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“A fascinating trip from the Mediterranean to Central America”
Review of Madrigal

Madrigal
Ranked #8 of 1,041 Restaurants in Panama City
Price range: $0 - $50
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed May 6, 2014

We happened to have tried Andres Madrigal's food in some of his awarded restaurants in Madrid so we were curious about his new adventure in Panamá. Our curiosity was well rewarded.

We had dinner on a busy Friday night. The restaurant is in a nice old house and the decoration is quite "european" for a panamanian restaurant, and so are the crockery and the cutlery.

And for the food: Madrigal has been always been very interested in foreign ingredients and he has made some nice discoveries there and uses them smartly, without losing his roots. We ate a tasting menu. I love it all but specially the "conchuelas" (scallops), the "camote" with egg and ham, the duck and both the desserts, the inverse cheese tart we had seen in the New York Times and the "pain perdu". The price is right for Panama city (that is not cheep) and the value for money is excellent.

To summarize, one of the best options - if not the best - for dinner in Panama "casco viejo" (old city).

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Thank ARUANO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 28, 2014

In order to avoid remorse on a bill busting appetizer, I went the distance and ordered two entrees; lamb and filet. FIRST, know what temperatures you want and be specific with the waiter. I eat filet rare, but the waiter kept recommending it medium and the lamb rare. I replied in Spanish, "No, rare - medium rare for the steak and medium rare - medium for the lamb. Though temperatures run a half cooler in Panama, both dishes came out exactly how I wanted them. Anyone can buy and cook good meat, but the sauces they used were to die for. I got hit with a $10 dessert that was ok, nothing special, which was the 'pan perdido'.

Also, this nice restaurant needs to fire the person in charge of music. Instead of playing classic salsa, tango, bachata, jazz, golden oldies...they were playing songs like Cotton Eye Joe and other terrible choices at this fine dining establishment. Really?

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1  Thank Adam3282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

We really enjoyed our meal here. EVery dish was excellent. The staff does not speak English, so there was a lot of sign language and deciphering ("what kind of meat is this? vaca? no not cow. like sheep, different. Lamb? No...bambi? Ah, venison! yes.) it was fun and an adventure, and the food was spectacular. not cheap at all...be prepared to spend money. but worth it.

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1  Thank ann s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

The house in which Madrigal is situated is absolutely beautiful! Casco is still lovely even with the new part of the Cinta Costera that surrounds it. It's a shame that the owners of Madrigal have opted for pretentious, uninviting decor. The atmosphere is bizarre. 80's hits and 90's grunge music low enough in volume that it's annoying noise, but loud enough you can just hear the lyrics and are distracted by them.

The food tastes alright, but is unimaginative. What's original about a piece of lamb on some quinoa? Especially for the prices they're asking. Not to mention, it was almost cold. My friend ordered the squid ink rice with seafood. The rice was stuck to the pan it was served in, as it had been overcooked. What sort of "Michelin" star restaurant can't cook rice?

The staff really know how to kick off an evening by being unwelcoming and rude. A smile, believe it or not, can go a long way. Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately) for them, we have to eat the overpriced food that pays them to be rude to us. Oh, the irony.

I urge you: spend your money elsewhere.

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4  Thank Sara-Jane-Moore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We'd seen such good reviews of this restaurant and tried to get a booking on a Saturday night, but were disappointed. So with family coming into Panama for Easter this was a perfect chance to go on a weekday night when its easy to get in. We arrived at the Valet parking to find nobody there and caused a bit of a jam up outside (sorry folks!). Once the muchacho finally arrived and took the car we were escorted up a beautiful wooden staircase to the upstairs dining area. With a high pitched ceiling and a large imposing bar, this is a beautiful room, but our table and other that were awaiting guests looked sad and empty as though the previous diners had only just left. But that seems to be the minimalistic style at Madrigal an un-inviting table. Staff were clumsy and slow to respond and seem to be happy to open copious amounts of expensive designer water when you've actually asked for "tap" water. They also didn't bring a wine menu until requested. It was difficult to choose something off the menu .... although our Spanish is excellent we had to get them to describe many of the dishes as they were UN-intelligible. With a mixture of the Pato wraps (dim sum type dish) and a Brochetta plus the Pulpo with potato, the only starter that was delicious was the Duck. The others were heavy and unremarkable, not to mention expensive. I chose fish as a main course which was tasty but lacked vegetables and sauce. Avoid the Risotto. It arrived in a frying pan with most of the rice stuck to the bottom and 4 tiny pieces of seafood on the top - hardly worth the $18.00 they were charging for it. As always, the staff are so disappointing. And don't believe for one second this restaurant is in the league of a Michelin Star Restaurant - its a million miles away from it. We won't be going back.

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1  Thank GingerPanamaCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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