Located around 30 kms from the center of Madrid in Humanes is a culinary treasure. Neither the town nor the surroundings strike as charming and in a way you would never imagine that such a revolutionary restaurant could lie among such traditional surrounds. Coque has been around for over 50 years and now the third generation has given it its first star Michelin. The three Sandoval brothers cater to the restaurants every need making the kitchen, wine cellar and restaurant work as one.
When we were driving the first thought that came to mind was, if people come all the way out here the food must be really good. I imagined a classical restaurant with stone walls and heavy wooden furniture but the truth was totally different. In between brick buildings in an earthy town known for its vegetable gardens lays a modern restaurant with an outstanding kitchen.
There are two menus, Natura and Provocación. Natura is more classical where as Provocación is avant-garde but all the time maintaining their philosophy which is to cook local Spanish dishes. The wine list is ample and the price margins are very reasonable.
One of the things that enticed me was the concept. Normally when you dine out you arrive, you sit down, you eat and then you leave but at Coque a meal is not static but in a constant drift from one stanza to the other. Your experience starts out in the wine cellar which is the exact opposite of what you would imagine a wine cellar to be. Wine barrels are substituted for clean cut shelves where wine bottles are exhibited as if they were tokens from various trips. The first appetizers are served here. One of the first things that catches your eye is the care that is taken into each aspect of the experience. From the beginning you feel that this is no ordinary restaurant. The appetizers arrived in a silver sculpture protected by a glass dome. We had a cereal chip with turmeric, sugared almond flower, mushroom meringue, mushroom cake with Gorgonzola cheese and a foie truffle.
The second course was a passion fruit and coconut drink served in a test tube. I have to admit that I didn’t love it but I was captivated by its presentation which was in an ice sculpture.
After our first stop we were ushered to the kitchen where we had the foie royale with cherry. We got to see their amazing ovens where they make piglets, fish, bread… I would love to have one at home.
Our experience continued in the main dining hall where golds, browns and beiges dominate giving a refine look with a hint of warmth. I particularly loved our round marble table and when a waiter brought us our warm, freshly pressed linen napkins I was in a bliss. An olive bonsai decorated the center of the table and hidden among its branches were olive breads with poppy seeds. Creativity is highlighted throughout the entire meal and the urge to surprise and make your experience memorable.
Cocido soup with spearmint cream
They have an organic vegetable garden where they harvest lettuce that actually tastes like lettuce. Imagine that!
One of my favorite dishes, Marine Coral. It resembles the sea with algae which are in constant movement. The shell is edible. Both surprising and tasty.
This plate is served in two stages. First the silver press squeezes the juice with will be poured over the shrimp. The second stage is the red mullet with the shrimp juice.
We were treated to a dish which was not in the original menu. Tuna fish cocochas (which are in the jaw area) of a seventy-eighty kilo fish which were finished off at the table. Absolutely fantastic.
Stewed calf tendon with wild cardoon. It is amazing how soft and delicate it is.
Pepitoria chicken with truffled egg yolk. I love egg yolk but my only complaint is that the yolk wasn’t warm enough although it was good nonetheless.
Creamy rice with wild mushrooms (níscalo and trompetillas)
One of the house specialties is the piglet. Mario’s father reinvented the traditional way of roasting this very typical dish by cutting the piglet so that is complete laid out in order for it to lose its fat and then thanks to their heavenly oven they are able to cook it so that the skin blows away from the meat giving it the perfect crunch which adds so much taste to it.
Served in a rock, the madrileño ibericos with ham pearls.
Hare with chestnuts, truffle and Armañac broth
The desserts are served in the lounge downstairs which maintains the same color scheme as the dining room but the lower ceiling gives the room a more laid back feel. To be perfectly honest I have to say that the desserts did not live up to the rest of the meal although I have to say that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
Violet flor with anis
Flambéed banana with banana ice-cream
Vanilla cake with almonds
With the coffees and teas came a vast range of petit fours.
For all you who take joy in eating, Coque is a place not to be missed. The Sandoval brother will take to heart that you have an extraordinary experience. I personally think that you will not regret it.
Calle de Francisco Encinas, 8
28970 Humanes de Madrid