Tasting the Sea at Urban Hotel's Glass Mar
...I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade...
This was undoubtedly the Beatles tune in my head, as I walked into the dining room of what I thought was your typical run-of-the-mill luxury hotel bar.
Was I wrong about Glass Mar?
This was far from your typical hotel bar.
Little did I know that I was in for an under the sea surprise. Just one glance up above would have been a given, as a giant whale skeleton hangs from the ceiling and a wall filled with jars full of algae and plankton as a laboratory of sorts.
Glass Mar, located inside of the five-star Madrid Hotel Urban, is a seafood restaurant revival from Ángel León, the chef of the busty Aponiente restaurant and also knowns as the El Chef Del Mar for his seafood-focus avant-garde cuisine. In my recent stay in Madrid, I was fortunate enough to dine as a guest at Glass Mar thanks to Chema and my dear friend Diego Cabrera of Salmon Guru.
The menu at Glass Mar is one with the thought to share and is made up of various culinary creations based on ingredients from the sea. But, if sharing is not your thing in tapas format, you can also order in hearty dishes.
The menu is made up of three parts: A Wave of Starters, Fish the Main Dish, and There Are Plenty of Desserts In The Sea.
The under the sea experience begins with a wave of starters. And as the name implies, it was truly a wave of starters that only got better and better as they were brought out.
The starters consisted if plates such as green plankton garlic; smoked sardines, creamy oyster meringue, plankton 'ajoverde' with prawns; pickled mackerel with carrots, sea urchin royale, jalapeno foam with mussels; a tribute the Madrid icon tartare squid on a soft bread that hides a potent stew of cephalopod; a marine bite of cockles, algae, and and plankton in all presented in a tin of caviar.
The second part is the fish the main dish includes dishes such as plankton creamy rice or tuna steak, classics of a revolutionary chef.
There are plenty of desserts in the sea. About 11 courses later, to finish is dessert: melon with vermouth. Sweet, light and refreshing.
Throughout the dining experience, three types of sherries were presented to pair with the various courses. This experience is something worth writing home about. It is one that will excite your senses, and leave you blown away.
Let's Regale was a guest of Glass Mar; as always, all opinions are my own. Main cover photo credit: Glass Mar, Urban Hotels.