Bucks Writs - Fall 2017 - 21

Of course, we wanted to dine at El Club Allard, perhaps
Madrid's best restaurant with two Michelin stars to its
credit. Unfortunately, the only dinner reservation I could
get was at 11:00 pm. Dining times in Madrid are not like in
the United States. Restaurants generally close from lunch
no later than 5 pm and reopen for dinner at 8 pm. And
walking into a Madrid restaurant at 8 is lonelier than an
American restaurant at 5 where at least there are a few
blue hairs to join you. But dining at 11, although considered
a quite good slot, was not for us. There was an alternative,
however, that we eagerly accepted. There was a lunch
reservation available at 3. Perfect! We didn't expect to be
hungry any time later in the day but if we were, tapas are
always available.

The most fascinating aspect to its
back-story is that the head chef,
Maria Marte, started at Club Allard as
a dishwasher after emigrating from the
Dominican Republic! Today, she is the
only Michelin-starred female chef in Spain.
started at Club Allard as a dishwasher after emigrating
from the Dominican Republic! She worked her way up over
the following years to second in command of the kitchen.
When the position of head chef became available, Maria
assumed it. Under her charge, Michelin has continued
to find her food worthy of their two-star rating. Today,
she is the only Michelin-starred female chef in Spain. Her
patrons are the beneficiaries as she relentlessly pursues
her third star.

El Club Allard was founded as a private club in 1998. It is
in a beautiful building around the corner from the Plaza de
Espana in central Madrid. In 2003 the restaurant opened
to the public. In 2007 it received its first Michelin star and
its second was awarded in 2011. But the most fascinating
aspect to its back-story is that the head chef, Maria Marte,

From the moment we arrived until we were helped on
with our jackets when it was time to leave, service was
spectacular. The staff was extremely attentive but never
stuffy or annoying. It was made clear that our comfort and
enjoyment of the experience was all that mattered. For
such an elegant restaurant it had a home-y vibe. We were
seated and immediately offered a glass of champagne.
It was delicious and a perfect harbinger of more good
things to come.
While we relaxed we were served the most delicious bread
we have ever had in Spain and accompanied by a superb
olive oil. We were also encouraged to eat the "business
card" for Club Allard on the table. Indistinguishable from
the real thing, it is actually a potato wafer. It was perfect
for the hummus-like dip that was provided. Lunch at
Club Allard is a tasting menu consisting of 10 courses.
The staff was very helpful, despite their limited English, in
21

FALL 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bucks Writs - Fall 2017

Bucks Writs - Fall 2017 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
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