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Depintxos, Madrid

43 Calle Alberto Alcocer
Tel: 34 91 345 9047's insider take:

Pintxos are Basque-style tapas, bites atop slices of French bread, and they represent one of the most fun little traditional corners of Spanish cuisine. Depintxos is a Madrid hot spot at the moment, not just for its pintxos but also for its luxe modern atmosphere, especially on the pleasant outdoor terrace, which is well situated for people-watching (though you'll probably be watching the beautiful people around you rather than scanning the sidewalk). Prices are surprisingly low, which is part of why you might endure a wait before sitting down. The food won't blow you away, but the codfish-stuffed roasted red pepper is nicely balanced, its cod slightly granular but creamy, and the pepper is delicately fried in a thin batter. Cubes of pork loin in mustard sauce atop french fries is a well-executed comfort food. Less convincing, though, are the blood sausage stuffed with too much rice and ill-paired with brie, and jamón ibérico.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.