Lucio, as he is usually known to friends and guests, is one of those people who is not easily forgotten. His charisma, joy, cheerfulness and great public relations skills make for a very attractive personality. Thanks to its excellent management, this traditional restaurant or “eating house” as he likes to call his business has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers of fine, traditional Spanish cuisine. The star dish is a simple meal inspired by a recipe from his grandmother: eggs with potatoes, a true delight prepared by breaking the eggs over the potatoes with the help of two forks— with great care not to break the potatoes that have been cooking over low fire—so the yolk will cover them and the white will extend perfectly around the plate.
From this description, it may appear to be an easy dish to prepare, but words can be deceiving. At Casa Lucio, eggs are fried with very little hot oil, first on one side, and then turned to the other side until the whites are done and the yolks remain soft. “It is simplicity brought to perfection,” said the famous British architect Norman Foster talking about these simple but tasty fried eggs.
Lucio is a man of boundless energy and a source of many anecdotes. He has been working over 60 years and every day he walks tirelessly through the tables talking with his guests and taking pictures with them. He has managed to win the admiration, respect, and affection of those who come to his restaurant, who always end up returning, because as he says: “many friends come here.”
Personalities such as King Juan Carlos, Bill Clinton, the Bush family, Kofi Annan, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Jacqueline Bisset, Pierce Brosnan and Tommy Lee Jones, among others have tasted Lucio’s delicious cuisine, including his emblematic eggs. He jokes with them and makes them laugh, and everyone always leaves with the promise that they will return to the restaurant on their next visit to Madrid.
“I am sure Barack Obama will come, we are waiting for him,” says Lucio with a smile. The restaurateur is so convincing no one doubts that when the President of the United States visits the Spanish capital, he will come to Casa Lucio to taste the legendary fried eggs.
If you have the opportunity to dine in Casa Lucio, you cannot leave without trying the excellent homemade croquettes, the beans with pheasant, the cocido, Madrid´s most characteristic stew with chickpeas as the main ingredient, the baked sea bass, the Asturian bean stew, the tender meats, the garlic prawns or the delicious oxtail, a recipe that was born in Córdoba with the traditional fighting bulls.
The extensive wine list features the main wines produced in Spain. Lucio is the ideal guide to recommend the best wine to accompany the dishes he knows so well.
Lucio Blázquez is one of the greatest ambassadors of traditional Spanish cuisine. Perhaps his eatery— decorated as a typical 19th century tavern—is not the most luxurious and glamorous restaurant in the world, but trust me when I say that there is hardly another place where you will find a better service, a nicer environment and the feeling of being at home as you will in Casa Lucio. ■