When trying to find that perfect dining experience abroad, it is often never easy. For myself and many other travelers out there, you never want to waste a meal given the finite amount of dining experiences you have throughout your excursions. With that in mind, I am always searching for the perfect location whether it be for a cup of coffee or the last dinner of a trip. The best option is always to ask a local you trust and if not you can typically resort to travel resources such as Lonely Plant or Trip Advisor; however there are times both these options are not available or exhausted and you are then scrambling two hours before chow time trying to find that flawless local option.
|The sunset at the Plaza di Cibeles where we had dinner. |
This was the the exact situation my family found itself in on our last night in Madrid. It was two hours before dinner and we were scrambling in our apartment (ipso-facto no concierge to ask) to find the location of our last dinner in Spain. A few friends had given us recommendations of where to dine yet given it was a Saturday night, no spot had a reservation (Note to every traveler out there - if you want to hit a hot spot, make a reservation a few months in advance). That was until, one of my sisters reccos from a friend came through with a reservation at Palacio de Cibeles. I was a bit skeptical given it seemed a bit fancy and our reservation was on the early side but with the seconds ticking away till dinner time, it was our only option.
|My mom and Sisters at dinner. |
The restaurant was located in Madrid's city hall over looking the Plaza Di Cibeles. This was the biggest draw of all as we knew the views overlooking Madrid would be spectacular. They of course had outdoor seating but given we made a last minute reservation (again, make reservations ahead of time), we were stuck in the windowless interior (it still had a good ambience but was nothing compared to the outdoor views). Luckily my mother began talking to the wait staff who brought us to the upper terrace so we could take a few iPhone clicks of the awe inspiring views of the Spanish Capital.
|My family on the terrace.|
|Taylor and Shane on the terrace. |
Our good luck continued following our photo shoot as we then met the director of the restaurant (benefits of being the first patrons in the place) who just so happened to be the son of the head chef, the well known Adolfo Munoz. Next thing you know, we were being escorted from our cave to a table on the terrace just as the sun was setting over La Calle de Alcala. We couldn't have asked for a better setting as this was exactly what we were looking for on our last night in Madrid.
|Our new table outside. |
The menu inspired native cuisine which made for a tasty end to our week full of Spanish deliciousness. It was of course accompanied by Spanish reds just as we had been on all those afternoons poolside at our villa. While the food and vino were just right, it was really the service we were given and the setting that made this dinner one to remember. I am sure there are tastier meals to be had in Madrid however the combination of it all, made it the quintessential last meal of a fabulous trip.
|My meal, a combination of duck and rice. |
So, as you embark on your next journey, try to plan ahead if you are looking for a special meal or even any meal at all. Lonely planet can offer great suggestions on the go but the last place you want to find yourself is in a foreign country, hangry, stressed and no clue where to cure your rumbling stomach. Yet, it does not hurt to go with the flow, ask a few questions and then sit back and relax - remember you are on vacation.
|The sunset after dinner. |
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