Before debuting as hoteliers, they rehearsed their model in five appointments of eight diners in Fonte, an attic in Madrid's Boix y Morer street conceived as a center of innovation and design. "There were five exercises with guests of different profiles to whom we asked to fill out a form to assess our 'Formula EPP', the degree of satisfaction and the price we wanted to put", explains Lucas Fernández, exactly a third of Trèsde, restaurant opened at the beginning of April in the Cava Alta, under a format 'Starter-Plate-Dessert': for a price of 41 euros, The customer can choose three dishes from three options in each of the three sections.

Fernández is 30 years old, the same as his partners in this place with the air of a bistro: Miguel Vallés and Aitor Sua, the youngest for a few months of the entrepreneurial trio. They met while studying at Colegio Montserrat. "Sua arrived when he was 11 years old; Lucas and I have been friends since we were 6", Vallés clarifies.

None of the three opted for hotel studies. Born in the Sierra de Segura (Jaén) and of a Navarrese father, Aitor Sua "did not have a clear vocation for cooking, but I wanted something dynamic and I tried. The germ entered me and from there I have not left. I spend all my money on food, books and knives." Montia, the Ritz, La Candela, Saddle or Santo Mauro are part of his curriculum, plus a stage in France, between Paris and Lyon.

Meanwhile, Fernández studied Sociology, "something that comes in handy for me to understand social groups, also in a restaurant"; and, later, he entered one summer to work in El Porrón Canalla (sandwich shop that Juanjo López, owner of La Tasquita, had), first as an extra and, later, as a manager. A year in Australia in "group batallera hospitality" and back to Madrid to pass through Bulbiza and Ugo Chan.

For his part, Vallés studied Economics, did a master's degree in Barcelona, worked four years in Frankfurt, went through the ECB and today remains dedicated to the financial sector, which he combines with the management of Trèsde.

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Between eating out together, "family meals with our parents in restaurants in Madrid" and their love for gastronomy, they began to imagine a restaurant together. "We kept in touch and saw each other in Spain, France or Germany. In the pandemic, we started to get more into the project; We would release ideas on video calls; that's when we decided to go back to Madrid," says Miguel Vallés.

In the fall of 2022, they found the premises of Matritum, which closed at the end of the year. In parallel, they looked for suppliers, Sua did catering and Fernández designed with his father a champagne and hashiokis (covered rest) of methacrylate.

Green asparagus like citrus yogurt and lemon vanilla vinaigrette.

The first days of April, they raised the blind and thus Trèsde was born, with Sua, Fernández and Vallés dividing roles between kitchen, room and management, respectively. "It's a dream come true, after a journey; Now, it's to see service by service if it works," they warn. Three partners, three more employees, three dishes for each of the three sections, 3D look for their hashiokis (whose phosphorite color stands out on the tables)... Number three christened the business. "We thought a thousand times about the name and one day we thought that Trèsde was the best way to call us, apart from the fact that très is very much in French," they comment.

This is Trèsde

With 10 tables and 28 seats, it occupies an elongated space of about 100 square meters between bar, dining room and kitchen, with basement (characteristic of many ground floor of the center of Madrid) that works as a cellar and warehouse.

In fact, a traditional place in La Latina disguises itself as a Parisian bistro to feed delicious with good raw materials and contemporary technique at moderate prices in the context of inflation of the Madrid hotel industry. That which can be called 'casualized haute cuisine'. "We are an updated food house that works the seasonal product and spends everything a day. That's why the menu is so short, apart from the fact that we barely have the capacity to touch ingredients. It is a formula that comes from fleeing the world of the tasting menu from which we come and that is oversaturated, "says Sua. "We have escaped luxury, but we have the detail," Vallés adds. They thus confirm a new wave that gives oxygen to the culinary scene: young people who undertake without investors, in premises with few places and few employees, avoiding superfluous luxuries. That is, bistronomy version 2023.

Vegetable weight on the menu

Its 'EPP Formula' (41 euros, without drinks) is compatible with ordering a la carte the loose dishes that compose it (each with its independent price), with starters such as sautéed navazo with velouté of aromatic herbs or green asparagus with citrus yogurt and lemon and vanilla vinaigrette; main dishes such as rustic Iberian needle or monkfish escalope a la romana; and desserts such as tupinambur or hazelnut crème brûlée.

Escalope de monkfish a la romana.

"I really like working with vegetables, which I attach importance to and I find them very stimulating even as a garnish with meat and fish that change every day," describes Aitor Sua. The vegetable part comes largely from Cultivo Desterrado, a project by Rafa Monge based on the recovery of traditional cultivation methods, such as the navazo, in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where this young chef went to learn after meeting him as a supplier of Saddle. "I wanted to see the step before receiving the vegetables to avoid the frustration of the cook who sometimes does not understand the origin of the product. Rafa was the spearhead of what we try to do on a day-to-day basis: have a direct deal with suppliers", details Sua.

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Bread from Obrador San Francisco, poultry from Higinio Gómez and products from several stalls of the Mercado de la Cebada (such as Carnicería A. Rubiato or the fish shop Pescados y Mariscos La Ría), where the ice cream master of Gelatto Lab makes ice cream with ingredients and ideas from Sua, which gives relevance to desserts, after his apprenticeship in France. "We have surrounded ourselves with familiar people and the neighborhood," they say.

The liquid menu "seeks variety of regions and grapes, with wines of the year with little intervention, a certain weight of sparkling or generous. The best seller by the glass is an orange wine," says Lucas Fernández, head of the winery.

The role of the 'food manager'

In charge of management and social networks, Miguel Vallés defines himself as food manager; Paying payroll or responding to suppliers are some of its functions. "I get in from another sector. We set up a restaurant to feed, but first we are a company, "he emphasizes. "It helps us to keep everyone focused on their own thing," says Fernández.

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. "Since I worked in France, it was clear to me that if I had my business, the staff would take two days in a row," emphasizes Sua. His two kitchen employees work consecutive shifts each in a time slot. "You no longer open a restaurant to have a star, but so that your workers have good conditions. We live more relaxed setting up a bistro than looking for the gastronomic prize. We want to enjoy the road," says Fernández. "We would love to contribute our grain of sand to the current sector where there are groups that are mamotretos very far from our model," adds Vallés.

Trèsde. Cava Alta, 17. Tel. 630 95 26 67.

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