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Spain's 'tallest restaurant' opens in Madrid
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 @ 7:59 PM

SPAIN'S highest-up restaurant has just opened in Madrid, offering panoramic views of the capital and traditional Basque dishes but with a haute cuisine flair.

Elkar, which means 'together' in the Basque language, euskera, is on the 33rd floor of the Torre Emperador towerblock on Madrid's main business boulevard, the Paseo de la Castellana, and is 160 metres above ground – just under 525 feet, one-tenth of a mile, or one-16th of a kilometre, or so far up that you would have to bend backwards to see the roof from the ground.

It may or may not be officially the tallest in Spain, but the multi-national corporate catering firm behind the restaurant that puts the haute in Elkar's cuisine believes it is, and has advertised it as such.

From the window, matchbox apartment blocks that look as though you could pick them up between finger and thumb mean diners are just as likely to head to Elkar for the selfies as for the food – and the optical illusion photos that are de rigueur for tourists in some of the world's most famous sites (pushing over or propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, kissing the Sphinx, holding up the Taj Mahal in your fingers from its tip, or arms outstretched with the Sydney Opera House pavilions being your wings – that type of thing).

Top celebrity chefs Sergio Ortiz de Zarate, who has a Michelin star to his name, and Beñat Ormaetxea, who runs the élite eatery Jauregiberria in Amorebieta (Vizcaya province, the capital of which is Bilbao) are the permanent hands and brains behind what appears on plates in the new Elkar restaurant, cooking there themselves at least once a week – the rest of the time, they will be continuing to run their own premises in the north – and with a hand-picked team of kitchen staff following their ideas, recipes and techniques on the other days.



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