traditional Restaurant

Casa Lucio Restaurant: A Madrid Legend

J.M. Towers

One of the most famous restaurants in Madrid, Casa Lucio has hosted international personalities such as Bill Clinton, the Bush family, Madonna or Tom Cruise. It may not be the most luxurious, but it is recognized for its family atmosphere and traditional cuisine, particularly its eggs and potatoes.

Lucio Blázquez arrived in Madrid at the age of 12 from Serranillos, his hometown in Segovia, and immediately began working as a bellhop in a hotel. Over the years and with much effort, he became the owner of the restaurant he currently runs with his family: Casa Lucio, located at number 35 Calle Cava Baja, in Madrid. The famous restaurant occupies a privileged spot in Madrid de Los Austrias, an enclave dating from the 16th and 17th centuries when the Austrian Habsburg dynasty reigned over Spain. It is also very close to Casa Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant.

Casa Lucio, Madrid restaurants, eggs and potatoes recipe, Lucio Blazquez

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 his grandmother’s recipe: eggs with potatoes, a true delight prepared by flipping the eggs over the potatoes with great care not to break the potatoes that have been cooking over a low fire. The yolk covers them and the white flows 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 the best olive 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.

Casa Lucio, Madrid restaurants, eggs and potatoes recipe, Lucio Blazquez
Lucio Blázquez.

Lucio is a man of boundless energy and a source of many anecdotes. He works 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, Jane Fonda, 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.

Casa Lucio, Madrid restaurants, eggs and potatoes recipe, Lucio Blazquez

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.  ■

© | 2019