Belonging to Madrid’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Totem, Hermosos y Malditos is one of the city’s most anticipated recent restaurant openings. Thanks to a weekend break in the Spanish capital StyleNest had the chance to head over to the restaurant and cocktail bar, which makes a stylish new addition to Madrid’s increasingly impressive food scene.
As the Spanish translation of “The Beautiful and Damned,” Hermosos y Malditos is unsurprisingly inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the era of the Roaring Twenties, which provided the glamourous backdrop to the writer’s novels.
Despite it’s minimalist design elements – think clean white walls and simple, almost classroom-style wooden furniture – the restaurant does indeed have a feel of a by-gone era, from the old-fashioned typography of its logo to the gold-flecked, William Morris-inspired wallpaper adorning the entrance.
Our favourite part of the 1920s theme had to be the vintage-style silver champagne buckets on the bar, which had pages from Fitzgerald’s books artfully pinned on the wall behind it, whilst downstairs in the bathroom we had more grand design ideas from the gilded and glamourous peacock wallpaper.
However, given the theme of the restaurant the menu itself was surprisingly modern, and also very international, something that can be hard to find in the more traditional Spanish capital.
What also set the restaurant apart was its impressive cocktail menu. Indeed, Hermosos y Malditos also promotes itself as a cocktail bar, and we could see how it would be easy to idle away an evening in their separate space for drinks. Offering popular classics as well as their own concoctions, many of the cocktails were based around light liquors, mainly vodka, gin, and white rum, rounded off with fresh fruits and unusual combinations of herbs and spices, even infused teas, making it a refreshing menu that was perfect for the hot Spanish summer.
We opted for the restaurant’s signature “Totem” cocktail, and in true Fitzgerald-style were also kindly brought complimentary glasses of champagne.
Whilst enjoying our fizz we ordered mussels to share as a starter, which came without their shell and well-presented in a very tasty in a light and classic broth, and with plenty of fresh crusty bread.
For our main courses it was fresh pasta with black truffle, parmesan cheese and egg, and the Fitzgerald Cheese Burger, with gorgonzola cheese, smoked bacon, tomato, and onions. The pasta was pasta at its best – fresh, simple, and with just a few select additional ingredients. The fries to our burger were unfortunately a little pale and needed just a little extra cooking time, something we commented on to our waiter, but the meaty and well-topped burger didn’t disappoint. It might not have been what Fitzgerald would’ve ordered on a champagne-filled evening but we were left very full and very satisfied.
Of course in a restaurant inspired by a time of decadence we had to order dessert, and our waitress recommended the Chocolates Textures as being her personal favourite – an indulgent, rich combination of different chocolates, including creams and crumbles all based around a silky dark mousse, and a classic panna cotta to add something lighter and balance out the end of our meal.
As well as having a lasting memory of a delicious dinner eaten in great company, we also had a lasting impression that Hermosos y Malditos is a restaurant that definitely adds something to Madrid. The 1920s, Fitzgerald inspiration was of course fun and added a touch of glamour to the restaurant, but a well-executed international menu and a great coctelería – both still surprisingly hard to find in Madrid – are what we are sure will keep people heading back to Hermosos y Malditos time and time again.
Hermosos y Malditos, Calle de Hermosilla, 23, 28001 Madrid, Spain