Eight years ago I took the plunge and upped sticks to move to Madrid (or Madders as I now affectionately refer to it). The city was in the midst of a financial crisis so bleak, that people went out for a solitary caña rather than cañas – or so it seemed and so I was told.
Fast forward to 2017 and the city feels as though it’s booming once again. Not a week passes by without a new opening, a Mercado of some sort throwing back its doors and the now oh-so-popular weekly After Brunch events.
So in such a crowded marketplace how do you stand out? Well, having the kudos of being part of the Grupo Tragaluz alumni doesn’t hurt, which is why Bar Tomate has proven to be one of my fail safe favourites over the years.
Located in the increasingly well-heeled and chic neighbourhood of Chamberí, which coincidently is one of my favourite Madrid barrios, Bar Tomate ticks all the boxes offering breakfast, lunch, dinner *a rare find in a city where siesta culture can result in a complete shutdown during certain hours – never ideal if you’re prone to getting hangry!
The vibe is rustic and Mediterranean with the emphasis on simple, fresh ingredients and classics cooked well.
I went along for dinner on a Friday night and chowed down like a Queen – decisive isn’t my strong point so what was sampled read like an A-Z of deliciousness; ranging from breaded asparagus, chicken tacos, jalapeño spiced shrimp and a burrata the size of my head because, quite frankly, what meal isn’t improved with the addition of cheese! This was naturally all chased down with an array of cocktails that made for an interesting walk home.
If simplicity is your thing I can’t recommend Bar Tomate enough. From the minimalist décor to the unfussiness and ease of the service, Bar Tomate’s strongpoint comes in its lack of pretentiousness when in reality, it has everything to shout about.
Ditch the flats for an evening, as when the DJ appears (as he does on both a Friday and Saturday night) you’re gonna want to get your groove on. Guys, I’ll leave that up to you.