If there’s one thing you need to know about the Spanish, it’s that they take their jamón very seriously. A staple of the Spanish diet, ham is to Spaniards what cheese—or wine—is to the French: nothing short of sacred.
Occupying a late 19th-century heritage building in the trendy Malasaña district in the heart of Madrid, the stylish Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán restaurant and bar by local firm Lucas y Hernández Gil might be the only place in the world where you can shamelessly pair a foot-long ham sandwich with fine champagne.
The new locale, which specializes in traditional bocadillo—a Spanish-style sub consisting of a loaf of bread that is cut (never sliced) lengthwise and filled with a variety of cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables, meat, and fish—elevates the humble sandwich to staggering new heights. Available in three sizes: medium (mediano), large (grande), or supersize (supergrande), every ham sandwich has a name and a portrait to match. The classic Enrique, for example, made with Paleta de Bellota ham, is portrayed as a distinguished gentleman in a silk suit and a top hat. As for refreshments, guests are invited to choose from the restaurant’s extensive champagne list.
While the merging of high and low cuisine is certainly nothing new to the culinary scene, what really sets Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán apart is its impeccable neomodernist design. Marrying the old with the new, the quaint 90-square-metre interior shines in a light-hearted colour palette of pink and blue pastels. The building’s original modernist iron columns pop in new contemporary hues, while a dramatic backdrop of shimmering brass frames a cobalt blue cocktail bar. An assortment of wiry bar tables and stools set the scene for a casual yet social atmosphere, perfect for meeting friends old and new.
Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán, Calle Fernando VI, 21, 28004 Madrid, Spain.
Photos courtesy of Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán.
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