Jump to content

Barcelona recommendations


Recommended Posts

  • 4 weeks later...
  • Replies 595
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

An open letter to two esteemed members who are making their first trip to this, one of my three favorite cities, later this summer. Veterans might wish to skip the "obvious" section:   Obvious thin

On many trips to Barcelona, I stayed in an apartment rented out by its owner. I found it in the columns of a newspaper or magazine, and it was great value (they since sold it) - but it's worth lookin

Agree re the cava - it was awful.   The tapas was good though, and the atmosphere fun.   In terms of cost, a couple of poker players shouted our bill.

So we're finally off to Spain in a couple of days. While in Barcelona we'll be eating dinner at the following restaurants:

 

Dos Palillos

Paco Meralgo

Rias de Galicia

Hisop

Comerc24

 

Can anyone give me an idea of what sort of attire would be appropriate for men and women at these restaurants (never been to Spain before, so not sure what would be viewed as appropriate)? We're just trying to figure out what to pack and I don't want us to stick out like a couple of rubes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
So we're finally off to Spain in a couple of days. While in Barcelona we'll be eating dinner at the following restaurants:

 

Dos Palillos

Paco Meralgo

Rias de Galicia

Hisop

Comerc24

 

Can anyone give me an idea of what sort of attire would be appropriate for men and women at these restaurants (never been to Spain before, so not sure what would be viewed as appropriate)? We're just trying to figure out what to pack and I don't want us to stick out like a couple of rubes.

Can't speak for RdG, but in general Spain is more casual then the US. Certainly no jacket or tie for any of these places (especially the first 2). Neat, clean, long pants, collared shirt and you are good to go I think.

 

 

You know Dos Palillos is asian (japanese fusion really)? I'm not sure I'd rush to go there unless I was in the nabe. It was good, but if you live in a big city in the US not standoutish. We went because our apartment was steps away. You might want to sub Gresca or one of those kinds of places instead for a more Spanish experience. Just my opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
So we're finally off to Spain in a couple of days. While in Barcelona we'll be eating dinner at the following restaurants:

 

Dos Palillos

Paco Meralgo

Rias de Galicia

Hisop

Comerc24

 

Can anyone give me an idea of what sort of attire would be appropriate for men and women at these restaurants (never been to Spain before, so not sure what would be viewed as appropriate)? We're just trying to figure out what to pack and I don't want us to stick out like a couple of rubes.

Can't speak for RdG, but in general Spain is more casual then the US. Certainly no jacket or tie for any of these places (especially the first 2). Neat, clean, long pants, collared shirt and you are good to go I think.

 

 

You know Dos Palillos is asian (japanese fusion really)? I'm not sure I'd rush to go there unless I was in the nabe. It was good, but if you live in a big city in the US not standoutish. We went because our apartment was steps away. You might want to sub Gresca or one of those kinds of places instead for a more Spanish experience. Just my opinion.

 

Thanks for your comments. I figured Spain was more casual, just wanted to be sure. One question, though...are "nice" jeans acceptable for dinner? I really only ask for my wife, as I'll probably be sticking with pants and collared shirts.

 

On Dos Palillos, I know that it's fusion, but I thought it seemed interesting. I'm probably going to stick with it for now, but maybe we'll pull a switch at game-time if something else strikes our fancy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

We got back from an outstanding trip to Spain a couple of weeks ago. Some thoughts on the places we went in Barcelona...

 

 

Dos Palillos

A fun meal with some definite highlights (razor clams, do-it-yourself toro handroll, ankimo) and one truly puzzling dish (stir-fried veggies). I would return just to see how the menu evolves. As someone upthread mentioned though, not terribly exciting if you're coming from a city with plenty of Asian food.

 

Paco Meralgo

Probably my favorite meal in Barcelona. I would eat here constantly if I lived nearby. We ate a pretty serious quantity of food and had a perfectly nice bottle of wine for 87 euros. Incredible oysters, razor clams, and anchovies. Also a pretty fantastic "french toast" for dessert.

