October 9, 2009


My wife and I recently visited Madrid, Spain—a city we had never seen before and one in which we actually had a dear friend.  She had been asking us for several years to make the trip but with jobs, kids, grandkids, aging parents, etc etc we felt the time was not quite right.  Well, three weeks ago we “pulled the trigger”.  Approximately eight (8) hours over and nine (9) hours back—non-stop and coach to boot.  Not a bad flight and we really got a “deal” through Expedia.  The exchange rate between the dollar (USD) and the Euro (€) is not that great but, with our national economic conditions, we felt the rate would worsen and not get better in the near future.  Now was definitely the time to go.  Our great country is being run by a self-serving bunch of egomaniacs that “have theirs” and care nothing for those of us who struggle on a day-to-day basis, sometimes to just make ends meet.  ( Another story for another day. )  At any rate, we decided to cash in a few of those “green forms” from our retirement, thinking that we’re not getting any younger and who knows, if we don’t spend it the government will take it away.

Madrid is a marvelous place to visit and the end of September or the first of October is time to go.  Very pleasant weather, low temperatures, very low humidity and tourism is basically over for the summer.  We always walk until we drop so those two weather related conditions are very important to us.  We found just what we expected, a city old in tradition yet with a very new outlook on life.  Broad boulevards, beautiful parks, fascinating museums; all of those things you would expect from the capital of a country.  During our visit there was a definite “buzz” relative to the awarding of the 2016 summer games.  Madrid was in the “hunt” and would have been the perfect place for such an endeavor.  Everyone was talking about the possibilities and really high on Madrid getting the call.  As it turned out, Rio was the choice for the IOC—and a good one at that.  The first time a country in South American had been chosen.

I want to tell you about a dining experience my wife and I had one evening at a small ( very small ) restaurant in downtown Madrid.   The Spanish take their evening meal, when they eat out, around 2000 or 2100 hours; generally much too late for us but, when in Rome do as the Romans do.  I made reservations not really knowing what to expect, although the restaurant had been highly recommended by several people on the Expedia web site.  People that had stumbled upon the place quite accidentally but loved what they found.  The name of the place was IROCO.  Their logo is show below as follows:

Logo for IROCO Resturant

Logo for IROCO Resturant


As you can tell from the logo, it was a classy place and had been in business for a lengthily period of time.  We entered through a rather non-descript door and found indoor dining that was anything to write home about.  Six or seven scattered tables about the place, no table clothes, no place settings, etc.  A big disappointment at first!  After giving our names to the receptionist, we were led through the restaurant into a magnificent garden that was lit for an evening of quiet, gourmet dining. The garden WAS the restaurant.   I don’t really know who decides to dine inside but they were missing a real experience.   Due to the time, 2000 hrs,  we were one of only two couples there.  That changed quickly as 2100 hrs approached and by 2200 hrs the place was really hoppin.  The garden became the focal point of the evening with every table and chair filled.  Couples, business men, singles—you name it, they were there.  I have tried to capture the garden with this rather poor rendition of reality.

 IROCO Garden

The menu was not that expansive but the choices were definitely diverse, including appetizer, soup, salad, entre, desert and of course wine.  Definitely NOT your meat and three.  Their wine menu was one to dream of, red white, champagne, sparkling wine, Pinot Noir, etc.  they were all there.     The choices of bread were definitely not wasted on me.  I could have made a meal on the verity and the herb butter served with the bread was inline with what we had during a visit previous visit to Italy. For the first time ever, I had gazpacho; definitely Spanish in origin and it was out of this world.  Here again, I could have made a meal on the soup, but I did not.  I did order, what became, the best piece of veal I have ever had.  I LOVE veal.  Don’t really know how I got hooked on it but a good piece of veal provided a night of good memories.  My wife ordered tortellini, which also, was to die for.  ( Don’t know why she ordered Italian in a Spanish restaurant but it was worth the calories and she gave me a bite.) The portions were just right although not super-sized like we are used to here in the “states”.  All dishes were in moderation but we did leave feeling we had be very well fed.  My parting shot was an absolutely wonderful desert that any chocoholic would relish.  Four different versions of chocolate; i.e. cake, ice cream, pastry, etc.  I ate the whole thing and don’t really regret one minute of the time it took or the calories.  My wife was in the catering business for seventeen (17) years so she knows a thing or two about presentation and she tells me the presentation of the food was as good as she has ever seen.  The shape of the dishes, glasses, utensils, etc were definitely paired with the food so that the ultimate “look” was captured  and made each combination appear as to be designed by a dedicated chef.

The cost: €221.00 or approximately $250.00 US.  Was it worth it—you better believe it.  We had a marvelous time and really enjoyed the people around us.    It’s really good to get away and visit other countries, other cultures, to remember what it was like before TV, when people enjoyed each other and sitting down to a really good meal ( without interruption ).  Great trip and I can definitely recommend Madrid.


2 Responses to “MADRID DINING”

  1. Savannah Says:

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.


    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Savannah,

      I took me a while also to get the nerve to start blogging. I take my time and proof read a thousand times before I submitt a blog. I also have been very selective in writing. There are some subjects that just don’t interest me that much. I “hide in the bushes” until I find a subject that really grabs my attention. I also try to associate stories; i.e. national debt vs obesity. I think there is a coorelation. At any rate, I really appreciate you taking a look at my blog.

      Take care.
      Bob J.


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