I had read about Flamenco in my Spanish culture classes in college, seen video clips on YouTube of the dancers performing and had heard about the history of the art form, but hadn’t seen a live performance until I found myself at Taberna Flamenca El Cortijo in the rough neighborhood of Vallecas in Madrid.
We started our evening at the bar connected to the establishment, with two rounds of beers and delicious tapas, before making our way down the stairs in the Taberna. The dining area around the stage was dim but inviting, and we were seated at a table near the stage to have a great view of the show.
The dinner menu had two options for each course. I opted for the cream of asparagus soup to start, and it was excellent. I could have been happy with bowl after bowl of it instead of a main dish, but sadly, it didn’t last forever. I have since been madly searching “creamy asparagus soup recipes” on my Pinterest, looking for one that I think will allow me to replicate it.
The second course was also extremely delicious, I opted for roast chicken with a boiled potato and carrot puree, while the other option was fish and rice, which also looked awesome. Wine was included and we finished off the meal with dessert, “brazo de gitano” or arm of the gypsy, which was a fluffy sponge cake and a tart, strawberry ice cream.
The show was absolutely incredible. I’ve been to many theatrical performances in my life and there was something about this form of dance that embodies a sentiment of passion that I’ve never seen expressed on a stage before. It was more than a work of art to be watched, it was something that I could feel. The combination of the music, the clicking and stamping of the dancer’s shoes on the stage, the music coming from the guitar, all came together in a beautiful synthesis that was breathtaking to observe.
I would highly recommend Taberna Flamenca El Cortijo to anyone seeking an authentic experience off the tourist track in Madrid. There is something special about not only seeing a performance, but feeling it on an entirely deeper level. The dancers are also the owners of the establishment, and the passion and joy one can observe in their faces while they perform is absolutely stunning. They are very down to earth and approachable, and lovely to talk to after the show. The entire crew was really amazing, the servers made sure we had everything we needed to enjoy the night and the cook was out of this world.
To get to Taberna Flamenca El Cortijo – Take line 1 on the metro to Portazgo. It is very close walking distance to metro.
TABERNA FLAMENCA EL CORTIJO
Mercado Numancia, local 9
C/ Josefa Diaz, 4. 28038 – Madrid