Warm, hanging lights illuminate exposed brick walls at Casa Marius, a Madrid restaurant offering an upscale but cozy dining experience in Chueca. The Mediterranean-style food on the menu here seeks to highlight flavors that are out of the ordinary. Each dish is meticulously prepared and made with fresh ingredients to surprise and excite the senses, from the appetizers to the desserts.
Casa Marius offers a wide array of appetizers that range from traditional jamón croquetas to the more innovative bites. Both the foie with pumpkin marmalade (foie mi-cuit con mermelada de calabaza) and the fried eggplant with sugarcane honey (crujiente de berenjenas con miel de caña) combine savory ingredients with unexpectedly sweet complements. Also worth trying is the grilled provolone with tomato (provolone a la parrilla con tomate aromatizado) – all the flavors of a margherita pizza are scaled down onto a piece of bread, with the focus on the melty, crisp piece of provolone cheese.
One of the most unusual entrees on the menu is the plankton risotto (risotto de plancton). The vivid green rice has a bold, fresh-from-the-sea taste reminiscent of arroz negro (rice with squid ink). What really sets the dish apart is the aioli on top; the garlic in the sauce is strong enough to contrast with the plankton in the rice, so that each bite is full of flavor.
Another interesting seafood entree is the corvina with mango puree (corvina a la brasa con puré de mango y cristales de jamón ibérico). The different flavors in this dish hit you one by one. First, you taste the mild, tender flesh of the fish, which is followed by its crisp, salty skin. Finally, the tangy mango puree adds a bright punch. The dish is served with a side of grilled vegetables that includes peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes to complete a satisfying plate.
No matter how much food you’ve eaten, make sure to leave room for dessert. The chocolatísimo with vanilla ice cream is one of those deceptively simple desserts that wows with just a few ingredients. Essentially a molten lava cake, the fudgy, moist outside layer hides a hollow center filled with melted chocolate. The warm, creamy textures and rich chocolate flavor are indulgence in its purest form, coming together to create a dessert that you’ll be craving for weeks. You’ll have trouble finding a chocolate cake this good at any other Madrid restaurant.
Casa Marius also prides itself on its cocktails, offering classics like the Negroni alongside standards with a twist. One drink that stands out is the Tea Tonic with Rooibos, a reinvented gin and tonic featuring juniper berries, bergamot, and Rooibos tea. In turns sweet, spicy, and aromatic, the flavors create an enticing cocktail without masking the gin.
The inviting atmosphere at this Madrid restaurant is perfect for date night or a nice dinner with friends. With all of the interesting flavor combinations, there is plenty to taste and even more to talk about. Stop by Casa Marius and try a couple of dishes that you normally wouldn’t – and, of course, don’t forget dessert.
Address: Calle del Almte., 2, Madrid,
Telephone: +34 910 70 92 96