This review of a Madrid restaurant is a break from The Picky Glutton’s usual London-based coverage.
You’d never find La Posada de la Villa (or LPDLV as I’ll call it from now on) if you weren’t looking for it since it’s tucked away on a little Madrid side street, but once you do there’s no mistaking it for anywhere else. The large pink, multi-storey building, which used to be a coaching inn apparently, stands out like a sore thumb. The distinctive aesthetic continues once you venture past the front door with a large oven dominating the foyer and a huge amount of exposed timbers and brick walls on both floors. It’s nothing if not eye-catching, although the background music of Lionel Ritchie piano cover songs was jarring.
The place was almost empty on the weekday evening of my visit apart from a smattering of American and Russian tourists which was an ominous sign. Service was a little brusque, but efficient.
Pretty in pink?
Is that oven for show or what?
Many trees died to bring us this dining room.
The uninspired amuse bouche of deep fried cheese croquettes did not amuse my mouth in the slightest. The crunchy, flavourless balls of breadcrumb-covered cheese wouldn’t look out of place in a Tesco ready meal. I wasn’t impressed with the olives either which had all the flavour chilled out of them.
It is… brown.
LPDLV apparently specialises in Madrileño cuisine, or food from Madrid, so I had to try out the tripe which is a local speciality. The tripe and chunks of tendon were tender and delicate, but I had mixed feelings about the stew-like broth they were served in. The thick sauce was stocky and hearty, but it was too gloopy and cloying which became a little hard to swallow after a while. The bloody slices of black pudding used as a topping would have been a nice touch, but they were too chewy for my taste.
For my main course I opted for roasted venison which arrived smothered in an incredibly sweet, slightly boozy sauce. Although the meat was tender, the taste of it was drowned out by the sauce. It was accompanied by a ring of sweet potato as well as paste-like dollops of apple sauce and a peculiar nutty sauce vaguely reminiscent of satay sauce. Aside from the latter, they were actually quite tasty and helped balance out the excessively sweet main sauce to a certain extent.
I finished my meal with a custard tart, as it was simply described on the menu. I was unprepared for the unusual and mildly vile pastry though. It somehow managed to be thin and soft as well as springy and stodgy all at once, but tasted like a bag of stale doughnuts left out on a kitchen counter to rot. The filling of light, creamy custard served cold was actually quite pleasing, but I couldn’t get past the rank-tasting pastry.
A pair of tarts.
The food at La Posada de la Villa was a grave disappointment in almost every respect – I refuse to believe that Madrileño food is supposed to taste this bad. Although there are glimmers of hope, for now this restaurant deserves no more than a two star rating.
Name: La Posada de la Villa
Address: Calle de la Cava Baja, 9, 28005, Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 913 66 18 60
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 13.00-16.00 and 20.00-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Reservations: yeah if you want.
Total cost for one person including mineral water: approx. €50 (£45 approx. at time of writing)