Updated April 2017
Dynamic husband & wife team Jeanine Merrill and Juan Gómez expanded their culinary empire with the addition of this third tapas bar in the heart of the barrio Santa Cruz. I think this was quite a bold move as Mateos Gago has become awash with touristy chain and franchise tapas bars over the years, with one or two exceptions, and it’s clear that the newest La Azotea is the most exceptional bar in the street, with terrific food, an all-day kitchen, and some of the friendliest service in town.
Stylish and attractive, there’s lots of comfortable seating inside with a cosy bar area and a sidewalk terrace. The menu has several familiar items from the orginal tapas bar along with daily specials – be sure to check the fresh fish and seafood display case. They open for breakfast at 9.00, with tapas available from 13.00 (all-day kitchen), seven days a week. And on Sundays you can enjoy a set menu brunch, starting at 10.00 am.
I especially love this location because its previous incarnation, Bar Campanario, was my first “local” in town and it’s always felt like home. Years ago when I lived across the street in a tiny studio apartment the Campanario terrace was my “living room” where I would go to read and chat with my friends who ran the bar. So I’m very pleased to see good friends take over from other good friends and create a fresh new space that still feels like home.
Favourite dishes include the crispy filo pastry filled with leeks, gambas and cheese, the tender octopus with paprika potato purée and – a total surprise – the ortiguilla (sea anomone) mousse with passion fruit chutney (sounds so wrong, tastes so right). The latest seasonal menu is full of delicious new dishes, and be sure to check out the new cocktail meni.
The breakfast smoothies are fabulous, and the new Sunday brunch is the best in town (see brekkie & brunch collages below).
Bread Charge: 1€ PER PERSON
Food 9 | Wine 9 | Service 10 | Ambiance 9
ensaladilla with smoked fish
oysters and lime
jamón Ibérico de bellota
house made foie micuit
tomato, avocado & pancetta salad, miso vinaigrette
courgette and baby anchovy salad with grated frozen goat cheese
ajoblanco with mojama and mango
steak tartare with green apple granita and herb mustard
coquinas in garlic, sherry with fried baby artichokes
grilled carabinero with palo cortado
crispy filo filled with prawns, cheese & leeks
pimientos de padrón
roast beef burger with manchego, mustard and chunky chips
spiced roast chicken salad with honey mustard vinaigrette
white beans, pancetta, curly endive, strawberry & garlic vinaigrette
roasted presa Ibérica with orange sauce
presa Ibérica carpaccio, confit mushrooms, blueberries, foie cream
sous vide salmon in cheese sauce with grilled peppers
bacalao, black trumpet mushrooms, sobrasada potatoes
grilled duck breast
octopus with potato purée and smoked paprika
hake en papillote with vegetables and lemon-infused olive oil
ortiguilla (sea anemone) mousse, passionfruit chutney, seaweed mayo
oxtail meatballs, mushroom duxel, cream of carrot & cauliflower
carrillada (pork cheek) in red wine sauce and goat cheese
hasselback potatoes, mascarpone cheese, truffle
orange cream with mint ice cream and gin sorbet
manager Elena Menini
One of the most interesting breakfast options in town, with everything from bacon & eggs and pancakes to fresh fruit with muesli and yoghurt. All the jams are house made and the smoothies are fabulous – try the banana, avocado and chocolate one for something different (and delish – honest!) or simpler fresh fruit combos such as mango and strawberry.
Sunday brunch is served from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Guaranteed to set you up for the day. Best to call ahead and book a table.
Updated April 2017