Where: Madrid, Spain
When: March 10 & 16
Restaurant: La Capilla (de la bolsa)Website: http://www.lacapilladelabolsa.
I've been back in the US since March 20th, but I can't get the Italian restaurant La Capilla in Madrid out of my mind! I think I'd hop on a plane right now and travel to Madrid just for the tuna bolognese on pappardella, if it weren't such a crazy, expensive idea. It may be the best pasta dish I've ever had in my life and that's saying something! I eat a lot of pasta. I happened upon La Capilla as a friend and I wandered around Madrid my first night in the city. The next day I left for 5 nights in Segovia, but as soon as I returned to Madrid I headed back to La Capilla with another friend. I just had to see the place again to make sure I hadn't dreamed it the first time. It's that incredible.
La Capilla sits in the center of the Puerta de Sol district of Madrid. (That's Spanish for "shopping and restaurants.") The building appears to be an old bank, but I can't be sure because of the renovations. The interior is incredibly elaborate with a crazy light show and giant Italiante murals. There's a loft area with a white baby grand piano and a pianist in white tails playing 1940s musical medleys. The only way to describe the decor is it looks like my gay cousin in Rome and his Iranian boyfriend dropped acid and went to a Sherwin Williams paint store. Then the Sherwin Williams guy also dropped some acid and everybody picked out paint. In other words, if Liberace walked in to La Capilla he'd say "whoa! This place is crazy over the top!" If you think I'm exaggerating, click on the link above.
A trip to La Capilla would be worth it just to see the decor. The fact that the food is amazing makes it so much more fun - and fattening! The menu is an interesting Spanish interpretation of Italian food. The seafood risotto is really paella made at your table by a gorgeous Spanish man who speaks little (or no) English and just keeps smiling at you and he spoons more rice and seafood into your gigantic bowl. The seafood in the risotto included clams, calamari and langostinos that were perfect. We shared an order as an appetizer and could have quit there. Correction: We should have quit there. Spaniards would never eat as much for dinner as we two Americans did that second night. However, they were very polite to us as we ordered more and more food. I've tried to duplicate the Strawberry Gazpacho with Lobster Meat at home, but it comes out like a smoothie with fish when I make it. When La Capilla makes it, it's heaven. I'm going to try to duplicate the tuna bolognese at home from a compilation of recipes I downloaded. However, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to replicate the velvety texture of the La Capilla version.
Remember - it's Spain! So take a "disco nap," get up and have a cup of coffee and head out to dinner at 11 pm. TLa Capilla is packed by midnight. And as they say in Madrid......"Ciao Adios!" Auntie