I like DiverXO, I ♥ Insitu.

I went to my first Michelin star restaurant the other week. I was very excited to go. A. and I took our friend Rachel for her birthday. It was nice, very nice. There were desserts straight out of Alice in Wonderland, they did things with pork that were bordering on obscene! (in a good way, a very very good way) and did you know that tuna+passion fruit is a sublime combination? Although 100 bucks is a lot for dinner, after 7 courses and a lot of very good wine, I didn´t feel like I´d been mugged by the Michelin Man.

But. To be honest. It just wasn´t me. DiverXO has been blessed by Anthony Bourdain, and Chef David Muñoz may sport a mohawk. But that couldn´t detract from the 1980s nightclub decor and that the table next to us was loaded with high-powered corporate lawyers braying loudly and obnoxiously over their latest mega deal.

And worst of all, they don´t let you take photos 😦

Maybe I´m just not cut out for Michelin dining, but I wish we´d gone to Insitu instead. Just around the corner from my apartment, it´s the kind of neighborhood restaurant that everyone deserves. The prices won´t break the bank and the cooking is consistently well executed, with the kind of twist that makes eating out an occasion. They have a good bread basket, which is rare in Madrid. Starters include kangaroo sushi and Iberian pork carpaccio with a blue cheese foam;  the main course of tuna served with smoke is quite the event and I refuse to share my loin of Iberian pork with anyone. If you don´t feel like fancy food then they do a mean hamburger and great risottos and lasagne. I just wish they´d bring back that pistachio cake they used to have….

The Iberian pork loin, served with sweet potato mash, tomato jam and banana chips.
Caramel crusted smoky tuna served with a sesame spinach and wonton stack and ginger foam is in the main photo.

Restaurante DiverX

Calle Pensamiento, 28

Metro: Tetuan

+34 915 700 766

Tuesday to Saturday 1pm to 3:30pm & 9pm to 11:30pm

Restaurante Insitu

Valverde 40,

Metro: Tribunal

+34 915 226 845

Monday to Thursday 13:30 – 16:30 & 21:00  onwards

10 Responses to “I like DiverXO, I ♥ Insitu.”
  1. Maddie says:

    I’m really adoring your four-part photo-narration of the tuna with smoke entree. 🙂 Such a cool idea! And I’m with you on preferring neighborhood restaurants, especially ones with food that look this delicious—you feel more comfortable there, like you belong.

  2. Florence says:

    Oh yes, Debs as a restaurant critic – more of that, I beg you! I absolutely loved this article! And please, do a trip around the world and write a review about every single one – I’ll only go to the ones you say are worth going, and I promise I’m happy to spend hundreds of Euros for this book! Also, that will get you to Australia 🙂
    Or, if not a book, then I’m sure El Pais (?), the NY Times or any other world-famous paper would love to print your reviews…
    Kangaroo sushi sounds interesting. Was it an actual thin slice of meat?

  3. nadya says:

    Insitu sounds more like my kind of place too, an ex’s dad once took us to a Michelin starred restauart – El Chaflan in Pio 12, and yes it was nice, but not 100e/head nice!

  4. Shaheen says:

    YAY a post finally! 🙂 7 course meal at a Michelin starred restaurant sounds like a milestone in dining. Sucks that they don’t let you photography. But then I’ve read theories like one should focus on the food and enjoy the moment and not get distracted by taking photos. etc.

  5. Delishhh says:

    What a great time – i have never been to DiverXO! I have been to a few Michelin start retaurants in my life through vacations and travels but the most memorable is the Oritnetal Hotel Le Normandie in Bangkok that we went to last year. It has 3 starts and is out of this world.

  6. Never tried DiverXo but I definately like Insitu. My favorite dish is the smoked tuna too!

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