Adolfo is nothing short of an institution, a social hub for Toledo residents and a place that madrileños will drive to just for lunch. Locally caught game is where it excels.
‘In terms of hunting,’ says chef Adolfo Munoz Martin, ‘the most important region in all of Europe is Castilla-La Mancha. You’ll find deer, wild boar, turtle doves, partridge, wood pigeons, thrush, rabbits and hare.’
The star of the Toledo kitchen, however, is the red partridge. Adolfo’s signature dish is a different take on the stewed toledano classic, steaming the thighs and searing the breast on a hot plate. He then places them on a plate with a smear of deep-red onion sauce and a bright yellow quenelle of sweet potato, an artist’s palette of colour, texture and taste, on which a pipette of the reduced stock rests, for the diners to add themselves.
These are unexpectedly modern touches in these venerable dining rooms, where blood-red walls hung with 15th-century oil paintings meet polychromatic coffered ceilings and ancient beams. Within these hallowed spaces, and considering his respect for the classic recipes of old, Adolfo is not hidebound by tradition as one might expect. His obsession with eating healthily goes back a long way: ‘I’ve always felt food should be prepared in the simplest way possible,’ he says. ‘Find alternatives to sugar, use less salt, and buy the very best olive oil you can. Your body will thank you for it.’