Casa de Campo Living Reviews: Madison Cafe, Great French food and plenty of cheese!

Madison Cafe is not actually a Cafe: it is a cute French restaurant in Santo Domingo and it is great!

As Casa de Campo Living we  are normally ‘invited’ to do reviews of restaurants, but if we happen to find a restaurant that really stands out for having great quality and reasonably priced food – we can’t help but want to share it with you! Madison Cafe fits this criteria perfectly – we’ve tried it on 2 occasions and its been consistently good; good food, good service, good prices and the atmosphere is relaxed and even a little romantic!

As we did not go to this restaurant with the intention of doing a formal ‘Casa de Campo Living Reviews’ we can’t bring you as many photos or details as we would normally, but here goes:

Madison Cafe does not have a printed menu – it has a large black board, which the waitresses move around from table to table, its just a novelty, but it adds an element of fun to the ordering process and gives you a good opportunity to ask your waitress about lots of different dishes. They have many dishes which are typically French (after all the chef and owner is French), so you may not be familiar with what everything is – so it’s a good idea to ask, everyone is very friendly and they are more than happy to make recommendations and explain everything.

Here is a quick review of everything we have tried on our various visits there:

Crispy toast, oil and parmesan cheese: This mini-appetiser is free and although simple, is delicious.

French Onion Soup: A great French classic! Although not photogenic (at all), this soup is an exact replica of what you would expect to be served in France – thick with soft onions and topped with chunks of bread and melted cheese. Very filling – I recommend you order this to share!

The GREAT Flaming Stuffed Camembert! (That is not the correct name – I don’t remember what it is called on the menu!) This is wonderful and MUST be shared – seriously not even the hungriest, biggest cheese lover can eat a whole camembert! The whole camembert is stuffed with a selection of jams (the sweet option) or ham (the savoury option) – or you can chose to have half and half (the sweet and sour version), its then topped with almonds (nice touch), has some kind o liquor poured over it (Brandy I think) and is set on fire so it melts! This really is as delicious as it sounds!

Cheesy Artichokes: (again that is not the correct name)  This Artichokes are really yummy and come with a lot of goats cheese, when I ordered this dish I though ‘ah artichokes – a healthy option’ WRONG! It tasted great but all the cheese and cream definitely meant it was not at all healthy!!  (Are you starting to see why I mentioned cheese in the title?!)

Garlicky Mussels: (I can’t actually remember any of the correct names of the dishes, so from now on just assume that I have made these names up.) The French love mussels and at Madison Cafe they are a bit of a speciality – they have garlic ones, gratinated ones (yes more cheese) and even mussels ‘Thai style’. We have only tried the garlic ones and they are delightful!

Cheesy Creamy Giant Shrimp: I will admit that I haven’t actually tried these, but our friend Adriana who first introduced us to Madison, loves this dish – in fact it is her favorite and she orders it every time she goes! It has the 3 essential ingredients: butter, cheese and garlic as well as succulent large shrimp.

The Duck: This amazing duck dish had a special name (which it would seem I can’t remember), it was basically a leg or a wing of duck cooked (possibly slow roasted) and served with roasted potatoes, mushrooms in a garlicky buttery sauce. Absolutely delicious. Despite my inability to remember any details about this dish, I do remember that it was very good – if you like duck, mushrooms and garlic, this is what I would recommend!
[Sorry no photo - we were too busy eating it to do a photo shoot!]

Deserts: Creme Brulee and Crepes. The deserts are good, if you fancy something sweet at the end of your meal, they have some nice options – but are not as amazing as all the other dishes on offer at Madison.

A quick word about the prices: Madison is not cheap,  but it is definitely reasonably priced, the quality of the food is reflected by the prices, without being absurdly or excessively expensive. Whilst I don’t remember the details (did I mention we had a few bottles of wine?), I do remember that getting the bill was not an unpleasant surprise!

CHEESE, CHEESE and more CHEESE! We like cheese a lot and so does Chef Laurant at Madison, but although we tried lots of different cheesy dishes, they do have a nice variety of dishes – many without cheese! So if you do not like cheese, you will probably still find something delicious to enjoy!

In summary this restaurant is great – it’s small, cute and serves excellent food.

Cafe Madison
Av. Bolivar, esq. Lincoln
Santo Domingo
Tel. 809 227 15 38
email: [email protected]