Flamenco dancer Vanesa Coloma performs at the Corral de la Moreria flamenco show restaurant during celebrations for being awarded a Michelin star, marking a first of its kind, in Madrid, Spain, on November 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
Fine dining just steps away from a stage where flamenco dancers pound the boards and musicians play box-shaped drums and classical guitars became the first such venue to be awarded a coveted Michelin star on Thursday.
Owner Juan Manuel del Rey said the Corral de la Moreria flamenco venue in central Madrid, which his father opened in 1956, was still breaking new ground more than six decades later.
“Bringing together haute cuisine with flamenco at the highest level is innovation,” del Rey said. “There’s nothing else in the world like this and that’s what gives us motivation, to make different and special things, things that didn’t exist.”
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Just four tables furnish the restaurant, which adjoins the “tablao” - a Spanish word meaning “floorboard” used to describe cabaret-style cafes in the 1960s - inside a 19th century building near Spain’s royal palace.
It was one of 25 venues in Spain and Portugal to which Michelin awarded one star, using its system of anonymous reviewers. Eleven of the roughly 100 restaurants with the guide’s top three-star rating are on the Iberian peninsula.