The lone stateside outpost for a Madrid-based restaurant group is, name notwithstanding, no humble taberna. Sumptuously decorated in high European style—ruby-red walls, white linens, chandeliers, oil paintings—La Taberna del Alabardero has been preparing edible works of art to match the atmosphere for 27 years and counting; in an era of rampant informality, the old-school show is a rare pleasure. That’s not to say the experience is entirely traditional: on the contrary, from prawn hamburgers on squid ink-tinted buns to suckling pig in peach gravy and desserts involving dry ice or chocolate sculpture, it has a distinct edge. But the kind of textbook feast that starts with an order of exquisite jamón iberico de bellota and patatas bravas, followed by the paella Valenciana with rabbit, chicken and seafood and, finally, crema catalana—all paired with fine Spanish wine, of course—is one on which the most romantic year-in-year-out rituals are founded.
La Taberna del Alabardero
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