Suppertime comes late in Spain. In places that do not totally cater to tourists, it is tough to find a restaurant open before 9pm. At that hour, only the tourists are eating. If you want to eat with the Spanish, it is best to delay your dinner reservation until at least 10pm. It is my worst nightmare. I hate eating that late. Lets face it, I am usually in bed by that time.
Nonetheless, I accommodated. The late suppertimes were well worth it when the food was worth waiting for. One such night that was worth the wait was the night we at at La Barraca in Madrid. Reservation time: 10:15 pm.
We were told by our friends Matt and Erin who had recently travelled to Madrid and stayed at the Westin Palace that the asked for the name of the best paella place in Madrid from the concierge at the hotel and were referred an amazing place that they couldn’t recall the name. We did the exact same thing. The concierge smiled, because he knew exactly the place to which we were referring. He made us a reservation. The earliest time available: 10:15 pm.
The restaurant in the heart of Bourbon Madrid was decorated in the provincial Spanish style – hand painted tile and tableware.
We sat in eager anticipation of our meal. When you put off eating for that long, any food is eagerly anticipated.
For our first course we ordered the gazpacho. No one told us to have the gazpacho or recommended it as a particularly favorite dish. Oh my goodness, it was the best gazpacho of my entire life, and I have maintained a past obsession with gazpacho. The server actually assembled the dish in front of us. The delicious chilled tomato soup base was ladled into our bowls, and then freshly diced onion, cucumber, more tomato, green pepper, and a few croutons were added in. It gave me an idea for a gazpacho buffet which I will be hosting at some point in the future (open house when we move to North Carolina, perhaps?).
But then it was on to the main event, what made this particular restaurant famous: