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“A night to remember.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Atrio

Atrio
Ranked #1 of 252 Restaurants in Caceres
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $123 - $216
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Saint Julian's, Malta
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A night to remember.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

Everything from start to finish was perfect. A truly romantic and perfect evening with the best kind of service, the right setting and the most exquisite and delicious food that you'd expect from a two-star Michelin restaurant. And their wine cellar! An experience on its own! This restaurant is set for the ultimate 3-star Michelin rating, believe me.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank SalvinoMalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose p, Propietario at Atrio, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Thank you for your kind words. We´re happy to fell you a romantic dinner and lovely time with us.

Thanks. Best wishes !!

Jose Polo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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870 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
322 reviews
191 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“What a Stunning Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012

I had the pleasure of sampling the tasting menu at Atrio in June. I stopped by the restaurant mid-day to change the time of my reservation, and was invited in to tour the restaurant and kitchens. Changing the time was no issue, and the staff was eager to ensure that I was pleased. Once arriving for the dinner, we were given a tour of the massive wine cellar by the Sommelier who spoke excellent English. We selected the tasting menu, and were not disappointed by any of the dishes. When I complemented the Chef on a particular dish that included a chip made from a pig's cheek, he sent out an extra plate of them for me to enjoy. The staff were extremely attentive, but not stuffy. Everyone had big smiles, and took the time to answer my many questions about the food and the way it was prepared. Upon leaving, I was presented with a gift box of home made sweets for me to enjoy later. This was one of the finest meals that I have had, in a beautiful restaurant with a most excellent staff. A meal to remember.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Ono O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose p, Propietario at Atrio, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
We´re so happy listening your kind word. Thank you very much. We work every day to bring you the best feeling and to spend a lovely time.

Thank you. Best Wishes.

Jose Polo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marvao, Portugal
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Enchanting food: Extremaduran voodoo-for-the-tastebuds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012

Housed in a minimalist modern palace in the heart of Cáceres's UNESCO-protected walled centre, Atrio is building a reputation as a mecca for Spain-lovers visiting Extremadura. I booked for my birthday based on excited reports from a Madrileño friend, together with repeated mentions by The Guardian's resident Extremadura-champion, Jose Pizarro.

This report is similarly glowing, simply because this was - hands down - the best meal of my life.
We stayed overnight, but what we really came for was the food. Skip the next three paragraphs (about the hotel) to read my notes from the meal.

The hotel itself - next to the more traditional Parador - is a minimalist's dream of clean lines and two-tone decor, and features the modernist-architect's palette of horizontals, verticals, blocks and voids, together with a predominance of gleaming white walls and black floors. Contrasting heavily with the Gothic and Renaissance palaces that surround it, this might have been a disaster. Cáceres' old town is truly unique, and any 'messing with magic' risked landing a showy space-age UFO into a largely 16th century town built on prevailing conquistador tastes for austere façades and sturdy turrets. Fortunately, Atrio retains the local sandstone on the exterior, and leaves any iconoclastic shocks of neo-modernism to the interior. In fact, the building it reminded me of most is the (thoroughly-Extremaduran) castle of Zafra, where Herrera's brilliant white Renaissance courtyard, with its highly calculated symmetries and asymmetries, contrasts with the plain sandstone exterior. Atrio's architecture is very much in this tradition: a bold succession of styles, but where - ultimately - quality of finish matters.

While this is not intended as a review of the hotel's architecture, the main impression is formed by is a courtyard bounded by tall white slats, and this lantern-like space - the atrium -reflects long zebra-flanks of light into the corridors, with the effect of a venetian blind rotated 90 degrees. Fellow guests and staff move along long corridors, glimpsed only intermittently, like characters in a zoetrope.

Thankfully, amid all the opulent light-tricks and spatial engineering, the welcome is personal, fun and warm. An initial tour of the hotel and the roof terrace was accompanied by lots of tips on new museums to see (we already know Cáceres quite well). The hotel offers five-star luxuries: a gigantic room with a palace view (room 101); neat regiments of glossy magazines; enough towels and gownery to dry a synchronised swimming team; not only fresh apples, but also an Apple imac; the gleam of high-end Starck robinetterie reflecting boxed shoe-shine sponges, lotions and potions. A nice touch were the art monographs and contemporary art on the walls. The breakfast was excellent, if a little pricey. Atrio's wine list and cellar is famous, and can be read about elsewhere on the web.


Meal notes

Service: waiters knowledgeable, prompt and courteous; decked out in Reservoir Dog suits, only with domed plate covers, silver trays and Limoges porcelain to deter any Tarantino association; sommelier extremely friendly, if a little crestfallen by our insistence on local wines, with a tour of the cellar.
---
(i) Tongue-tingling amuse-bouches with caviar. Objectively, just a nibble: a three-millisecond explosion of flavour on my tongue. Subjectively, a texture reminiscent of a fast crumbling, fast dissolving arare cracker (or even Monster Munch), but with the aharr-pirate saltiness of the caviar and something of the evanescent sizzle-pop of a sachet of Space Dust circa 1979.

Bouche vachement amusée.

---
(ii) Layered savoury mousse topped with anchovies and oil-nut garnish.

Below: a square, stacked Lego-tower of super-light mousses - pumpkin, sweet tomato, cream cheese . Above: parallel anchovy oblongs, forming a flexible fishy-salty-oily roof to the mousse-stack.

The gap between anchovies seemed to recall the centre-parted hairstyle of a romanesque Christus Pantocrator. Only tonight, Christus Pantocrator was wearing a geometric, fauvist cassock, made entirely of orange, red and beige savoury mousse. Vertical demolition of the Mousse-Pantocrator highly enjoyable.

