With gothic charm of the Catalan capital of Barcelona, Basque country's gourmet hotspot San Sebastian and hip Madrid, Spain perhaps is one of the best destinations to indulge yourself in food, wine and culture. A cuisine notoriously known for the meat grilled over coal or seafood, after a couple of days you might start wondering what other than a tortilla de patata, pimientos de padrón or pan com tomate you will ever find to eat.
In our quest for plant-forward creativity, we turn to the contemporary chefs in Madrid who are not afraid to create a new culinary identity. After phoning a few Michelin starred restaurants in the capital and being told that they don’t offer vegetarian tasting menus, we finally get confirmation from Diego Guerrero’s DSTAgE.
DSTAgE normally has two tasting menus on offer, one with 15 courses and one for 18, with optional wine pairings. Plant-based diners can only opt for the former. A big sigh as you don’t ever want the food to stop coming! Chef Guerrero opened up DSTAgE in 2015 to ‘free good food in Madrid from the bourgeois restaurant experience’. He has created an honest, natural dining experience with his artistic vision reflected on each dish.
Some highlights of our tasting menu include a gorgeous looking olive paste based dished called Maya – which featured a Mayan figure at the centre of the plate. Lodosa red pepper presented in the shape of a rose was divine. Cured yolk tartlet, enoki mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and black olives, melon & fermented beetroots on ice were all beautifully presented and delicious. If you think onion cream in vinegar meringue sounds rather awful as dessert, think again!
We have to say that this place is not for people who watch their salt intake but it is one of the most interesting and innovative plant-based dining experiences we’ve ever had. We can confirm that despite its two Michelin stars the fairly priced menu, the relaxed but attentive service, the casual industrial atmosphere (think a big open plan kitchen and wooden tables without cloth as well as a separate bar area), the music and the exciting dishes all come together nicely.