Fogón Ultramarinos

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While we may have lost sight of Alberto Herraiz for two years, he hasn’t been in hibernation: the Iberi-chef from the much-missed Fogón was simply working on his transformation into a fine foods vendor and delicatessen, building a collection of tinned delicacies, fine cured meats and fancy Spanish hams. In his tavern with a lone table, the king of tapas still treats his guests to impeccable feasts, like the day we went for lunch (€22): cubed mustardy watermelon with a silky gazpacho verde for dipping; tender beetroot transfused with a condiment composed of dates, almonds, lemon and ginger; comforting roasted eggplant with licorice and capers over a chickpea paste; followed by more chickpeas, this time around prepared as warm chickpea balls under an avalanche of ratatouille; before an apple-miso tart with a tomato-strawberry salad. Worth knowing: his legendary paella is still available, but not unless you’re in a group of 10 or more – and only upon reservation at night! // M.J.-D.

FEELING THIRSTY? House brews: chilled sangria topped with fruit espmua (€7 a glass), red and white blends from the Cuenca region (€7 a glass).

PRICE: Bellota shoulder sandwiches €10, mains €20-30, desserts €7.

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