MADRID, SPAIN. Cantina is the best of both worlds: a cool atmosphere coupled with fantastic food. The kitchen is run by the same people behind Olivia Te Cuida, and you can easily see the similarities between these two restaurants.
The place is very hip with modern, minimal design that gives the space an industrial, but comfortable feeling. You have to descend down theatre-like stairs to arrive at the loft-like space where rustic, communal tables are spread out in front of a huge boiler-like structure. A record player below the aesthetically beautiful boiler fills the room with music. There is also a private outdoor terrace for a nice day.
The food is healthy and natural, like that of its sister restaurant. My friends ordered an eggplant and pomegranate dish, which was the same exact dish that I received previously at Olivia Te Cuida. For 9,50 euros, you choose between either two vegetables plates and a protein plate, or three vegetable plates. The meal comes with tasty sourdough bread (but doesn’t include a drink or desert). This is about the same price as Olivia Te Cuida (7,50 euros for three small plates that don’t have protein, or 9,00 euros for two vegetable plates and a protein plate). The servings, however, were a little larger than Olivia Te Cuida.
I ordered a caprese salad, couscous with roasted vegetables, and chicken with humus. It was all fabulous and flavorful. Roasted tomatoes came on the vine alongside the chicken. The mozzarella was fresh and the portion was fair. There were lots of roasted vegetables in the couscous. I couldn’t have been happier at the end of my meal.
After lunch, go watch an art movie at Cineteca theater, which is right next door, or walk around El Matadero, a free arts center in the former site of a slaughterhouse. It is a great place to catch arts exhibitions, to rent bikes, or to interact with creative, young people. Plan your visit well because the restaurant can get very busy.
Paseo de la Chopera, 14
Tel. 625 908 188
Metro Stations: Legazpi
Hours: Mon to Fri 3:00 pm to 12:00 am
Sat to Sun 1:00 pm to 12:00 am