Casa José originally opened in 1958, when the Del Cerro husband and wife duo decided to serve lunch to farmers, herders, and traders that worked in the market in Aranjuez, just beside the restaurant.
Today it is a must-see spot on any culinary agenda. Since 1991 it has been considered one of Spain's gastronomic highlights, in view of its various distinctions: one Michelin star and two suns from the former Camspa Guide (today the Repsol Guide).
But what's the secret to their success? Each and every one chef Fernando del Cerro's culinary creations combines the flavors of local produce, the aroma of a site steeped in history, and the cutting-edge touches of a modern restaurant.
Between the garden and tradition in Aranjuez
Casa José has a unique location that combines both past and present, where the true star is the magnificent gardens from the age of Charles I and tree-covered promenades created in the 17th century by architects like Gaspar de Vega, later maintained by Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera during King Philip II's reign.
These planned landscapes, from the groves to the tree-lined streets—which were avant-vanguard at the time and set an example for all of Europe—are reflected in the aroma, design and texture of every dish.
Vegetables take center stage
The gardens of Aranjuez are the primary source of ingredients for Casa José, providing a never-ending source of foods that the restaurant uses, depending on the season, with a special focus on vegetables.
The goal with each of his dishes is for guests to perceive vegetables' flavor and texture and to discover the colors of Aranjuez on their plates. The menu includes exciting dishes such as:
• Cabbage salad with scallop and roast pepper.
• Roasted quince with mushrooms and sherry caramel.
• Spring salad with mushrooms, seeds, shoots and bean sprouts.
• Lombardy cabbage with mushroom carpaccio and cream of pine nuts.
Please your palate and make yourself at home
Fernando del Cerro personally supervises the restaurant to ensure that everything is working in perfect harmony. The goal is to satisfy the most discerning palates and to look after every last detail.
Casa José's dining room, a dormered space on the top floor, is decorated in a classic style in shades of pine and cream, creating a serene and peaceful setting.