We are taking our second trip to Spain in March, spending 3 days each in Madrid, San Sebastian, and Barcelona (I know, not enough time - what can you do?). We were in Madrid and Barcelona about 4 years ago and have some favorites to return to, and I've been doing much studying here and elsewhere (there are some great threads and posters here, and thanks already for several tips). We like both traditional and contemporary cooking styles and have enjoyed some of the U.S. takes on the latter (i.e., Alinea, Jose Andres' Minibar). We like to eat tapas-style and I also enjoy tasting menus, though Mrs. F will only have patience for a few of the latter. I have started to put together something of a "hit list" for each town and would appreciate insights and suggestions.
One additional complicating factor is that we will be arriving in Madrid on Sunday and will have Sunday / Monday in Madrid, and again Sunday / Monday in Barcelona. Suggestions for places open on these days are particularly welcomed.
Viridiana - we have to return to get Mrs. F the huevos con mousse de hongos y trufas. I think they are open Mondays, am I mistaken?
La Terraza - Ferran Adria spin-off in the Casino de Madrid. Recommended to me by a friend with pretty good taste; don't know if I'll ever have a chance to get to El Bulli. Don't see any mention of it here. Any thoughts?
I don't have many other sit-down dinner type places on my Madrid list (Lhardy?), but have several tapas bars - a string along the Cava Baja - El Tempranillo, Tximiri, Casa Lucio, La Camarilla; and nearer to home base (likely the Villa Real), Las Bravas, Vinoteca Barbechera. Bocaito. Any more suggestions, particularly around the Plaza Santa Ana and/or open Sundays?
Restaurants: Arzak, Mugaritz, Akelarre, Etxebarri
There's already an excellent thread discussing all of these, but feel free to chime in with thoughts. I have three days here, though Mrs. F may not have patience for three alta cocina tasting menus. I get the impression Etxebarri is better as a lunch destination; can it be turned into a Bilbao day-trip if you rent a car?
Tapas: La Cuchara de San Telmo, Alona Berri, Bar Bergara.
Again we have the Sunday/Monday issue in Barcelona, so there's only one night in Barcelona when all options will be available, otherwise we're picking among what will be open.
Restaurants: ABaC, Alkimia, Ca l'Isidre, Casa Calvet, Cinc Sentits, Comerc 24, Cuines Santa Caterina, Embat, Gresca, Passadis del Pep.
Tapas: Tapac 24, Paco Meralgo, Takitka Berri, Bar Mut, La Vinya del Senyor, Xampanyet, El Quim & Pinotxo in the Mercat de la Boqueria, Bar Inopia, Quimet y Quimet.
Particular suggestions among these or others for Sunday/Monday options in Barcelona? For those places that are not open either Sunday/Monday, any thoughts on paring the list down?