Visiting in the off season has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand you save a little money and miss the crowds. On the other, the weather is not always what you would wish. Our morning in La Coruña was a case in point. On the negative side, the entire morning that we spent wandering in La Coruña was cloudy, cool and rainy. On the plus side, we were free to wander without having to fight through crowds of tourists. The biggest benefit however, was we were able to get reservations at one Michelin star restaurant Àrbore da Veira for lunch. What a treat it was!
The restaurant is laid out in a long, narrow space that expands slightly at the back near the kitchen. The vibe is modern and relaxed with a decor that is minimal, but not severely so. The balance between the formal and the casual is well maintained. Whimsical porcelain figures adorning each table lend a relaxed, homey feel. Our table, for example, in a far corner near the kitchen, had a rhinoceros covered with bright splotches of paint. The table in front of us had a bright yellow teddy bear figurine.
Concerning the basics, the service was relaxed and welcoming. Almost, but not quite, to the point of casual. This also helped create a comfortable space and was very relaxing, as did the complete lack of pretension on the part of the staff. It was only over time that one begins to notice the little things that are being done. For example, the staff were all wearing sneakers. These are, no doubt, very comfortable for the staff, but also spared the customers from having to listen to leather soled shoes clacking on the hard wood floors.
The food is the critical thing, of course, and the food at Àrbore da Veira was, in short, fantastic. Chef Veira has spent twelve years studying in some of the best restaurants in the world before opening Àrbore da Veira, including Cellar de Can Rocca (if my understanding of the Spanish language interview is to be trusted). It is clear he was paying attention. The amount of flavor that Chef Veira packs into each and every bite is almost unbelievable.
I am very happy we had a chance to eat in Àrbore da Veira. It was one of our favorites during the trip and I would happily recommend it and go back again myself.
Blog post about Àrbore da Veira (2017): Tikichris
2012 blog (in Spanish):
There are also several YouTube videos about Àrbore da Veira. The two below (both in Spanish) show an interview with Chef Veira after winning his Michelin star. The other shows scenes from the restaurant.
Finally, more tourist information on La Coruna and Galicia may be found by clicking here.