In 1966 within the reputable residence of the Salamanca district in Madrid, Restaurante La Trainera was born. For over fifty years La Trainera has been one the city’s top restaurants for seafood. When I travel, I try to seek out seafood restaurants with a history of serving fresh fish and shellfish. Since Madrid is a landlocked city, finding a high quality seafood restaurant was muy importante for me. I did not have to research far because this restaurant was noted in my travel bible ‘1,000 Places To See Before You Die’. That book has never lead me astray.
I was traveling by myself, which has never inhibited me from relishing in a well laid out meal. There were other solo diners who were enjoying their delicious meals too. It was nice to know that it was just not me who did not want to wait for someone to join them at La Trainera.
Lunch at this legendary seafood restaurante was an exceptional experience. There were many dishes that I wanted to try, so I chose several small dishes. It gave me a chance to just taste La Trainera on my first visit to Madrid. I already knew that I wanted to return to this majestic city, and this well loved restaurant.
—— On the Table ——
Torres Viña Sol
Since I knew that I would be lunching on fresh Spanish seafood, I decided on a local white wine from Catalonia. This blended white wine was refreshing, and chilled perfectly. The light fruitiness paired well with all of my savory dishes, even down to the sweetness of my Santiago cake.
Pan and Spanish Olives
I typically do not eat from the bread basket that is put down at a European restaurant’s dining table. The majority of the restaurants you will have to pay for your basket of bread. On this occasion I did eat from the bread basket because the assortment of pan went well with the dishes I ordered.
As for the green Spanish Olives, I ate those immediately. As I do love olives from any country.
Esparragos Blancos de “Navarra”
One of my favorite vegetables is asparagus, especially when it is in season. While in Europe, I had my share of white asparagus starting off in Antwerp, Belgium. This time around, I had my last share of white Asparagus at La Trainera. What made these asparagus special are, they hailed from my name sake region of Navarre.
Sopa de Productos Del Mar
This flavorful cup of soup was one of the reasons that I ate from the bread basket. I added the package of oval crackers into this tasty soup to give it a nice texture. La Trainera’s specialty seafood soup was very fresh and flavorsome. It was not overtly fishy in flavor, but it was the perfect blend of seafood and seasoning- delicious!
Mejillones Gallegos a La Trainera
I love mussels, especially when they have an added savory sauce or seasoning to them. The mussels on their own were fresh and tender. Then the added La Trainera style, with a richly flavored tomato style broth was divine. One of my favorites that I would love to order again.
Tarta de Santiago
Also known as the “Cake of St. James”, this is a traditional almond cake that dates back to the Middle Ages. It reminded me of the Persat Cake, which is a similar almond cake from the village of Persat in Kotor Bay of Montenegro. I enjoyed this cake because I favor any sweets that are made from almond flour. I loved the slight chewiness of the cake and almond flavor- Muy Bueno!
Espresso and Spanish Cookies
As with many of my dining experiences both in the United States and abroad, I love a piping hot shot of espresso at the end. Especially when I am surprised with a plate of sweet cookies, such as these sugary Spanish treats. I had never tried these before but they were quite lite and sticky. Nice and perfect with the bold bitter bite of my black espresso, it was the perfect ending.
Considering Madrid is landlocked and the freshest seafood would primarily be found along the coastlines of Spain, La Trainera did very well. Although I had a small sampling with the mussels and the specialty soup, I could still sense the quality and attention to detail with all of their dishes. It made me excited with the thought of coming back to try out their classic seafood dishes. I will just make sure that La Trainera will be my only meal for the day!
For restaurant information and reservations: Restaurante La Trainera
Food is our common ground, a universal experience…– James Beard
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