Nothing like a bit of theophagy on one's birthday.
---
(iii) Me: Foie gras capuccino. One of Toño Pérez's signature dishes. Extremely good.

Trompe l'oeil achieved by coffee-infused foam frothing atop a cup. 'Cappucino' beneath a heady mix of foie gras, local Torta del Casar cheese, mixed with a cep reduction. A crackable sweetcorn flatbread ('crujiente') beneath the foam provided a fetishistic spoon crunch, like a creme-brulée.

Torta del Casar, Wikipedia reveals, is a local sheep's cheese 'curdled using a coagulant found in the pistils of the cardoon'. Extremaduran botanic-culinary voodoo.

Wife (pescatarian): Char-grilled octopus slices on bed of egg foam. Another stacked ingredients affair. Apparently, excellent.
---
(iv) Marinated carpaccio of gambas with seasonal shoot salad on a bed of caviar and sour-cream.

Shrimps were seemingly sliced by laserbeam, and flattened in concentric petals with the stickler-precision of a crop circle enthusiast. Some surgical twiddling involved in peeling these flavoursome shrimp slices off the plate, then wrapping them in a hasty roulade with the salad shoots, before smearing the whole caboodle in the caviar sauce on the edge of the plate.

Wonderful.

---
(v) Squid (or razorfish?), fennel and asparagus salad in a mild curry sauce. Curry powder not overbearing: highly aromatic garam masala notes.

Look'n'feel a florist's break from the Euclidian congruence of the presentational geometry thus far. At base, a grated salad trussed into an elongated afro of thinly-sliced calamar curls, braided with perfectly-blanched vegetable ingredients.

Subtle, colourful, summery.
---
(vi) Galician scalllops with wild mushrooms and pimentón.
Scallops marshalled into a cylindrical mould, that might have led to undercooking. But perfect caramelisation masked interior succulence and quality: technically excellent cooking.

Not the best scallops tasted this year (at Le Vauban in Port-en-Bressin in Normandy), but still fantastic. As with earlier curry, pimentón provided subtle, smoky depth-of-flavour and not overpowering.
---
(vii) Me: Iberico pork loin in berry sauce, with Fool's watercress mash. Iberico (porco preto in Portuguese) is a fabulous, well-rounded meat that, when cooked well, handles fruity sauces as well as game. This was fabulous.

Wife: Rodaballo (turbot) with pulpo garnish. Engineered presentation cleverly broken by octopus's tentacles, balanced and arranged rakishly to look like a miniature jester's hat, or perhaps the feathers in a conquistador's helmet (this was Extremadura, after all). This was my wife's favourite course.

---
(viii) Duo of Torta del Casar ice cream and Torta del Casar with quince paste and scented vanilla oil.

Labelled a 'binomio' (binomial), no doubt to emphasise the ying-yang contrast that temperature brings when applied to the Torta del Casar cheese: cool, creamy iciness when cold, riper camembert-y smoothness at room temperature. The delicate, not-too-sweet flavours of the quince brought out the flavours of each side of the equation. Delicious.
---
(ix) Tocinillo on yoghurt icecream on cocoa crunch base with caramel ring.

A second dairy dessert, yet still with the lightness and subtlelty that characterised the entire meal. A lesser restaurant would have rolled out some showy chocolatey calorie-bomb at this stage. This subtle explosion was far preferable.
---
(x) With coffees: Rasberry confit, lemon macaroons, chocolate truffles, miniature magdalenas.

All good. The light, fluffy mini-magdalenas were a revelation. Lilliputian Prousts would get all misty-eyed and nostalgic about these.

---
(xi) Birthday galette with red berries and 'Feliz cumpleaños' in melted chocolate.

OK. OK. I'm convinced. Atrio has just served me the best meal I have ever eaten. An unforgettable birthday.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Myrddin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose p, Propietario at Atrio, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Thank you for your glad words. We´re kind you can enjoy the meal and the building.

Thank you very much indeed.

Best wishes

Jose Polo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
423 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 406 helpful votes
“Absolutely Fabulous”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

We stayed at the Parador next door, but knew the food there was ordinary so we booked into Atrio for dinner at 10.00pm. We had the 10 course degustation menu which was a revelation - beautiflly cooked dishes with interesting flavours but not tricked up with foams and snows like lots of fine dining establishments these days. Service was impeccable from an English speaking Waiter, Sommellier and Manager. Atmosphere was calm and romantic. The wine list which is actually a book is comprehensive and split up by country and regions so if you have a favourite you can easily go to that spot. We asked the Sommellier for his advice and he selected a 60 Euro bottle that was very good. The total bill with pre dinner drinks and a sherry to finish was 350 Euros - great value. We couldn't fault this restaurant and it was one of our top 5 meals anywhere in the world,a and we have been to many of the best Michelin starred restaurants. What makes it so special is that it is in the little town of Caceres in a modern beautifully designed Hotel. Ask to see the cellar and the kitchen.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MadamJosephine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose p, Propietario at Atrio, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
thank you for these words. We hope to see you again with us and enjoy the other part os Atrio, The Hotel !!

Thank you. Best Wishes.

Jose Polo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Outstanding, innovative food and truly exceptional service. ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

Had the tasting menu on a weekday lunchtime. Can't even remember how many courses but we were there for 3hrs and left very full so must have been quite a few! Im going to leave the raving about the incredible food to more articulate people and just mention here how well we were looked after. From the moment we arrived, to meeting Tono the chef, a tour of the kitchen , the wine cellar, a little gift to take away and just all the attention to detail made the whole experience unforgettable. Thankyou Atrio!

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jaguarpaw_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose p, Propietario at Atrio, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Thank you very much for your comment. We hope that you had a good time with us.

Best wishes.

Jose Polo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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