From Caceres to Madrid

Saturday, February 10th , 2024

atrio 4032 nearby buildimg good-crop-v2.jpeg

Atrio is a restaurant in the pretty town of Caceres (pictured) in western Spain that recently gained a third Michelin star and is noted for its vast wine cellar, with over 4,000 different wines listed on its huge list. The tasting menu featured the local ham in some form in every single dish, which I am not convinced was a great idea as some dishes felt quite contrived. It was all pleasant enough but at these prices, I was hoping for something more.

Galaxia was a place that we stopped off at for lunch on a long road trip to Atrio. My expectations were fairly low but this was much too high a bar. The meal we had was laughably bad, with some real culinary horrors. 

Lhardy is a historical restaurant in Madrid that dates back to 1839. Although its cooking is relatively unambitious and traditional it was thoroughly enjoyable, with a very good beef Wellington and a wine list full of bargains.

Back in the UK, the Michelin Guide 2024 was announced. 3 stars for the Ledbury, 2 stars for Opheem (in Birmingham) and Gymkhana, and also for Terre in Ireland, where I went quite recently. Two stars for Brooklands, which seems fair to me, and also Trivet. In London, there were stars for Dorian, Humo, Akoko, Mountain, 1890, Pavyllon (about right), Sushi Kanesaka (a bit mean), Aulis (fair), Chisuru, Ormer and Humble Chicken. Both Hakkasans lost their star, which is hard to grasp since it is arguably the most consistent restaurant in London - either it should have a star or not, but nothing has changed there in the last year to warrant a demotion. Barrafina lost its star (overdue) as did Leroy (wildly overdue). As ever, Michelin's decisions were a mix of the sensible and the incomprehensible.