It is located in a unique space that was once an old hardware store that opened its doors for the first time in 1888. Apparently it was a Riojan visionary, D. Esteban Garcia de Ochandatay, from the Cameros region, who saw the potential and set up a hardware store where you could find all kinds of pieces and international novelties.
Its current managers are the famous ham cutter Emilio García Ortigosa, and Maria Antonia Escapa. He is passionate about gastronomy and started in this profession from an early age and she is an art collector. A curious combination that, when you walk through its doors, you understand perfectly.
The space has been restored with great care and today serves as a traditional place in Madrid for the people of Madrid. It was born with the philosophy of preserving tradition, innovating and caring for the cultural heritage with care, preserving in its name the origin of the place and opting for a decor with art and antiques.
For its restoration, they counted on the architecture studio A-cero.
Its ambitious project promises to position itself as the place where the best ham in the world is cut. Of course their cuts of ham are more than surprising.
Upstairs we find the Leña Bar, an informal gastrobar with high tables and stools. They offer a delicious menu of starters, preserved goods and traditional dishes with excellent quality ingredients. The mussels are that they pickle themselves are amazing, the traditional potato puré dish and of course the ham and its special cuts, with unique pairings which include ham with ginger, ham in vinaigrette, with wasabi, etc.
In the kitchen is the chef Alfredo González Segovia, who presents a traditional cuisine where the raw ingredients are the star product, seasonal and local, with innovative touches that promise to be a house brand.
Meat lovers shouldn’t miss the delicious Argentine cuts of skirt steak sizzled on oak embers. There’s also a tasting menu where ham is the protagonist. Here, all the details are taken care of, such as the bread, made with organic flours and sourdough. Although I haven’t tasted the coffee, according to the team, it’s one of the house specialties.
The wine list is also worth a mention, with references not so well known but unique and delicious, and perfectly explained by the restaurant’s personnel. It’s always nice to be surprised by new flavors.
It’s one of those places where you can go almost any time of the day as there’s always a good offering when it comes to something to eat and drink. And if you like cocktails, they look great, well elaborated and presented.
I’m lucky enough to live nearby and I have already gone several times and I confess that it always seems to close too soon ;-). It will be because of how welcoming and cosy the space is.
A quirky discovery for those who want to try what is probably the most expensive ham in the world: they have Dejesa Maladúa Manche de Jabugo on the menu, which costs 210 euros per serving, or you can take the entire piece for the unusual figure of 7,700 euros. There you go…!
I can’t wait to return to try the tasting menu and continue exploring their delicious wines.
Photographies: La Ferretería by EGO
Atocha nº57. 28012. Madrid.
Opening hours: S-Th. 11:00 a.m. to 00:30 a.m. / F-S. 11:00 a.m. to 01:30 a.m.
Aproximated price «Leña bar»: 25 euros.
Gourmet set menu: From 50 euros.