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Casa Lucio, Madrid

35 Cava Baja
La Latina
Tel: 34 91 365 8217's insider take:

When you want to eat nothing that's been deconstructed or otherwise engineered, when you yearn for honest Castilian food in a simple setting, there's nowhere better than Lucio Blásquez's restaurant near Plaza Mayor. On two floors, with jamones dangling from beams, brick and white walls, and terra-cotta tiles, Casa Lucio has a homey goodness that routinely attracts the famous—actors, writers, Laura Bush—as well as regulars and tourists. Here's where to try the Madrid special, el cocido (various components—chickpea, cabbage, chorizo, black pudding, maybe chicken or beef—in a broth), or any number of traditional dishes: suckling pig, hake in green sauce, judías con perdiz (green beans with partridge), oxtail, tripe, all fresh from the kitchen's coal ovens. It's very satisfying and not very pricey.

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