A new revolution in fine dining in Madrid
The creativity, flexibility and added value brought by Madrid’s chefs in these recent uncertain times have been a step forward in line with the ongoing gastronomic revival that the autonomous community has been experiencing the past few years. This revolution within the revolution may be seen, in particular, in the appearance and consolidation of fine dining delivery. After taking part in charitable initiatives and sharing their best recipes, Dabiz Muñoz, Dani García, Iván Muñoz, Mario Sandoval (and many more chefs) have shown their talent for adaptation. They have tweaked – often in a matter of a few weeks – their offerings so that diners can receive Michelin-starred dishes at home. They get the same quality, but without having to book a table.
The same laboratories of culinary creativity that have positioned the region at the top of the world scene have overcome challenges – such as adapting the dishes to tables far from their restaurants – with lightning speed by means of presentations that make customers not miss the restaurants’ dining rooms. Examples of this supersonic innovation are spread all over this list of high-end restaurants with delivery and include packaging that tells the histories of the ingredients, QR codes that provide access to videos of the kitchens and orders through untraditional channels such as WhatsApp.
Many have gone further and added a new layer of solidarity to their offerings. While Mario Sandoval applied his philosophy of sustainability to deliveries – done with bikes and electric cars – he also took care to cook for needy families as early as March 2020, when he moved his kitchen to Valle Inclán School. Charitable initiatives such as his have grown among chefs, who have leveraged their valuable positions as a way to connect suppliers and institutions. They’ve also contributed with their organisational skills and what they know how to do best: cook.
The biggest charitable initiative has been World Central Kitchen ONG, headed by the chef Jose Andrés. He has used kitchens at Madrid’s Santa Eugenia School of Hospitality to adapt to situations such as the January 2021 blizzard, when he distributed more than 7,000 meals among needy families and emergency and healthcare personnel. The list of star chefs who have launched initiatives with such diverse institutions such as the Food Bank and Mercamadrid is endless. Paco Roncero, David Marcano, Diego Guerrero, Iván Cerdeño and Javier Aranda – and many others – are part of various charitable initiatives, such as the distribution of more than a thousand meals in December.
Solidarity and creativity for a revival that is underway, and that continues with initiatives such as Verdelivery, the opening of new eateries designed expressly for this new way of doing things, new partnerships – such as the one of Oter Group with Deliveroo – and new lessons learned that will change the restaurant scene forever. Manuel Domínguez, of Lúa, has called this entire transformation and research process “starting from scratch”.
1 GoXO by Dabiz Muñoz
Dabiz Muñoz has created his GoXO delivery service by fusing his restaurants’ different philosophies: from the slightly punk fine dining of his three-star DiverXo to the gourmet street food of StreetXO. Behind closed doors, the kitchens in Madrid and Barcelona produce generous servings suitable for sharing that cost about €20 per person. The concept is topped off with an Instagram account that showcases recipes for its 220,000 followers.
2 Panyco and Atelier Casa José in Aranjuez
In 1958, Casa José served rib-sticking dishes to merchants in the Aranjuez market. In 2021, it delivers Cuban barbecued pork rib and plantain sandwiches to locals via PanyCo, its sandwich delivery service, which includes arepas and brioches. Today, Fernando del Cerro has implemented a new creative cuisine. The main ingredient remains the same: vegetables from Aranjuez that were appreciated by locals long before King Philip II ordered Juan de Herrera to design the royal gardens. He offers them in his Atelier Casa José Home Service.
3 Chirón comes home in Valdemoro
The one-Michelin-star restaurant Chirón offers a six-dish set menu with dessert and a bottle of vermouth for home delivery, and you can order add-ons and wines to go with it. Ivan Muñoz provides the opportunity to finish the recipes at home with simple instructions such as ‘heat in the microwave’, but with the possibility of receiving Jamón ibérico croquettes ready to eat or ready to fry. This takeaway option is called Chirón llega a casa.
4 Delivery from Casa de Pías in Getafe
For delivery, Casa de Pías offers a set menu of 20 dishes with ten starters – such as dry-aged beef steak tartare – seven mains, including cod and chips with tartare sauce, and three desserts, including its own version of chocolate ganache.
5 Home delivery in El Barril
Ten of the 11 Madrid-based restaurants operating under variations of the ‘El Barril’ name offer home delivery via Deliveroo. Meals range from a seafood dinner for two for €190 from El Barril de la Moraleja to the jig-caught squid sandwich for €6.80 from Barril Express. In 2020, Oter Group – to which ‘Los Barriles’ belong – went from delivering food from only two of its 26 restaurants to delivery from nearly all of them, including Verdura & Brasa, La Entretenida and Nuevo Gerardo.
6 Gaytán and La Cabra
Javier Aranda’s Como Cabras delivery doesn’t boast the setting of the oval kitchen in his Gaytán eatery, but it offers other surprises. The relaxed side of his menu at Michelin-starred Gaytán and La Cabra is also very Instagrammable: a backwards squid sandwich, the cocochas croissant and the steak tartare miniburgers are already being seen on foodie networks.
7 Lúa at your house
The key to the Galician restaurant’s Lúa en tu Casa delivery is to take the bar to the customers’ dining rooms. The traditional snacking plates of this classic seafood spot between Chamberí, Castellana and the Salamanca neighbourhoods have been expanded with dishes such as battered hake with Norway lobster cream or curried clams. Its plan is for home delivery to become a quality option.
8 John Barrita at home and La Tasquería
Almost five years ago, chef Javi Estévez and his head chef Kike Pedraz, from the restaurant that has popularised a variety of meats, La Tasquería, set up the John Barrita spin-off with the unmistakable motto of “sandwiches that rock”. In the age of delivery, they’re available for takeaway under the John Barrita at home brand. The lamb sandwich, the squid chess sandwich (with black and white mayonnaise) and the stewed cheeks can be delivered with tripe or a ropa vieja croquette in a glass: La Tasquería and John Barrita, together.
9 Verdelivery from El Invernadero
While El Invernadero, the Michelin-starred green restaurant on Calle Ponzano in Madrid, opened with reduced seating, chef Rodrigo de la Calle was setting up Verdelivery. The menu includes dishes made from vegetables, rice and meat, along with two daily special menus, delivered in Madrid and Majadahonda. Produced in collaboration with nutritionist Laura Fernández, for €15 or €18 customers can enjoy a main dish, a dessert and kombucha.
10 Coquettogo by Mario Sandoval
From Coque (Maria Sandoval’s main ‘sustainable’ gastronomy restaurant) to Coquetto (the non-stop informal food bar) to Coquettogo (the natural evolution of both: home delivery). The concept already existed at Coque, where its low-temperature roasted suckling pig could be taken home, and was always part of the Coquetto project. The menu includes Coque’s meat and some of the fresh and easy dishes of Coquetto: the suckling pig and the glazed beef rib share space with a marinated partridge salad.