Restaurante Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world
Know Restaurante Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world, a place where history and gastronomy go together. Don’t miss it!
About Restaurante Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world
Knowing the history of Restaurante Botín is knowing part of the history of Madrid. All started in 1620 when Plaza Mayor was remodeled, and the zone became one of the principal commercial areas of the city. From that moment on, the street where the restaurant is located began to gain popularity. Keeping in mind that it was a passing area for the people who arrived in the city, it’s not surprising that lots of inns appeared to take care of travelers.
Although there is evidence of the existence of the building where the restaurant is placed since 1590, it’s not until 1725 when it opened its doors founded by a french cook called Jean Botín. At first, the restaurant only took up the first floor, and the rest stories were used as a lodge.
After the death of Jean Botín, one of his nephews, Candido Remís, took over the restaurant. This fact favored the change of its name, starting to be known as “Sobrino de Botín.” Curiously, it is the same name as it is known nowadays.
As time went on, Restaurant Botín has been enlarging with the disappearance of the accommodations placed on the top floors. In this way, it became the current restaurant with four stories that it’s possible to visit today.
Once in the 20th century, González family, the current owners, took over the restaurant. At that moment, Botín was a family business with seven employees only. Although it was prosperous, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war forced it to suffer the first shutting down of its history.
When the war was over, the sons of the owner took over the business, and, little by little, they transform Restaurante Botín into what it currently is. Nowadays, the establishment is run by the third generation of the family.
Restaurante Botín in the present
After almost three centuries of existence, the history of Botín and Madrid are intertwined. Actually, that’s reflected in several literary works such as “Fortunata y Jacinta” by Benito Pérez Galdós o “The sun also rises” by Ernest Hemingway.
Nowadays, one of its biggest curiosities can be found in its windows. I’m talking about the certificate given by Guinness Records Book that states that the Restaurante Botín is the oldest restaurant in the world.
If you don’t know where it is located yet, this map will help you.
Although they had some attractive starters on their menu, we are never able to refuse ham croquettes. We love them so much that everywhere we go, we order them. In this case, these croquettes had a similar value to the ones we found at Casa Carmela in Valencia. That was the reason we decided to try them.
At first, their size surprised us a lot. As you can see in the picture, they were huge. Although they weren’t burning, these croquettes had the perfect temperature to enjoy them without having to wait until they cool. While externally, they were notably crunchy, internally, they were quite creamy. In comparison with croquettes of other restaurants, the ones you can try in Restaurante Botín are dense and slightly spicy.
In a nutshell, we liked them, but we’ve tried much better ones at more affordable prices.
Roasted lamb of Restaurante Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world
To be honest, we didn’t have any hesitation in the moment of order it since it’s one of their star dishes. The promptness with which they served it surprised us very much. When you go to similar restaurants, it’s quite normal having to wait for a little between courses. But, in this case, they served it almost instantly.
Sincerely, the roasted lamb was delicious. The meat was so tender and juicy that we almost didn’t need the knife to cut it. Besides, the portion was quite large. In the pic, you can see a half since the waiter kindly cut it and share it out because we were thinking about sharing it.
Suckling piglet of Restaurante Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world
At this point, we are going to talk about the specialty of the house, the sucking piglet. If you look for reviews and opinions, undoubtedly, all of them will touch upon this dish. Although, in my opinion, people tend to overvalue it.
Just like the roasted lamb, the promptness with which they served it, it surprised us a lot. But, unlike the previous dish, this one was pretty meager. Fortunately, the waiter offered himself to cut it because we wanted to share it, so what you can see in the picture is half of a portion.
Although the suckling piglet of Restaurante Botín was good, it wasn’t good enough as the ones you can find in Segovia. In my opinion, it had one of the worst value for money I’ve ever seen.
Initially, we were thinking about ordering the cheesecake. Since we had seen some bad reviews about it, we decided to choose something different. Taking a look at their menu, we discovered Botín cake. Its name incited us to order it from the very first moment… what a great idea!
This cake consists of a three-layer sponge cake soaked in syrup filled with custard and totally covered with meringue. On the one hand, the interior of the cake was very juicy and flavorful. On the other hand, its cover was sweet but not enough to tire you out. Altogether, as you can imagine, it was exquisite.
I totally recommend it!
Eating in Restaurante Botín is much more than having a meal. Although the prices are high, indeed abusive, and the food is not the best one you can find still, it worths giving it a chance. Eating in the oldest restaurant is an experience that only a few can reach. Despite that we don’t think to come back, we had a good time there.
Are you looking for restaurants in Madrid? Don’t miss this list!
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