For those of you who’ve read previous posts of mine on Naked Madrid (hopefully there’s a few of you out there aside from my parents), you’ll know that I borderline patrol Madrid on the lookout for all things new, with the dedication of a big cat searching for prey. The thrill of finding somewhere new to eat, or to simply raise a glass is basically akin to me finding the perfect winter coat – aka, it’s seriously satisfying.
Now a couple of months back I wrote about the lovely Le Coco; one of the long-time offerings from Grupo Le Coco. Now should you venture from Chueca to Chamberí, this restaurant group is slowing staking its claim on the Madrid restaurant scene with not one, but two splendid spots on Calle de Caracas: El Columpio and Fellina. And both restaurants are bound to whet your appetite, figuratively and literally.
First up is the perfectly pastel hued El Columpio
It’s a riot of colour upon entering and the menu reflects that. There’s something for everyone. The Spanish classic that is salmarejo sits nestled next to tuna tartare. Fret not, if you view all things fishy as belonging well under the sea, there’s a rabo de toro lasagne that was hands down one of the best pasta dishes that I’ve gotten my chops around in this city.
Effectively, El Columpio is the equivalent of that friend you’ll always be able to have as your plus one; a crowd pleaser. The décor is as delish as the food, but what particularly floated my boat was the unstuffy vibe, illustrated by the hordes of Madrileños animatedly drinking by the bar.
This place isn’t just for food, it’s for fun. And if you lay off the gin tonics, it’s the kind of place that you can frequent on a Friday night and still have cash to scour Zara with the following day.
Next up is Fellina restaurant, just across the street
In complete contrast to El Columpio is the newly opened Fellina, which literally waves to El Columpio from across the calle. So if you’ll indulge me with a little analogy, if El Columpio is your friendly Spanish locale, Fellina is the chic Italian cousin that just rocked up in town clad in some eye catching D&G.
Fellina’s menu is an ode to all things from the land of style and spaghetti. Wander in and you’ll be first hit by the piles of fresh produce that adorn every nook and cranny. It’s part Mercado, part ‘waiting to be discovered bistro tucked away on a side street in likes of Naples’.
I was there on a Thursday evening and the service was spot on, as was the carpaccio that I devoured in all of about 47 seconds. It’s nigh on impossible to pick out just one thing to try (as I happily chomped my way through the menu with gusto *all in the name of research of course).
But you’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive ‘tabla’ of antipasti than if you were holidaying on the sunkissed and perennially popular peninsula that is Italy.
Like two latin lovers jostling for your attention, don’t feel obliged to choose between the two. Akin to earrings, El Columpio and Fellina are to be found as a pair. Maybe lunch at one and do dinner at the other. But make no mistake, these two little gems are bringing the magic of that good old Mediterranean diet to Madders.
- Address: Calle de Caracas, 10
- Phone: 913 78 75 12
- Address: Calle de Caracas, 21
- Phone: 91 410 92 50