There’s something thrilling about discovering food from a new region. Here in Spain, the country’s diverse culinary landscape means that it always has something new to offer. Madrid may be Spain’s smallest autonomous community, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in variety. There is a Madrid restaurant for every style of Spanish cuisine, so you can explore the country without having to travel. Recently, we tried Casa de Aragón, which specializes in typical Aragonese fare.
The region of Aragón has a long, tumultuous history. The Romans, Moors, and Christians all left their marks in the region, and these influences are reflected in the region’s cuisine. The dishes that have remained over the years are the ones that you can easily imagine withstanding periods of transition and strife. Here, the main offering is hearty food that combines powerful flavors and simple presentation.
Casa de Aragón is one Madrid restaurant that loves to surprise its guests with flavor. The patatas bravas are the perfect example of this. Don’t skip over them on the menu, expecting more of the same. While the dish is composed of fried potatoes and red sauce, the flavors are entirely different from the patatas bravas you’ll find at a standard tapas bar. The sauce is creamy and full of spices that lend it an almost South Asian flavor. The heat from the chillis lingers long after you finish each rich, warm bite.
Another definite crowd-pleaser is the longaniza de Graus con hummus de alubias. This traditional Aragonese sausage looks ordinary, but it contains a unique and tantalizing blend of spices. The crisp, juicy pieces of meat are almost addictive. Still, the most unexpected part of this dish is the smooth bean hummus. As its subtle flavors mingle with the juice from the sausage, what should be a simple complement turns into something just as memorable as the main attraction.
The “La Aragonesa” hamburguesa de ternasco is as enormous as it is delicious, which makes it great for sharing. This burger is made juicy and crumbly by the ternasco, or young Aragonese lamb, that it contains. Atop the meat are caramelized onions and a full round of goat cheese. All of these elements are contained between a thin, firm bun that completes a truly decadent burger.
Going back to basics, you’ll find the pollo al chilindrón, one of the most traditional dishes on the menu. It’s a chicken stew that features a sauce with pureed red peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and some mild spices. The no-frills presentation and strong, distinct flavors make this the type of staple recipe that you can imagine being handed down over the years.
If you’re looking for a vegetable to round out this meat-heavy meal, try cardo a la aragonesa. This unique dish is typically served in Aragón on Christmas Eve. The vegetable is light and tender, with a texture similar to celery, and is gently seasoned with garlic, almonds, and chives.
No matter how full you might be after the main course, there’s no excuse to skip dessert. Save some space for the tarta de queso (cheesecake) with raspberry sauce on top and creamy raspberry ice cream on the side. It’s a dense, rich slice – you can feel the resistance as you cut it with your fork.
All of these dishes are best enjoyed on Casa de Aragon’s beautiful terrace. Its abundant greenery and fresh air add something special to this Madrid restaurant. Best of all, the terrace overlooks Plaza de la República de Argentina and its large fountain, which is dazzling at night.
Casa de Aragón is the perfect gateway to explore a new region of Spain. The traditional Aragonese dishes served are proof that impressive food doesn’t need to be elaborate. Here, the dishes shine because of their simplicity – including exactly what is necessary and nothing more. At this Madrid restaurant, it’s more than enough.
Address: Plaza de la República Argentina, 6
Metro: Nuevos Ministerios/Republica Argentina
Reservations: 914 112 518