Posts Tagged ‘June 2016’

Date of Visit: Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Obviously, Galicia has a rich seafaring tradition as reflected in the vast amount of culinary treasures that come from the sea. As a point of reference, read just about any blog post I’ve done to date to get a good sense for the shellfish and seafood that abound in the region. While Galicia is bordered on two sides by the sea with more than 700 miles of coastline, there is certainly a lot of rural and agricultural territory inland where an abundance of cattle roam free. And when I say “roam free”, I mean roam free:

Whether driving along in a car or walking along the Camino de Santiago, cows are all over rural Galicia. So much so that there are caution signs posted along the highways to advise drivers to beware. My photos show mostly dairy cows grazing out in the open, but there are plenty of other cattle that I’ve noticed in my travels throughout Galicia. A famous Galician author from Coruña, Manuel Rivas, even refers to Galicia as the “land of one million cows”. After so much seafood, it was time to finally try some of this Galician beef we had been seeing and hearing so much about.

Since I follow quite a few people in Galicia on social media, I inquired on Instagram and received a very strong recommendation for the chuletón (T-bone steak) at Divino Vinoteca from a local Coruña based foodie. As it turns out, Divino is conveniently located in the O Burgo – Culleredo area, quite near the A Coruña airport.

This display case / meat cooler (pictured on the left) is the first thing one sees upon entering Divino Vinoteca. Wow, it is an impressive sight. When I posted this photo on Instagram, a different follower from Coruña commented “The gates of heaven should open to a sight such as this! We Galicians know how to eat!”; I agree wholeheartedly and could not have said it better myself.

Much, if not all, of the beef available at Divino is the Rubia Gallega (Galician Blonde) breed of cow. Named for its red-blonde coat, the Rubia Gallega is primarily beef cattle, although their milk is also used to make a famous local cheese, called tetilla (named for its, um, unique shape – click on the link to see what I mean). Galician chuletón is so well-regarded that in a recent interview with none other than Juan Mari Arzak (owner of Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain, regularly listed as one of the best restaurant in the world), he stated that the best chuletón he’d ever had in his life was eaten in Galicia.

There were many options to choose from on the menu, but we were there for chuletón from the premium Rubio Gallego. We advised our server of our selection and he came back with this; a slate with two enormous steaks for us to choose from:


Chuletón de buey (Beef T-bone steak) – these beautiful premium steaks came from 9 year old Rubia Gallega cows whose steaks had been aged for 3 months. The market price was listed by the kilo, and these two weighed in at 1460 and 1580 grams, respectively. That’s more than 3 pounds each, including the fat and bone. We selected the smaller one, although “small” doesn’t really seem like the proper word to describe a 3.3 pound steak!


Our table was right next to the action in the front part of the kitchen, including a nice view of the jamonera (the apparatus that holds the jamón) and several wheels of cheese.


Tempranillo wines, mine from Ribera del Duero and Mr. Vacation’s from la Rioja, to accompany our feast.

img_3041Croquetas as an appetizer.

I loved the flatware here. On the left (above) the casual set that accompanied the appetizer. On the right things got serious with this Laguiole-style steak knife with a brass accented handle, which arrived just in time for …

img_3050This chuletón! Seared perfectly rare, carved off the bone, extra fat removed, sliced, arranged on a warm plate, and sprinkled with coarse black and white sea salt, this made quite an impression when it was brought to the table.
img_3047A closer look at this gorgeous steak. The plate was quite warm, which allowed us to cook pieces just a bit more by laying them down upon the surface of the hot plate. We noticed that the waiter brought a small tabletop grill to a neighboring table so that one member of that party could cook individual pieces of steak more well-done to his liking.


We ordered simple sides of cachelos (boiled potatoes) and salad to accompany the steak. Meat and potatoes, Gallego style! What can I say about that steak? It was exactly as flavorful, tender, and delicious as it looks. It’s hard to improve upon an excellent quality product that is prepared carefully and simply.

The newspaper article below was on display  in the restaurant describing a €250 steak. Thank goodness ours came in less than that! It also talks about a man who came to the restaurant and finished a 2.7kg steak alone, and goes on to mention other steakhouses in Galicia that are also serving quality Galician beef at this high level. In this case a picture really is worth a thousand words: the proprietor of Divino standing behind a whole side of aged beef, holding up a gorgeous chuletón.


Dessert? Why not! Actually, it was really fortunate that we opted for dessert because this tiramisu (below, left) is among the best I’ve ever tasted. The lemon sorbet ice cream (below, right) was also delightful, so tart and refreshing after the richness of the steak.

Both Mr. Vacation and I agreed that this was definitely in our Top 5 restaurant steak meals. For me, I’d even say Top 3 (hey, this sounds like a good topic for a future post). I see why Divino is so renowned, not only in Galicia but in all of Spain, given the quality of the product they source and the care with which they prepare it.

Divino Vinoteca
Rúa Ramón Cabanillas s/n, Culleredo, Spain (map)
+34 881 91 44 12

Website: www.restauranteenculleredo.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Divino-Vinoteca

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