Madrid -Asturian food in Barrio Ibiza

One of my favourites…

Casa Portal Sideria-Restaurante (Advanced, A) 26 Dr. Castello, Tel 91 574 2026 or 91 409 1553 GEM ALERT!

This trad spot (specialising in Cocido Asturiana since 1939) is my favourite restaurant in Salamanca and a good place to go on a chilly evening when your cockles need warming.

It’s located in Ibiza (the neighbourhood to the east of El Retiro, south of Calle Alcala) which is a bit of a walk (20 mins for the hotel) but only three streets if you map it right. Or you could take the tube to Metro Ibiza.

There is a tapas bar with lots of smelly, cheesy delicacies under glass at the front, and a posher restaurant at the back which is usually empty around the time I go (just after 8pm) so no reservations required.

The specialities are various kinds of fabada (butter bean stew), seafood and Asturian cider which should be poured from a great height in order to aerate it.
The service is formal but friendly and has always been good, especially the nice older chap who seems to be a permanent fixture. The atmosphere is quite sedate with paintings of Asturian valleys and erm… an oil refinery on the walls. 

A great starter is Esparragos Trigueros Salteados (A+), wild asparagus (in season May/June) dressed in a wonderful reduction of wine and oil. The Foie-gras de Pato with a balsamic reduction is excellent (A) too.

It’s best if you go with a companion as the classic (A+) Fabada Asturiana (with ham hock, chorizo and morcilla and butter beans in a thick rich sauce) is big enough for two, although I have been known to manage it by myself. They’ve been making it for decades and it’s the best one I’ve ever had.

The Leche Frita ‘fried milk’ (kind of like bread and butter pudding) and Tarta de Queso (‘cheesecake’ but not as we know it) are ok but straight out of the fridge (C+) but the icecreams are sublime (A)  so just get one of those.

Be careful of the price if you go for one of their classic brandies (perhaps a Larios 1866 or a Cardinal Mendoza) at the end though, or at least ask how much it is first! This is a place I always return to.

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