Salamanca is Madrid’s most upscale neighbourhood; think gourmet food stores, designer boutiques, and high-end restaurants. Refined and elitist, eating sometimes in these types of districts in capital cities can be a little stuffy, and not very imaginative.
The energy and vibe at this place is great, and the food, well in my experience it was exceptional for the price.
Opened in September 2016, the restaurant takes its name from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, the morality tale, ‘The beautiful and damned’ about elite urban socialites, the decadent lost generation.
Suitably, Hermosos & Malditos has a luxurious feel thanks to superb design.
This all-day restaurant and cocktail bar forms the heart of the Hotel Totem Madrid, making the property feel on-trend, lively and yet unpretentious, despite its classy location.
Decadent blue velvet banquette seating, dark woods and glossy parlour palms create a sexy, Fitzgerald era ambiance in the cocktail bar.
Whilst in the dining area, bespoke bronze metal screens contrast with simple, mid-century chairs, contemporary wooden furniture, and light banquette seats.
The walls combine muted wood panelling with exquisite vintage style wallpaper. Features include a wall covered with pages torn from the novel, together with old photos from the era.
It’s a smart and clever mix of contemporary, vintage and old – creating a unique character that speaks volumes.
The menu is an intelligent mix too – of Mediterranean dishes with some American influences, including some classic cocktails.
My lunch started with a glass of bubbles and things just continued to get better. The ‘big burrata with sundried tomatoes’ was certainly hearty for a starter; presented with flair and artistry, and delectably fresh and creamy.
I took the maître’s recommendation to try the fois with red and black lentil salad, and I was pleased I did – probably amongst the best prepared fois I’ve tried. The lentils no only looked delicate and colourful, but were an excellent texture with the fois. Service throughout lunch was friendly and attentive.
The menu during my visit offered imaginative snacks for enjoying at the bar like fish skewers with fennel, marinated mussels, goose gillettes, with toasts and pickles, and duck and apple rolls; as well some classic tapas such as patatas bravas and acorn-fed Iberico ham.
For dining, the starters, from 12 – 21 euro, included a Caesar salad with tandoori chicken; and calamari Rossejat.
Main dishes of fried sea bass with avocado & red cabbage, or grilled hake with cauliflower cream were joined on the menu by a classic T-bone steak, and a pasta dish. Prices were from 16 euro to 47 euro for the steak (very good value for a fine dining in a capital city).
The new season menu is now launched, so I must head back! Next time I’ll try the Sunday Brunch. It’s understated decadence.
Address: Hermosilla 23, 28001, Madrid
Tel: +34 91 109 14 41