First off, this little side street, Marques de Toca, is almost all the way down Calle de Atocha, so don't give up! Second, they aren't open all that much (lunch on the weekends, evenings only weekdays, and closed Monday), which is a good thing, because when they ARE, Marta is absolutely swamped with showing EVERYONE personal, super friendly, helpful attention. The chef is amazing (and fast!). I had that stunning caprese, and the langostines in tall puff-pastry "caps" (wound around them, each probably 10 inches long -- hard to describe, but amazing presentation -- in a tall glass -- and taste). Together it was a fantastic meal. The mozzarella in the caprese is called stracciatella, but is burrata -- the first time I've gotten to have that sensational experience. The heirloom tomatoes are chopped into chunks and are so dark-skinned they look like plums. The ball of cheese is in the middle, topped by fresh basil threads and a blob of pesto as well (or was that a truffled something or other?). The presentation was in a large bowl/plate with wide rim. What looked like black sesame seeds scattered around the rim was actually black salt. Very cool. Those tomatoes of course were just to die for -- after eating tons of jamon, and shrimp, and boquerones and Spanish tortilla.... fresh tomatoes were everything I was craving. They had a blackboard list of maybe 15 creative dishes, no "typical" tapas -- well, they did offer "fish and chips" (not a typical tapa anyway!), but I was assured it was not the normal dish. Had two glasses of a new red wine for me -- 100% Mencia grapes. Another winner.
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