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Elige tenerlo todo – when your motto is your curse: Restaurant Maria de la O (27. December 2019)

| February 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Maria de la O is recommended in the Guide Michelin 2019 and, therefore, I thought I’d give it a try. When I arrived I was a bit shocked as the place is really just a bar on the ground floor. And not really too much of an appealing one given they weren’t able to prepare any drinks at all (beer was an option). The motto of the place is “elige tenerlo todo” which means “choose to have everything” which is pretty much their problem.

But, let’s get to that in a second. Once you go one floor down into the restaurant, the scenery changes massively and the interior is actually lovely and you can see why maybe this isn’t such a bad place at all. And that feeling intensified when the first amuse bouche from the kitchen was served, a “crayfish tartar with a dash of citrus”. Frankly, it was absolutely delicious and my skepticism was kind of gone already.

I decided to go for the “tasting menu” (EUR 53.00) accompanied by the “wine pairing” (EUR 18.00). The first course was “brandada y lascas de bacalao con patata confitada, encurtidos y sorbete de naranja (cod brandada and flakes with glazed potatoes, pickled garnish and orange sorbet)” (usually, EUR 14.00) which looked a bit funny at first but was actually absolutely mouth-watering! The combination of the saltiness of the cod with the sweetness of the orange, the potato, as well as the orange sorbet was just mind-boggling!

And the same was actually true for the next dish, the “ensalada de crujiente de pavo y nori, parmesano, alcaparras, mostaza, manzana y vinagreta de balsámico (crispy turkey and nori salad, cheese, capers, mustard, apple and balsamic vinaigrette)” (usually, EUR 13.00). The combination of all the elements on the plate to one bite made it a perfect match in terms of consistency, flavor, texture, and temperature! Absolutely amazing!

By now, I was super happy with the dinner choice and that remained like that with the “foie a la parilla en escabeche thai con tostas de maíz (grilled foie in Thai escabeche with corn toasts)” (usually, EUR 18.00). The foie was good especially with the citrus notes of the sauce balanced off by the tostadas. Frankly, a great new way to serve foie I haven’t tried before!

While the “aleta de raya con emulsión de hierbas y trigo, salsa de limón y vinagreta de alcaparras (ray fin with a herb and wheat emulsion, lemon sauce and a caper vinaigrette)” (usually, EUR 20.00) wasn’t as outstanding as the starters, it was still a good dish and the combination of the crispiness of the roasted capers with the amazingly tasty risotto made it a good dish.

Even the “marinated Iberian pork feather cut, plum sauce, bimi, cilantro satay and pickled red onion” belonged to the dishes I liked. The meat was good but not exciting. However, the brown sauce in combination with the broccoli-like vegetable was just delicious!

Unfortunately, from that moment on, everything went downhills. It took them a solid hour to serve the first dessert while it had only taken them 90 minutes to serve all of the above dishes together. So, I get it, it might need time but I had neither asked for time between the courses nor looked the dish specifically complicated. The “remolacha, yogur y gel dulce de Albahaca (beets, yogurt & sweet basil gel)” (EUR 6.00) was admittedly good, however, not amazing, but waiting one hour for it was just what tipped everything to an unpleasant experience.

And that’s exactly when the “elige tenerlo todo” becomes the problem. You want to make it so perfect in terms of experience (there is always someone asking something and it has to be the same guy who talks about the dishes that if he’s absent for 30 minutes, everything stands still). So, frankly, the “chocolate dessert with mole” was just not tasting like anything remotely enjoyable anymore. I’m not saying it was bad but I was just so fed up after waiting another 30 minutes for the second dessert and then again 15 minutes for the check.

So, while the cooking skills here are definitely exceptional (to a very large degree at least), there is something seriously wrong with the concept of how you’re attended.

Don’t get me wrong, the waitresses do a great job but they are so under the order of the head waiter who runs everything that they cannot move without him making him the bottle neck of the whole experience.

To sum it up, food-wise, I’d go again. For anything else, I wouldn’t! The reason behind – you cannot have everything at the same time! Pick something, focus on that! And then this might just be perfect!


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Maria de la O

Ctra. de la Sierra 13

18008 Granada (E)

Tel.: +34 958 21 60 69

Homepage: http://www.mariadelaogranada.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 160.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Granada (E), Restaurants

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