Located in the Plaza de la Independencia, in front of the Puerta de Alcalá, Patio de Leones could be a new tourist trap. But they would like to drop all the guiris in the new restaurant of the hotel entrepreneur Jorge Llovet (also founder of Ramses, who occupies just the place next door). Conceived as a “cañí tavern”, this new space is born with a formula as simple as it is difficult to implement: to offer the best of Spanish cuisine to foreigners and locals. He got a Michelin star in New York serving tapas: now he struggles to bring the locals to a hotel on the Gran Vía He got a Michelin star in New York serving tapas: now he struggles to bring the locals to a hotel on the Gran Vía All in Patio de Leones, from the bathrooms to the music that sounds in its speakers, is measured to the millimeter, and that is that with the prices of its menu - in which few portions exceed 15 euros - and what the rent should cost, There is only one way that the business is profitable: that it is always overflowing. Something that, seen as seen, will happen shortly. And it is that we are not alone before a new cuqui site (which is it), also before a place with a magnificent and affordable gastronomic offer. Tomato salad with chives and picual oil. In the carefully designed menu, we are not going to find proposals for haute cuisine, but for classic rations, with some nice wink and, more importantly, a good product. On our visit we tried, first, a tomato salad, with fresh chives and picual oil (€ 14), with an excellent tomato, well peeled, which almost did not need accompaniments. Then, some croquettes of jerky and leek (€ 12), very good. Cecina croquettes and leeks. Classic, but effective menu In the letter we find many starters with the national product as the protagonist - majama, beef jerky, Iberian ham, anchovies, preserves ... - but it is in the stews where it is seen that Ramses's team has been taken very seriously The kitchen of your new bet. Patio de Leones has details difficult to find in other places of this type, in which both diners are expected, such as a potato tortilla that is made whole at the moment (€ 12), or good stews of oxtail (€ 18 ) or meatballs (€ 15), which we did not try but looked good just to see them. What we did try was the sea bass in marinade (€ 16), a version of the classic bienmesabe, but prepared with sea bass, which was frankly good. Finally we were invited to try the lamb stew (€ 19): the meat was very tender, well stewed with onions and accompanied with fried potatoes. The only downside is that it was bland, but it is the kind of dish that you want to find more in restaurants of pretended Spanish cuisine: a simple stew, but well worked, with good product and at normal prices. As Manuel López, in charge of the restaurant, explains to Directo al Paladar, one of the ideas that the team had clear when designing the gastronomic offer of Patio de Leones was to offer throughout its extensive opening hours (from 7:30 to 3 : 00) some good churros. It is not a bad idea - there is no Spanish specialty that attracts tourists more - but when we saw that they were selling these as “the best chocolate churros in the Capital” we thought they had climbed on the vine. It is not like this. Although we do not doubt that they are equally good, there are not much better. The churros were very crispy on the outside, but juicy on the inside, and the hot chocolate was to take off the hat: ultra-thick, intense and almost without sugar. Very very good. If you don't want to order churros for dessert (something that many will consider an abomination) there are other options. We also tried the rice pudding (€ 7) and it was more than correct. Chocolate with churros is one of the great attractions of Patio de Leones. Huge bar, large winery Patio de Leones has a large terrace that overlooks the door of Alcalá and a spacious interior lounge, to eat at bar or high tables. This space is a pass, with a huge circular bar, a 2,500 kilos flown cellar, and tiles decorated by the artist Sergio Mora. (It also has a giant screen, we assume to put football, which we like less. Long live the bars without TV!). Nor is it a bad place to drink. The rods are well pulled, have various vermouths and cocktails, and has more than 300 wine references, without major surprises, but with all kinds of prices. In the near future the restaurant also plans to offer skewers during the day. Patio de Leones is not a place to eat to try new things. It comes with no surprise, but everything is very rich and at a more than competitive price, something that cannot be found in the area where it is located. If a foreign friend who does not know Madrid asked me for a place to try typical Spanish food, without leaving the center, Patio de Leones would be one of the first recommendations. But even if you are from here, if you feel like having something after walking through the Retreat, or visiting the Archaeological Museum, this is certainly a winning option. What to order: all the food was fancy, but you can't leave without trying the chocolate with churros. Practical Data Where: Serrano, 1 (Madrid) Average price: € 25/30. Reservations: 651 555 000 Hours: open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.