La Terraza del Casino restaurant - Madrid, Spain
Since 1836, generations of Madrid’s establishment and jeunesse dorée have been quietly inducted into the Casino de Madrid. Housed in a grand old pile in Calle Alcalá, the private members’ club has only ever allowed public access to its restaurants – the rooftop aerie of executive chef Paco Roncero being both the club’s crown jewel and a chance for nosy interlopers to peek into its grand interiors.
After 30 years of continuous service, the Terraza restaurant, a high-ceilinged space comprising a series of bright rooms linked by arched doorways, was overdue for a spruce-up.
The designer Jaime Hayon has intruded lightly on the historic space, though he manages to inject quiet moments of youthful levity and humour through his trademark love for geometric shapes. He sets the scene at the reception by hanging a chandelier of polished metal and bulbs that, on second glance, morphs into the shape of a smiling face. From there, the Spaniard riffs off harlequin themes with black and white chequered marble floors, coloured glass, and canary yellow seats in a sea of white drapery.
The result is a cheerful yet sophisticated room that allows Roncero’s conceptual menu – think chicken with molé and truffle, and hake kokotxas with spinach curry and pil-pil sauce – to shine without ever looking pretentious. Consider us duly impressed. §