Great place, I knew I would not be disappointed. Located in the lovely old part of the town of Briones, in an emblematic building of the 17th century, this restaurant, also a rural cottage, is picturesque and welcoming.
Actually, the name of the restaurant comes from the "calaos" of the building. The "calaos" are the places formerly used for the aging and ripening of wine, some kind of natural or artificial cave used to stock and preserve wine. The "calaos" of the restaurant date back to a wine cellar of the 17th century and have been rebuilt in a great way.
As you can see, the place is charming and has history. You realize it as soon as you enter through one of the two doors. You could say there are three areas with two dining rooms. There is an independent round table on the right of the entrance in San Juan Street. The larger dining room is behind curtains. It is the largest room of the restaurant, an authentic "calao"; and finally, in the back of this large room, on the right side, going down stairs that seem full of mystery, you arrive to another very quiet dining room, without a doubt a very special one.
The good part about the place is that apart from the great location and authentic decoration, they have an excellent cuisine: traditional but with an innovative touch, a long list of good wines and good service, very warm, something we appreciate.
I recommend the mild cod salad, the "croquetas de la casa" (some stuffed with blood sausage, others with chorizo, delicious), and artichokes with clams, great clams. Instead of ordering a classic Rioja wine, we chose a signature wine of Briones, "Orizabal Vendimia Seleccionada", a wine with great personality that will not leave anyone indifferent. We had a good surprise with this wine and we loved it. I must say we like the special signature wines.
To sum up: a very welcoming restaurant, in an authentic location full of history with an exceptional cuisine, traditional but of high quality and with good quantities and portions. The price is moderate. It is one of these restaurants that you leave satisfied and you want to recommend to good friends, both to the ones in minube and to other mortals.
The Toloño Inn is in the town of Briones. It's a restaurant serving traditional cuisine and homemade Rioja delicacies within a daily menu. You can make reservations and it has access for disabled clients. It's open every day of the week. Its specialties include the grilled meat menu.
Located in the area known as La Crescent, in the town of Birones, the Four Arches is a wonderful inn. Its name comes from the stone arches of the interior that are combined with the warmth of the wood beams. It's a benchmark for exquisite cuisine Rioja.