Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Café Varela: Galician-Style Cuisine in Madrid

Café Varela is one of the most famous and historic cafés in Madrid, dating back to 1884 when it was 'the place to be' during the golden age of literary cafés and literary salons, gathering great Spanish intellectuals and illustrious personalities from the Madrid social scene such as Miguel de Unamuno, Emilio Carrere, León Felipe, Rafael Alberti and the Machado brothers. These days, the refined and elegant restaurant owned by Melquiades Álvarez located in the Hotel Clarión Preciados, is celebrated for chef Ramón Castellano's Galician-style Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes such as sinfully delicious Seafood Croquettes, delicate Santoña Anchovies, iconic Jamón ibérico de Bellota, wonderfully tender Galician-style octopus, fabulous fresh grilled fish, a wide range of tempting pinchos and tapas plus an extensive selection of Spanish and international wines as well as wines by the glass. Arriving for a leisurely lunch on a rainy afternoon after exploring Antigua Casa Talavera, Madrid's oldest ceramics shop, we nestled into our lovely table overlooking Plaza Santo Domingo and enjoyed some lovely Galican-style appetizers with a glass or two of wine, waiting for the sun to peak out through the clouds.

The elegant interior of Café Varela which dates back to 1884

Monogrammed linen napkins offer an elegant touch to this landmark restaurant

Warm homemade bread

Glass of Spanish Albarino white wine

A Spanish Ribeiro

Croquetas de Marisco, delicious seafood croquettes with patatas bravas

Galician-Style Octopus

Grated Spanish cheese

Fettuccine Bolognese

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