Ana Carmen Villarino. Journalist
It seems like some businesses have been able to escape the delicatessen unscathed; the restaurants created by the duo behind El Paraguas have expertly weathered the current economic situation. El Paraguas, Ten Con Ten, and Ultramarinos Quintin have all performed especially well since 2004, 2011, and this summer, respectively. Moreover, the owners recently acquired another locale formerly known as Pan de Lujo, also on Calle Jorge Juan. Surely their rivals are wondering, what's next?
Located in the heart of Salamanca neighborhood, the first two restaurants, which remain very popular today even after 11 and 4 years, respectively, serve Oviedo-inspired fare. El Paraguas maintains its original model and clientele. Ten con Ten, on the other hand, attracts a different crowd.
The ambassadors for Asturian cooking in Madrid are Marta Seco and Sandro Silva, a young married couple. He wanted to be a soccer player, but ended up training as a chef's assistant under his uncle, Fernando Martín (the first Asturian chef to receive a Michelin star). She originally studied economics and was working as an IT consultant at the Technical University of Madrid's Computer Center when she and her husband decided the start the business.
Their first culinary venture, El Paraguas, was quick to conquer the palates of everyone who ate at the restaurant. Politicians, journalists and Madrid's high society have tried their green beans with partridge and Asturian crepes with cheese foam.
Marta and Sandro brought their same elegance and sophistication to Ten con Ten (nearby, at Calle Ayala 6), where they cater to a younger crowd with money. It didn't take long for this lively, high-end locale to attract famous people and TV personalities, who give it a special appeal for those who like that kind of scene.
This casual, bustling restaurant has a two-story bar and a dining room, and serves exotic dishes that reflect the duo's travels: moussaka, couscous and semolina risotto are some of the most popular dishes, which still retain a bit of Asturian flavor.
All of these restaurants have one thing in common: the excellent quality of the ingredients used, which are always presented with style in simple but exquisite dishes.
On the back of the notable success of their restaurants, these two entrepreneurs wanted to go one step further, and this summer they added Ultramarinos Quintin to their repertoire, also in Salamanca neighborhood, where they say they are very comfortable.
Their inspiration for this project came from Marta's grandfather's corner store, and now the two-story venue is shaping up to be the city's most fashionable spot.
It is a restaurant and delicatessen which also sells pre-prepared foods to go, while maintaining the added value of the other businesses: elegant decor, and superb service and food.