January 22, 2018

Restaurant Review: Cafe Madrid

785709C4AE7EBC89A119E9AA3B57CDBB I know it’s been a while since I’ve put up one of these, and I really have no excuse. I’ve not stopped eating around at great restaurants…I’ve just been slack in telling you about them.

That ends today. And for one good reason: I had a meal so incredibly AWESOME that to not say something about it would be a travesty. Truly.

Cafe Madrid. It’s “that place” I have driven past for, literally, years, first in its old location up on 3900 South just a quarter mile from my home, and now its new place on Highland Drive where I pass it on my less than regular trips to the gym. Finally, with my Better-Half’s birthday on the schedule, I decided to give it a try. I called ahead for reservations, and we walked through Cafe Madrid’s doors mid-evening at the appointed time.

Greeted by a quiet, almost hushed atmosphere, we were quickly and graciously greeted and seated. Within moments of taking our seats (cozily right in front of a gas fireplace), we had menus, drinks, and were being greeted by what seemed to be either the owner or manager.

“Welcome to Cafe Madrid,” he said with a broad smile and a gentle accent. “I want you to feel welcome. This is your house.”

Café Madrid

We ordered and had just settled into conversation when the waiter returned bearing our plates of Pollo Marsala (aka Chicken Marsala) for me and Salmon Con Setas Y Tomillo A La Pimienta Verde (or Poached Salmon Served With Mushrooms And Thyme In A Mild Green Pepper Corn Sauce) for her. At least it seemed like it was that fast. For as much as the menu items were going to set us back, I had expected something of a wait for our food. Instead it came so quick we half expected the meat to taste like it had just come out of the microwave, tough and chewy.

Au contraire, mon frere. The chicken was tender and succulent, so delicious that our eyes went wide with the first bite. Even the mushrooms that spangled the plate under the marsala sauce were delicious…and I never like mushrooms. It was all I could do to keep my Better-Half from eating only a bite or two of my food. She wanted the whole thing.

Which isn’t to say her salmon wasn’t fantastic. It was, moist and fresh. Living in the middle of the continent, I’ve come to just expect I’ll never have good salmon except when I visit my family in the Northwest, but this was pretty close.

Was Cafe Madrid a huge win? You better believe it. I just can’t understand why I took so long to try it out.

Food: 11/10

Service: 10/10

Atmosphere: 10/10


Check out my other restaurant reviews here. If you have a restaurant suggestion for me, please contact me by sending an email to dan.burton@gmail.com.


Cafe Madrid on Urbanspoon

About Daniel Burton

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. You can follow him on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas. He is active on social media, Republican politics, and has been named to PoliticIt’s list of the “Top-50 Utah Political Opinion Leaders” on Twitter. You can reach him directly at dan.burton@gmail.com

  • Alan Christenson

    Daniel – I’m glad you reviewed Cafe Madrid. It is by far my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake. It is so good that I refuse to let the waiter to take my plate until I’ve dabbed up every last bit of sauce. My wife and I like ordering the tapas in sets of two. The waiter will let you know which go best together. One item worth mentioning is the restaurant’s art. The chef’s brother is an artist and does original artwork for the restaurant. When you consider this in connection with the food and the general atmosphere, Cafe Madrid offers a true gesamtkunstwerk experience. (It’s not often I get to use that word!)

    • Daniel B.

      It was a great meal, Alan, and I appreciate that little tidbit about the art. I did not know it was his brother’s.

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