Our visit to Bahia Taberna was a big breath of fresh air after so many mediocre restaurant experiences lately. They get it. Fantastic food, great service, and without the excessive formality some other restaurants rely on. Getting there may not be the easiest thing (it’s located out near the airport), but it is well worth it. If you live in Madrid and enjoy food, you’d be crazy not to go.
We visited for lunch in late July, unknowingly the weekend before they closed for their August break. This didn’t affect the experience at all– no one rushed us, everything was fresh and delicious. We opted for the tasting menu we had heard so much about. It isn’t fixed, so the chef will ask if you have any allergies, if you eat raw fish and meat, and if you’ve dined with them before. Chef Daniel will then create a multi-course meal focused on seasonal produce and a blend of Iberian and Italian influences, with a touch of Asian fusion at times (he is half Spanish and half Italian and spent time in Asia).
There is no better way to explain the experience than to show you what we enjoyed. I’m already dying to go back!
Our welcome cocktail were two mojitos de vino— minty mojitos made with either red or white wine instead of rum. Someone on Twitter later told me these are actually mint sangrias, which also makes sense, but whatever you’d like to call them, they were delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day.
Next were two aperitifs that were tiny but packed with flavor. The first, onion petals, were simply that. Perfectly cooked petals from two different onions with a subtle sauce. I’ve never tasted an onion so sweet. The chef’s point that he treasures a good product was heard loud and clear.
The other aperitif was a grilled nectarine with a piece of fried cabbage and a mascarpone cream. This was on the sweeter side for a starter, but since I love sweet things, it was no problem.
Our first plate were peas with burrata and speck (an Italian cured ham). It was perfect, rich but balanced and absolutely beautiful. I’d eat this plate any day of the week with pleasure.
Next up was their most famous dish, Pizza de Chipirón (Baby Squid Pizza), which won the Madrid Fusión prize in 2012. More complicated than that of course, it was actually a piece of fresh foccacia topped with alioli, roasted vegetables, and finally an entire baby cuttlefish. Perfectly executed, I enjoyed every bite.
One of my favorite dishes came next. It was a gorgeous tartar de bonito (Bonito tartar). Tired of seeing this dish on the menus of all the trendy restaurants around the city, I didn’t have high hopes for another. But it was perfectly done. The presentation was beautiful, the fish was as fresh as could be, and the acidity in the dish was exactly how it should be.
The last dish was unlike anything I’ve ever tried. A carpaccio de presa Ibérica (a prized cut of Iberian pork), topped with capers, radish, sundried tomatoes, stilton and fontina cheese, and drizzled with 25 year aged balsamic. It was amazing.
If I have one critique, it’s that I wish they’d had a few more interesting dessert options on the menu. We opted for a brownie with mandarin sorbet and it was good, but not memorable like the other plates.
After dessert we moved into the bar area for cocktails. Ale stuck with his tried and true rum and coke, and I ordered a pisco sour. As we relaxed in the lounge I just wished we lived closer to this gem to be able to return again and again (they also have a great bar/lounge area offering pinchos).
The final bill, including everything above as well as a glass of wine with lunch came to around 120€. While by no means an inexpensive meal, compared to other similar restaurants in Madrid the price is quite low, and completely justifiable by the excellent quality. We’ll be back.
Getting to Bahia Taberna:
Getting to Bahia Taberna is fairly easy, but it is not central. Located near the airport, it could make a perfect lunch or dinner before a flight (just make sure you time things right!) or even an amazing layover meal. If you’re coming from the center of Madrid you can arrive by taxi or take the L5 metro, and then walk about 10 minutes.
Calle Bahía de Palma, 9
Metro: L5 Alameda de Osuna (and a 15 minute walk)