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“Well presented food but not that tasty” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Club Allard

El Club Allard
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Ranked #35 of 10,214 Restaurants in Madrid
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, Spanish, International, Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Arguelles
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
132 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Well presented food but not that tasty”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

I feel bad giving only an 'average' rating to this restaurant.

We have had a very pleasant dinner at El Club Allard. It is located in a superb building. We had dinner in a classy room, nicely decorated. The chef came to our table to inquire about allergies and food we dislike. A very nice attention indeed.
Although the place used to be a very select club, one feels really at ease. The service is attentive, yet not intrusive. Waiters and the sommelier are very nice and were attentive to our needs; and each meal was well explained.

The wine list is very extensive. We know our wine but not so with Spanish ones so we followed the advice of the sommelier whose choice proved very good.
On the minus side: the sommelier and waiters do not seem to know how to pour wine. Each time drops of wine fell on the table. At the end of our meal there were many wine stains on the tablecloth. Not very classy...

Ok, now the food. It is somehow inventive, and there is quite some attention to the way it is presented, with a few surprises (that I shall not reveal in this review. I think the less one reads about it the better, the element of discovery is part of the experience)

My main (and major) complain is the food. What we got certainly was superbly presented, but taste wise, we were left wondering. Almost all our dishes were quite bland, bordering tastelessness.
All other Michelin star restaurants food made my mouth water, with explosion of flavor to my taste buds. I am sorry to say this was not the case here.
Some dishes were interesting such as the Mini Babybell of Camembert trufee. The highlight was the Butter fish Tapa, which was truly excellent. But that was it. We left quite disappointed, wondering whether this was not a triumph of style over substance.

There are three menus on offer. What differs between them is that some have more starters and snacks than others.
We chose the menu Rendez Vous. (the 'short' one) At 85 euros, it is made of 10 dishes (2 snacks, 2 starters, 1 fish, 1 meat, 1 dessert appetizer, 2 desserts and coffee). Needless to say this is very good value for money.

Overall, i was disappointed because I came with the expectations of a 2 Michelin star quality meal. I did not have that.
If you are simply looking for an unusual meal, and not too fussy about food quality, you certainly will want to try El Club Allard, which is well worth trying at this price range.
The foodies will certainly be looking someplace else.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank strawberita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Yum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

Not a meal, and experience. A delicious experience.
It is quite expensive, but not at all over priced. The chef comes to your table to introduce himself and ask about preferences, and the wait staff work like a well oiled machine. Perfect.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank AustiniteTraveler965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Wonderful and Unique Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

Both my wife and I live to travel and try to combine a great trip with excellent meals. The last trip was to Madrid and we had many great meals ranging from michelin starred restaurants to tabernas and tapas. We ate at both La Terraza del Casino and El Club Allard (but were unable to book Diverxo), We had lunch at El Club Allard and were pleasantly surprised when the Chef, Diego Guerrero, greeted us at the table. We chose the Seduction menu and left ourselves in his hands. I won't go into detail about each dish, but everything was prepared flawlessly. The portions are not large but after 11 courses were entirely satisfied. The pace is leisurely , the service impeccable. The wine list is extensive focusing on Spanish wines, but the rest of the world is well represented. we started off with a Cava and went onto a Ribera del Duero (Aalto) which was phenomenal. My favorite dishes were the butter fish tapa (I was hoping that one of the guest didn't eat fish), the game truffle with Foie and mushrooms (speechless), the salmon with saffron and sea urchin and the taco hare. But best of all the desserts. The fish bowl was amazing, so creative that I actually imagined the taste of the sea. The Poche egg a complete surprise. Yes El Club Allard is expensive but so is Alinea, Per Se, Carme Ruscalleda and Alkimia. Each offers a wild and unique experience,and well worth the price. El Club Allard probably is more faithful to regional cuisine but no less inventive.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Fabroni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a unique experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

We made an online reservation and it all went very well. the only downside was finding the place. if you are looking for it, it is at the corner of c. ferraz. a white building with metal fence doors.
that was also the only thing that was difficult. the food was renewing and very special. the cook visited our table before dinner to ask what we did not like.
the food that he serves is renewing and very taste full. a true experience and worth a visit!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank michael_aerens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
147 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2012

We booked Club Allard by email from Toronto and got a response within a day or 2. They also followed up with a reminder when we were actually in Madrid. This was our ‘blow out’ meal in Madrid and we had high expectations. It wasn’t easy to find – we were running late and arrived somewhat breathless. Fortunately we had read that it was on a corner, behind an iron door and up some stairs. The restaurant is a group of small rooms, somewhat formal looking. The chef, Diego Guerrero, comes out and meets with every guest and basically takes your order. He’s very personable and we were thrilled to meet him. They offer 3 tasting menus and we chose the “Seduction” menu. It was 12 small courses, each one amazing (3 snacks, 3 starters, 1 fish, 1 meat, 1 dessert appetizers, 2 desserts, coffee and petit fours). The server explained each course and how to eat it. We didn't order a bottle of wine (my husband doesn't drink), but I had a few glasses of wine (different whites) and then a cava. We finished with coffee. It was an incredible experience and well worth the approximately 228 euros bill. Service was excellent and the meal was well paced. At the end of the evening, Diego came by our table again to see how we had fared. We really appreciated the personalized service and loved the experience.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank SBJEinToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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