There are restaurants that need little marketing to shine. When simple is done right, there is a good chance that the business will work. This philosophy feeds Roostiq, a place in Chueca where the good product looks like in few places in the capital. You may have heard of their torreznos, to make them a monument, but they also take the outstanding grilled vegetables, their chop, their pizzas and their chicken, a real delicacy and one of the most demanded dishes.

"They are already calling us to know when we will have our tomatoes," explains Alberto Zoilo Álvarez, a businessman who five years ago opened the place where "I would go to eat. I offer only what I like. I'm not a cook, I'm a good eater." The Neapolitan wood-fired oven and the charcoal grill are the other two protagonists of the space, which keeps its most precious treasure just over an hour's drive from the capital.

A tomato from Roostiq, which will soon return to the menu.

Specifically, in Tiñosillos (800 inhabitants), a small town in Ávila, where they have their pantry. There we meet Zoilo, little given to photos and interviews, as he himself recognizes, who for the first time shows his orchard and his farm. We meet at the bar El Volante, where after 12.00 hours only a couple of locals drink coffee at the bar. On the outskirts of town, 15 minutes by car, in a green and leafy place next to a river is located the organic garden that provides the restaurant. Roostiqland, made with passion, reads a sign on one of the ships. And therein lies the key, in the passion they put into what they do.

The famous torreznos of Roostiq.

"We had a family garden with chickens, pigs... My father really liked to make meals there. Over time I became fond of cooking with fire...", recalls Zoilo, who reading and researching was refining the technique. "I will always thank my father for teaching me how to eat." In an after-dinner with family and friends, the question arose 'why don't we open something and serve what we have on the farm?'. In two years they opened the restaurant. "At first, I preferred the Salamanca neighborhood, but because of the type of cuisine and the style of the place they recommended Chueca." They were not wrong in the decision.

In the garden these days look lustrous chard -its flavor is impressive-, spinach, leeks -grilled embroidered-, carrots and kale -which they put in their salad Caesar-. "At 6.00 in the morning the chard is cut and leaves for Madrid," says Zoilo as he tours the greenhouses. "Now it's time for a lot of work around here. We do everything in organic, which forces us to rotate crops a lot, and with biodynamic agriculture." From the field to the table with all the guarantees. "Three or four times a week we send product to Madrid."

Roostiq chickens live in freedom and feed on pasture in the pasture.

Avila is not usual orchard territory, "the climate is very extreme", however, Zoilo realized that tomatoes "had a spectacular flavor". So much so, that now they take them out of his hands as he has them. "We had to put them up for sale on the web as well." When they are finished -with them they also elaborate the preserves for the pizzas-, they take them off the menu. "We do not buy them from anyone, we only work with ours", which in three weeks, by the way, are reincorporated into the menu.


Zoilo pursues excellence in everything he puts on the plate. "It's important to be honest with the people who come to your place. At Roostiq, artichokes are not ours; we bring them from a supplier in Tudela," he says on the way to the farm where the chickens, pigs and the kitchen where he and chef David Blanco taste and design each dish before incorporating it in Madrid and Marbella, where last summer they opened their second place that maintains, yes, the same proposal on the table. "What marks the quality of our chickens is that they are raised in freedom and feed on the pastures of the pasture. We'll have chickens soon," he says proudly.

Alberto Zoilo Álvarez, in one of the greenhouses. Ricardo Muñoz-Martín/ ICAL

The success in Madrid -and in Malaga-, with a concept that opens from 13.00 to 1.00 hours every day of the week, came soon. The first, with a capacity for 65 people per service, and the second, for 250, boast of filling daily. "There's a very regular business customer who ends up going with the family later."

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Torreznos, whose recipe only reveals that "they are made with white pigs that do not come from our farm and that have a smoky touch", and champagne, with more than 120 references, are the tandem of success of Roostiq. "In our recipes there are no sauces and we do not work fried," says Zoilo, "except for potatoes", which, by the way, have done a thousand and one tests. He often sits in the living room of his restaurants to see how things are done. "I'm demanding and when I see that you don't reach the level I want, I have a hard time." Tireless traveler to know trends, does not stop doing blind tastings of all kinds of products.

One of Roostiq's pizzas made in his wood-fired oven.E. M.

Pizzas have also earned a place on the list of essentials of this flirtatious and cozy space in the center of the capital. "When I was a kid, there were no pizzerias in Avila. I tried it for the first time on a trip to England." The quintessential Italian dish has since become an obsession for the entrepreneur. "I started making them at home; I even bought a wood-fired oven." He studied the masses conscientiously until he came up with his formula. "It was a hobby, but I didn't include them when we opened Roostiq."

It was on a trip to Los Angeles with the family that he saw that the Torreznos-Pizza couple didn't marry so badly. "There were menus where vegetables, meats, fish and pizzas coexisted without any complex," he recalls while preparing in the kitchen of the farm one of the pizzas that will soon be incorporated into the menu. "It has comté cheese, parmesan, fior di latte, pepper of the highest quality and mushrooms," adds the chef, who is responsible for explaining in the kitchens of the restaurants each of the recipes they prepare.

The room of Roostiq Madrid.

Part of the success of this classic lies in its Neapolitan wood-fired oven. "They are made for us by Italian artisans," he says as he introduces the pizza. "Food comes out without losing its natural hydration." The dough, which has a cold fermentation for 72 hours, is a real wonder. A couple of suggestions to try: the guanciale -homemade bacon- and spring onion and the house, with acorn-fed ham from their own pigs fed acorn, fresh burrata and summer truffle.

The cuisine of the Ávila estate has been visited by some of the best chefs in our country. "On Mondays, when many of them rest, you find them in Roostiq," says Zoilo, who has taken care of the liquid part of the party as much or more than the solid one. They have more than 120 references of champagne and about 500 of wines. "There's no greater luxury than having a good margarita pizza and a glass of Krug champagne."

A corner of the farm's kitchen full of vegetables from its garden. Ricardo Muñoz-Martín/ ICAL

When they opened five years ago, Zoilo thought they were going to fail. "A friend told me that the slump reached six months." They opened on May 28 and in November things were still working better than well. "When you stop being full, you've lost contact with the customer."

Roostiq Madrid. Augusto Figueroa 47. Tel. 91 853 24 34. Average price: 40-50 euros.

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