After spending an afternoon traveling from Marrakech, Morocco to Madrid, and settling into the AC Carlton Madrid, we wandered out into the evening, hoping to come across some good options for dinner. We passed a couple of ok looking possibilities, and then approached the Atocha train station. I suggested we go inside, because Atocha is a beautiful station, and my girlfriend Therese had never seen it.
As I expected, she was delighted by the wrought iron construction and the botanical garden in the main waiting room. Therese mentioned how in Germany there are train stations that are similarly attractive where you can actually have a very nice time.
On our way out of the station, we noticed Samarkanda. Once again Therese referenced German train stations, saying that many have restaurants that are quite exceptional. So we decided to give Samarkanda a shot. And lo and behold, we had quite a good meal there!
The only thing I remember specifically about the meal was my appetizer, a blanched tomato stuffed with tuna. The tomato had been hollowed out and filled with tunafish, with its bottom removed, and it rested in a lovely tomato/olive oil sauce. It was very tasty.
We ordered a bottle of white wine which was quite good. The rest of the food was also delicious - I just don't remember what we ordered. And the dining room was very attractive.
A telling detail was the fact that on a Friday night when the station was very quiet, this restaurant was very busy, including numerous tables filled with Spanish families and groups of friends (perhaps locals but no way of knowing for sure). So one gets the sense that the secret has been found out - Samarkanda makes coming to the train station a transcendant experience!
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