Casa Federica is one of those places that very few people know about, one of those Madrid treasures worth discovering. I actually had a hard time writing about this restaurant, because I wanted it to remain a unique and special place, which only a few had access to. Though I’ve decided it’s time I spread the word.
Last Saturday, I was getting ready to spend the night in the company of good friends and wanted to take them here. We called to reserve a table, and were kindly informed that there were no free tables until 11pm. My first tip: go very early to grab a table (the restaurant opens at 8pm).
When you arrive, you realize how special and original this restaurant is. The exterior decoration itself is unique–the menu is placed on a stand with funny flippers on top. Then there’s a rather oddly-placed sculpture a few inches away, not to mention the bird cages. These details make this place one-of-a-kind.
Upon entering you figure out why it’s so difficult to get a table; the restaurant is very small and cozy. You can count the tables with the fingers of your hands. The atmosphere is friendly and lively. You see people enjoying themselves, and hear them laughing. Plus the food looks great.
When we sat down, the waiter brought us the menu featuring home cooked Argentine dishes, from empanadas to pizzas, and my favorite, the desserts.
We opted to order several things to share. First, an assortment of empanadas–cheese, calabaza (squash) and meat. They are all so good, but wow, the empanada de calabaza was truly a winner–who would have known that a squash empanada could be so incredible?
We also ordered pollo a la milanesa (breaded and covered in melted cheese and tomato sauce), understandably one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Although the chicken was recommended by the waiter, the next time I went we ordered the ternera a la milanesa (bread veal instead of chicken), and I simply love them both. For its generous portion and simple presentation, this dish really makes you feel like you’re eating at your own home.
Then the waitress kindly suggested we go for a riskier dish, which apparently is another star house dish–buñuelos de espinaca (the spinach fritters). Well, there are no words!!! Unbelievable!
For dessert we decided on a brownie that absolutely hit the spot.
Casa Federica‘s prices are very reasonable. We ended up paying less than 12 euros per person.
All in all, it was a great night. If you like good food, special places, and good prices, this is definitely your place.
Address: c/ Manzana 19
Telephone: 915 42 96 75
For other homey and family-style restaurants, check out:
Lambuzo, a family-run restaurant in the heart of Madrid, offering a taste of the South with a mix of fun activities in their wine cellar–wine tastings, olive oil tastings, micro theatre and more!
Taberna Bulgara, an off-the-beaten path restaurant that takes you right to Bulgaria
Aió, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Malasaña serving home cooked Sardinian food and providing a haven for Madrid’s bikers!