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Passionate about wine, Mikel Rico opened his Ardoka Vinoteka in Hondarribia (in the Basque Country) over a decade ago, and in 2017 he inaugurated Ardoka in Madrid's Chamberí neighbourhood. 'I miss the sea a lot, but I came here to evolve, try new ways of doing things, get to know what other clients want ... and because my wife is from here.' Rico goes on to recognize that though the competition in Madrid is fierce, the amount there is to learn at all levels is unmatched. The quality of the raw material – whether it's part of a fusion or served traditionally – comes as standard, as does Rico's enthusiasm and spontaneity. 'Let there be champagne at Christmastime, and fresh, light wines in spring,' he says.
Every season they aim to change 30 percent of their products, both in the wine cellar (they serve some 50 varieties by the glass) and on the menu (hot and cold 'pintxos' and several dishes to share) – and it's a dynamism sustained by good service and a better team. 'I want people to visit us knowing that we know and respect every wine, every label – I want them to feel at home, to have a good time, to be surprised. If it comes to it, we'll die trying. That's for sure.'
A noble and jazzy interior design dress the two floors of the premises; there's a room downstairs that's reminiscent of a Basque 'txoko', and upstairs at street level there's a bar area with high tables for relaxing with drinks and tapas.
Bretón de los Herreros, 9
|Transport:||Ríos Rosas (M: L1)|
|Opening hours:||Lu. cerrado. De ma. a ju. de 12 a 1 h. Vi. y sá. de 12 a 2 h. Do. de 12 a 17.30 h.|