Review: Alabaster

4 February 2017

Slept in a bit after that nice evening spent partly at Rafa. Needed to catch up on rest, and I managed that pretty well. I headed out into a drizzly Madrid early afternoon and enjoyed some excellent jamón at the much-beloved jamón shop Joselito’s. Then some nice chorizo and cuttlefish at El Parador del Jamón.

The weather turned more foul so after a bit more wandering this Saturday afternoon I went back for a siesta…why not, eh? I also had to pack for tomorrow’s return back to North America. Then I headed out to dinner to tonight’s dinner destination, Alabaster.

A long walk in the ugly weather, and I was a little early. I really can’t stand this late dining time in Spain…throws me off so badly. Had a glass of sherry as I waited for them to fully open. I chilled out in the meantime, and in a few minutes I was seated.

As I finished my glass, I decided to go for a bottle — especially as the prices were very reasonable. I also ordered and relaxed, enjoying my excellent rioja through the evening. Soon they brought out a snack, and I smiled…


Fried cod skin…mmm, this is pretty good, almost addictive. I was nibbling at it still when the first dish arrived, navajas.


I love razor clams to death, and it really didn’t need all the bells and whistles here. Beautiful plating, but I almost wish they were unadulterated. But these were good, adding salt and acid to the overall flavour. A nice start.

Only minor hiccup…in fact, the only service hiccup all night — they wanted to remove the cod skins and I stopped them. I told you they were addictive!

Enjoyed more wine and the service again was fantastic, they did a great job making sure my water was good — something so many restaurants this trip failed miserably (read: Aroma in Rome). Then the main course arrived, John Dory.


Well, it’s listed both as San Pedro (in Castillian) and Sanmartiño (in Galician) — not sure why the saints are different tho in the 2 related languages. In any case, one of my favourite fish, lovely flavours. The fideuá bed was actually stunningly good — I could have eaten a pot of it! Excellent dish!

After finishing that nice dish I was in a quandry, since I had more wine and had more room in my stomach… BTW as a side note, despite the eating on this trip, I actually lost several kilo over these 2 weeks… But I ended up ordering another main, which was not a surprise for my server. I smiled.

I relaxed with more wine and just chilled, a little sad that this is the last night before crossing back over the Atlantic. And it didn’t take too long before the second main arrived, salmonete


A really nice red mullet here, lovely flavours. The fried spine was a nice touch, but the risotto was just dreamy, full of flavour and accentuated by shellfish. Again, I could have eaten an entire pot of this! I gotta say this kitchen is lovely at doing these items! In fact, this kitchen is damn impressive!

I was full, and the wine was drained. I enjoyed an aguardiente and they brought out some treats for me to fuel me on my way…


I thanked them, and gave them the table back before the Saturday night crowd arrived, and headed back into the foul evening for the long walk back. My goodness, it’s pouring outside and there are still kids doing botellón and shouting crazily in Retiro (they were already there when I walked over earlier). That provided some entertainment as I walked back.

Well, that was a wonderful way to close this trip… For once, a good stay in Madrid!

Calle de Montalbán 9
Madrid, España

2 thoughts on “Review: Alabaster

  1. LOVED Alabaster and can’t wait to go back there. We just stopped in for a couple of snacks at the tapas bar, but even there the service was wonderful and the food was fabulous.

    • It was excellent, one of few sit-down places I’ve been to in Madrid that had excellent service. Food was fab of course, and whoever worked on both the fideua and risotto is damn good! 🙂

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