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Concierge.com

Estado Puro, Madrid

Hotel NH Paseo del Prado
4 Plaza Canovas del Castillo
Madrid
Spain 28014
Tel: 34 913 302 400
www.tapasenestadopuro.com
Concierge.com's insider take:

Carles Abellan did it first, then Alberto Adrià (Ferran's brother). Now, it's Paco Roncero's turn. Like those other stars of Spain's molecular gastronomy stratosphere, the high-tech chef of Madrid's Terraza del Casino has opened a down-home tapas bar. Located in a cozy room whose barrel-shaped ceiling is lined, delightfully, with those elaborate combs that Spanish women use to prop up their mantillas, Estado Puro translates as "pure state," which gives you an idea of what Roncero is up to—as long as you believe that the pure state of, say, salt cod is to be rolled into chestnut-sized balls and deep-fried to a parsley-flecked crisp. It's true that most of the tapas are little more than well-chosen produce, lightly adorned: steamed cockles dressed with gellified lemon; a lovely take on patatas bravas in which tiny new potatoes have their tops hollowed out to make room for a dab of hot sauce. Not everything succeeds. A simple porcini carpaccio was bland, and its pine nut vinaigrette too sweet. Tigres—a classic dish that blends mussels with béchamel, packs the mixture back in the shells and tops the whole thing with breadcrumbs—was, in this incarnation, a deep-fried ball of vileness. But the best tapa of all? The mini-hamburguesa served with grainy mustard and caramelized onions—hardly what I'd call pure but delicious nonetheless.—Lisa Abend, first published on Gourmet.com

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