Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fatten Me Up Saint Valentine

As you can see by the last couple of posts, I've been doing a good job of stuffing my face lately. I could blame it on the cold weather and my body's primal need to store fat for insulation, but I would just be kidding myself. In all honestly, I just love food. There, I said it. They say the first step is admittance. Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm a foodaholic.

So of course, if it's an occasion where food is involved, and let's be honest, even when it's not, you'll be sure to find me indulging myself in some restaurant committing the one of the seven deadly sins: gluttony.  Naturally, this Valentine's Day was the perfect day for midweek sin committing so a few friends and I headed over to Bazaar in Chueca.

Bazaar has a very bougie, chueca-esque vibe to it and looks like one of those gourmet restaurants where the food is practically invisible and the bill afterwards is like a slap to your face. But, I've been told that the food is pretty good and that it's pretty cheap so I couldn't resist the opportunity to treat myself to a chic Valentine's Day dinner. The restaurant has two floors, where the upper floor is for eaters to have a nice view and the lower floor is for street passerby's to have a nice view of the diners. Just kidding, I'm not sure why there is a small sliver of window for the bottom floor, probably to let light in, but it's a really cool look and it definitely has a magnetic affect on me where I can't help but stare at what's below every time I pass by. Inside the restaurant, there are shelves filled with bottles of sauce and packages of pasta and other random assortment of items that are neatly displayed in a supermarket fashion but it works. It gives the restaurant something to look at and not just plain white walls.

The menu is a mix of french, asian, and italian but they claim to have a "Mediterranean based cuisine" so I don't know if they're confused or if I'm confused, but regardless it's confusing; as proved by my friends ordering "lasagna" which turned out to be a stack of meat... I'll just blame it on being lost in translation.... Of course, the food overall was good so it's not to say that the confusing nature is a reflection on the quality nor the taste of the food.




 Okay, I'm not going to lie, the bread had to be my favorite part of dinner. It was served steaming hot and perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. Oh so beautiful bread, will you be my Valentine?

 And of course, what's a dinner without summa dat Ribera? 

 I couldn't decide between two plates so my friend and I decided to split two dishes... and two desserts. And boy, did we do a number on these bad boys. Let's just say we made washing dishes very easy for the restaurant staff.


Milhojas de magret de pato y foie, 9.85 EUR
Puff pastry with duck breast and liver topped with sweet gravy.  I'm not exaggerating when I say we inhaled it; partially due to the fact that we were starving but mainly because it just tasted really damn good. I always like to order something that I know I can't make at home so for under 10 EUR, it was definitely worth it. The duck wasn't too game-y (although I like the taste of game-y meat) and its chewy yet tender consistency complemented the flaky milhojas; and of course the sauce - a simple yet crucial ingredient to the dish.

Unfortunately, I was too mesmerized by the deliciousness of the next dish we ordered that I completely forgot to take a picture. We ordered the Salmon al laurel y perifollo, 8.95 EUR. No idea what perifollo meant so my friend looked it up and told me it was "chervil"... what?! Wikipedia tells me that it's some herb related to parsley, just so you know for future reference if someone ever asks you a question about chervil at a cocktail party.... anyway, back to the food. Just a simple salmon dish with boiled potatoes and grilled veggies. The salmon was so tender it literally melted in my mouth. Ugh, I'm almost disgusted (in a good way..?) by how good it was. Definitely going to go back for round 2 when I get my salmon cravings. Especially because a minuscule piece of salmon here is ridiculously expensive even at the grocery stores. At least at Bazaar I can pretend I'm a classy beezy.

Gratin de frutas de temporada con crema de mascarpone y vainilla, > 5 EUR
This was my favorite of the two desserts we shared because well, first of all it's served in a martini glass and also because they torched the top of the dessert so it was kind of like a creme brulee- my personal favorite dessert because it's such a guilty pleasure to crack the top with my spoon. And the fruit added a nice bit of bite instead of just having a creme martini... which doesn't sound half bad.. does it?

 Lasagna de queso fresco con crocanti y coulis de frutas, > 4 EUR
Meh, next time I will skip out on the cheese lasagna. It wasn't anything special and didn't taste good enough for me to want to order it again. 

Another friend ordered this dessert and I was able to try a little bit of it. I don't know what this is called but it's an upside down cheesecake with kiwi and strawberry fruit coulis and it was so good. Normally, cheesecake outside of the U.S. is an awkward texture. Usually more bread-y than cheese-y and although this cheesecake had a similar texture to flan, it was still cheesecake-y enough for me and the best part was the kiwi sauce. YUM

I only posted on the food that I personally ate, but the others ordered different dishes and overall I would say the food was at least decent. It's also nice because no dish is over 10 EUR. Some of the dishes are small portions (like our duck dish) but others are decently sized. Also, in terms of size, I'm speaking with an American mentality where in my mind, every dish should be the size of Texas. I really enjoyed the ambiance at Bazaar; lot's of couples and painfully handsome gay men. As we were finishing up our dinner, a table next to us ordered some kind of salad that looked like a work of art while looking deeeelicious at the same time and you know what that means... I have got to go back.

Bazaar
C/ de la Libertad, 21
Madrid, 28004
Barrio: Chueca
+34 91 523 39 05

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