size. It's enough, even for those with large appetites. I started with gratis very light pasta chips infused with a mild curry flavour, wholemeal bread roll and oil, followed by tuna foie with tiny oranges, sauce, olive oil ice cream, and an assortment of very thin toasted bread, followed with a really wonderful kind of tomato capacho with ice cream. The fish dish was finely chopped tuna and a kind of non-spicy salsa. That was followed by "Iberian" strips of steak with tiny blocks of potatoes all topped off with a splendid lemon sauce with tiny, fresh and soft meringues. Service delivered by a friendly, helpful waiter (who spoke some English) was excellent, as was the table setting, and restaurant decor and ambience. The bill came in at €49.
BTW, by 9.25pm, some Treze regulars rolled up, which made me feel less lonely. I'm surprised others have not discovered this gem. Despite the dire economic straits Spain is experiencing, plenty of madrileños and madrileñas are dining out on a Saturday evening.
Will I return? Absolutely. If I have one tiny criticism, it was that the steak seemed slightly too oily. It would have been better grilled or BBQ'd.
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