For travel details, check my Foodie Route ‘The Ribera del Duero, a Delightful Route for Every Wine Lover’
Aranda del Duero – We had a wonderful lunch at El Lagar de Isilla, located on the main street. A traditional tavern/restaurant with a historic underground wine cellar. It is an authentic place where you will see tourists but also many locals. They serve tapas, chef’s specials, wild mushroom specialties, Castilian plates – being their specialty lechazo (roast baby lamb), which I will not be able to comment because I do not eat lamb. The choice of fish and meats is also not short.
I had wild boletes mushrooms as a starter, followed by grilled turbot with potatoes, absolutely light and delicious.
To round it up, one of my favorites: Alión 2011. No better way to start in the Ribera.
Also on the main road, we found this corner, named Almacén de Drogas which means ‘drugs storehouse’. We had to stop here. I have not been able to find the exact address, but if you walk the main road, you will not miss it. It is a delicatessen, carrying regional products like jamón ibérico (Iberico ham) and wine.
They also have a counter open to the street, where they sell bocadillos de jamón ibérico (Iberico ham sandwiches) to go. There was only one employee. He was really friendly; after giving us us some ham to try, he invited us to visit their underground cellar. This cellar is one of the 15th-century interconnected underground tunnels and caves in Aranda.
We arrived too late to try the restaurant, so we had some jamón ibérico and a Ribera Reserva 2010 in the room. Fantastic!
Peñafiel – After the wine tasting at Tinto Pesquera, we decided this time not to go for the traditional cuisine. I had Alabrasa on my notes, so we headed there. It is strangely located in a commercial complex, where you would not expect to find a restaurant. Don’t hesitate, go ahead.
It was the perfect place for our lunch. We were early so we got a nice table next to the window. The staff was welcoming.
We started with lentils, and they were delicious. Then, we ordered simple dishes, a hamburger and chicken wings, and you could tell that everything was really fresh and that the plates were prepared – I would say – with care, proving that simple food can be amazing.
- If you like sheep milk cheeses, visit Páramo de Guzmán, the cheesemaking facility on the same grounds of Hotel Raíz. They produce award-winning sheep cheeses. Their cheese inspired Michel Paterniti’s for his bestseller “The Telling Room”.