Tag Archives: Le Madrid

Vacation Playlist

We weren’t really prepared for the amount of time we spent in the rental car going from town to town.  I. had burned a couple discs and figured we’d pick up some blank CD-R’s in Europe–but blank CD-R’s were elusive in the small towns were we were most of the time.  As a result, we listened to these three albums over and over again, which in and of itself was an strange (occasionally tiring) experience (save for our time in Guethary–the house playlist there was CSN demos mostly, but Le Madrid had an amazing and very diverse rotation).  Here they are:

1.  Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca

All I really knew of Dirty Projectors was “Stillness is the Move.” I’d listened to the album a little, but had by no means gotten hooked.  After three weeks of constant listening, I LOVE this album.  It’s just totally insane.  Half the time it sounds like they’re making up the lyrics on the spot (Longstreth at least) but what they are playing and saying is so good I just don’t care.  Lines about living in the basement and washing the dishes?  Led Zeppelin references mixed with out of this world female diva sopranos?  It’s just too much fun.  Winding through the tiny country roads of the Luberon, this sounded like the perfect vacation record.

DP_packshot

2.  Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

OK, brace yourselves.  I’m about to make a seriously unpopular statement.  There are about three tracks on this album that are really fun, but the rest of it is completely unlistenable.  Actually, there was a bit of arguing in the car every time we got past the first couple of tracks.  I’d start making fun of the lyrics, “So sentimental, not sentimental no!”  And the title of this album?  Yeah, I get it, it’s “ironic.”  When is irony going to go out of style?  It’s so tired.  Yes, fun, but fleeting.  Nothing I can listen to for three weeks straight.

wolfgang-amadeus-phoenix-album-cover

3.  Wilco Wilco (the album)

Again a potentially unpopular statement, I’m not the biggest Wilco fan.  I like them.  I think they make good music.  I’ve listened to their albums quite a bit, but they aren’t really “me.”  I’m not their audience.  But this most recent album is possibly my favorite ever.  There is a great stylistic range to the songs, which is essential to any album you plan on listening to everyday for three weeks.  While Bitte Orca was an instant favorite, and Phoenix’s “Lisztomania” goes down saccharine-sweet the first time, Wilco (the album) is more of a creeper.  I love the rock and the ballads.  And with a track featuring Feist I couldn’t resist.

wilco

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Lunch at Le Madrid, Guéthary

You might start to notice that I’m working backwards now, which is slightly awkward, but I’ll make do.  I’m finding it less awkward than starting from the day I stopped blogging and working forward.  I hope you’ll stick with me on this strange anti-chronological journey.

Le Madrid was the unofficial (official?) hang of our stay in Guéthary.  Our first two days in Guéthary it was closed for two days before officially opening for the summer season, but Le Madrid was all I heard about for those two days from our Parisian friends and hosts.  It was so inflated as a “spot” that it hardly occured to me that the food would be any good.  When I ate dinner there for the first time on the night of the 8th I was absolutely blown away (some of you might remember a tweet of mine about the Cote de Beouf melting in my mouth).  Those kind of dinners aren’t for stopping every few minutes to photograph.  We were among friends, telling love stories, and sharing wine and Cote de Beouf (with Bearnaise of course), and since the best parts of the ephemeral meal were only captured in memory, I pledged to return in a more alert state so that I might record some of my meal for ARL.

Of course, the real way to do Le Madrid is this: aperitifs at home (our aperitifs of choice on this trip were foie gras (forgive me), radishes, and wine).  Savor all this from approximately 7pm-9pm, then make your way to Le Madrid for the real meal.  Oh, and having Manzana Verde post-Cote is the digestif de riguer.  The few images I have from Le Madrid at night:

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Customers entering Le Madrid behind lovely Martine at approximately 9pm

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The view from outside Le Madrid at approximately 9pm

So, that said, on to lunch.

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The view from the terrace

le madrid menu

The menus

It is worth explaining that I. and I fell in love with the menus as pieces of art in and of themselves.  We loved the fonts, the illustrations, and the color.  When we mentioned this to our friends they explained that the menus are designed by Martine, one of the owners, who was a graphic designer before she was a restaurateur.

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The lunch menu

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The essential rosé

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Looking back towards the restaurant from the terrace

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My companion’s club sandwich (I had a bite–absolutely delectable)

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Maigre a la Plancha, pate fraiche & herbes

The perfect lunch.  The oil for drizzling has parsley and tarragon, the cherry tomatoes are roasted, and the pasta has a crisp piece of bacon artfully arranged at an angle atop.  And, how is it that the French know how to salt meat so perfectly?  You can see the small crystals of sel de mer on the maigre here.  Delicious.

Now that we’re in Spain it seems impossible, but I am actually missing Le Madrid.  If you are in the area go, sit for a few hours.  People watch, imbibe, and go back a few times to sample a variety of what’s on the menu.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you are as in love with Le Madrid as I am, you can click here to see the dinner menu: Continue reading

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Currently in Guéthary, at Le Madrid

Guéthary is a charming little surf town between Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz.  It’s 9:30 and the sun is bright, if only slightly above the sea, and I’m yet to eat dinner.  Of course I just changed purses and failed to transfer the memory card reader from one to another so no pictures.  Zut!!!  I am destined not to blog.  But here is the picture of where I am from the restaurant’s website:

le madrid

Le Madrid is run by a beautiful couple, Cyril et Martine, and it is les plus chic spot in Guéthary, perhaps in all of French Basque country.  I’m right there under the window on the right right now.  Having a great time–super soothe.  Wish you all were here.  I’ll come back with a full report on the food at Le Madrid plus tard.  Á tout!

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