MADRID, SPAIN. Chances are, you have passed by the Cibeles fountain. For many years, the ostentatious, elegant white palace that used to serve as Madrid’s Correos (Post Office) was covered in scaffolding. Now, it has been revived as the Town Hall with a new look, including an exhibition space on the lower floors, a café (called Colección Cibeles) on the ground floor, and most recently, the Palacio de Cibeles restaurant.
Located on the sixth floor, the rooftop restaurant offers a stunning view of the Cibeles fountain, the Metropolis building, the Gran Vía and the Paseo de la Castellana.
Without at doubt, the view is spectacular. However, the rest of the dining experience leaves room for significant improvement. Run by the Grupo Adolfo, one of the main gastronomic chains here in Spain, the Palacio de Cibeles restaurant serves Spanish dishes. You’ll get to choose from a variety of breads (unfortunately not served warm), and get appetizers, such as anchovies served with guacamole on a spoon, on the house. Further plates include a tasty shrimp carpaccio embellished with pomegranate seeds; 21.00 Euros. It’s as thin as it can get, and main dishes, such as the ventresca de dorada con tomate asado (gilthead fish garnished with grilled tomato; 28.00 Euros) are kept small, too.
Prices seem as high as the building, especially considering that the plates are kept small. The waiter’s attention is difficult to get, and you might find yourself waiting quite a while before the next dish arrives. Moreover, protection from the wind should be improved; wine glasses tipping and flying napkins were a regular occurrence and need not be.
All in all, if you want the view but not the rest, consider getting a free ticket to the top of the Town Hall tower, which operates during normal business hours. You won’t be able to see the sunset, but you can save on spilt wine and overpriced service.
PALACIO DE CIBELES RESTAURANT
Town Hall Building
Plaza de Cibeles 1
Tel. +34 915 231 454
Metro: Banco de España
Note: the Palacio de Cibeles restaurant is not to be mistaken with the Colección Cibeles, the ground-floor tapas bar. For reservations at Colección Cibeles, also run by the Grupo Adolfo, call +34 915 231 570.