/ The Madrid Guide
Madrid — By Nellie Huang on April 24, 2010 at 4:33 am
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Authentic Iberian Flavors at Taberna Real

Taberna Real

Many say that the way to understand a country is through its food. Let’s not forget to mention that Spain in particular, is a gastronomic paradise. You can’t come to Spain without sampling its signature dishes and world-known tapas – and they’re everywhere, you don’t have to seek high and low to find a good dish of paella and calamari. In Madrid, you can take your pick from a phalanx of bars and restaurants: from high-end modern cuisine to classic vintage 1950s tavern-style tapas.

For the creme de la creme of traditional Spanish cuisine – be it Iberian foods or seafood staples – the Taberna Real is Madrid’s answer to culinary bliss. Furnished in the classic Spanish interior, the tavern/restaurant is decked out in plush wooden furniture, chandelier and antiquities. Its walls adorn typical mosaic tiles, commonly found in traditional Andalusian taverns. A giant antique saxophone hang as a stairway centerpiece leading up to the second level. With the quintessential Spanish jamon (cured ham) leg hanging from its tavern ceiling, the bustling bar comes alive.

Let’s start from the all-rounded menu that will sure to get your taste buds tickled: to start off, I would recommend a small tapa of jamon iberico and salchichon iberico de bellota (only the best quality) and then proceed on to a racion of gambas a la huelva (fresh fat prawns) and navajas a la plancha (pan-fried razor clams – you can find some of the best in Spain). For the main dish, you can’t miss out on the in-house specialty – robo de toro estofado (stew oxtail) and arroz con rape, langostinos y almejas (an original version of rice with fish, shrimps and clams – unlike paella, this is the real deal.)

As with other restaurants in Spain, Taberna Real also offers a standard three-course lunch menu, where you can choose from croquettes or asparagus for the appetizer, and merluza fish or sirloin steak for the main and flan or arroz con leche (rice pudding) for the dessert.

Prices here are slightly higher than other restaurants in town, but if you are looking for only the best, then this is the place that wouldn’t disappoint you. Prices for a tapa start from 4euros, while a main dishes costs around 15euros.

The restaurant is also located centrally at Plaza Isabelle II, right in the palpitating heart of the city. It is just within minutes from the city’s landmarks – Puerta del Sol, Gran Via and Plaza Mayor.

Details of Taberna Real:

Address: Plaza Isabelle II 8, Madrid 28013

Tel: +34 915 596 922

Email: restaurante@tabernareal.com

Opening hours: Sundays to Thursdays 11.15am – 12am; Fridays and Saturdays 11.15am – 1am.

Website: http://www.tabernareal.com/

Photo used with permission from marcp_dmoz via flickr.

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