Taberna La Elisa
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Javier Goya, Javier Mayor and David Alfonso of the TriCiclo group are behind this spot in the Barrio de Las Letras, where you might find yourself stopping in for a quick nibble and ending up staying for a full meal, mesmerised by the radiant tiles that have covered these walls since long before you were born.
At La Elisa they've created a catalog of small dishes ranging from anchovies from Santoña and tiger mussels to snails in sauce and beef loin with piquillo peppers. They lean toward the traditional, like Spanish stew recipes that have been around for ages, while still leaving room to prepare them in their own way, with that touch of personality and interest that can get lost when you spend your whole life serving the same tapa over and over again.
They've also got an impressive selection of options that aren't on the menu, so be sure to ask about those. In fact, they're usually so appealing, you might want to find out what they are before you even look through the menu. You could be tempted by delights such as stuffed eggs in fricassee or fresh river crabs – and there's something new every week. For dessert, don't miss the crunchy 'tejas' with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.
This TriCiclo venture is based on respect for, and is a tribute to and an update of the most traditional recipes (crunchy cod cubes or 'patatas bravas', for example), that territory where tapas at the bar and a plate of offal share the limelight, where you can get a well-poured beer on tap or some of the best wines in the town, where there's fresh seafood at weekends and hearty stew to soak up all the bread in the basket. They've always got one hand stirring in tradition and the other searching for creative ways to improve it.
Santa María, 42
|Transport:||Antón Martín (M: L1)|
|Opening hours:||Mon closed. Tue-Sun 12.30pm-4pm, 8pm-midnight|