 

Rias de Galicia

Incredible seafood but I really disliked the atmosphere. Very stuffy (and very empty). The mixed shellfish grill was a lot of fun to eat, kind of like dragging a net through the ocean and eating what you happened to pick up.

 

Cal Pep

We did Cal Pep for lunch one day and had a great time. The plate of fried mixed seafood we opened the meal with was great. Also did a whole monkfish that rounded out the meal nicely. Our barman, Paco, could not have been more helpful

 

Hisop

Mixed. Excellent appetizers. I had the foie gras "after eight" (chocolate and mint). The combination of the foie and the chocolate worked, but the mint came in foam form and was totally overwhelmed by the rest of the dish. My main course was some type of fish in a summer truffle soup. The soup was good, but the fish was slimy. The wife's main course of raw scallop with caviar and pig jowl was outstanding though.

 

Comerc 24

Probably our worst meal of the trip. This may have been because it was the last night of a 10 day trip that included way too much food. Flavors were flat and the dishes just came off like the restaurant was trying too hard. The best dish we had was tuna tartar, which really sort of sums up the experience.

 

Although most of our trip was spent in Barcelona, we were in Madrid for about 48 hours. There we had some mediocre paella at La Barraca, and a great night of tapas on Cava Baja. The real reason for our trip was dinner at El Bulli, which absolutely lived up to the hype (IMO). The night before El Bulli we were able to go to Rafa's, which was a lot of fun (honestly, I enjoyed it more than Rias). If people are interested, I could post my El Bulli pics here but they are also over on eG if you want to take a look.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Bohemic, Carrer Manso, 42.

The best I've eaten in Barcelona for some time (not that I've spent a lot of time in Barcelona recently). The (now not so) new tapas thing, but done very well. Snails baked on salt with pink pepper, cep yoghurt with thyme, very good, smoky bravas. Small place - chef plus one in the kitchen and his mother and father at the front. Close to Inopia (C/Tamarit, 104) and Casa Lucio (C/Viladomat, 59) - the three make for an excellent ruta de tapas.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

The Washington Post has a nice article on Girona.

 

But Girona is to Barcelona what Arrezzo is to Florence in Tuscany. It's smaller, quieter and a city that would be a top destination in its own right if it didn't have such a famous neighbor. Day trips don't do it justice, because the best way to appreciate it is slowly: lounging at one of the elegant outdoor cafes, window-shopping at the boutiques housed in historic facades or wandering the circuitous, narrow lanes. There must be almost a dozen ways to wind your way up to the cathedral on the hill, and each one offers a different vantage of the Gothic spires, the Romanesque towers and the stone ramparts that once protected the city.

 

* * *

 

One piece of advice: Take a cab to your hotel.

 

On the hunt for history, I had chosen the aptly named Hotel Historic, which sits in the shadow of the cathedral. What looked like a short, pleasant walk from the train station -- across the river and past Girona's much-photographed, sun-washed ochre and rose-colored houses -- was a haul with a large suitcase in tow. The distance isn't great, but the direction is straight up. Up steep, cobblestone lanes. Up sets of stone stairs. By the time we arrived at our hotel, we were red-faced and out of breath.

 

It was, however, an excellent choice. The thick, stone walls of the family-run hotel date back as far as the 3rd century, but the rooms offer the conveniences necessary to soothe more modern souls: comfortable beds, central heating and a deep bathtub good for an end-of-the-day soak. (The staff also speaks English, something you cannot take for granted in proud Catalonia.)

 

At the top of our sightseeing list was Girona's top historical attraction, the Jewish quarter, or Call. The first Jewish community arrived in the city in the 9th century and formed a settlement that was protected by the crown. (The rulers of medieval Spain appreciated the Jews' medical and financial skills, especially their willingness to lend money.) By the 12th century, the vibrant population numbered 1,000, including Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, also known as Nahmanides, one of the early scholars of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah.

 

(snip)

 

Girona's restaurants also reflect the city's love of tradition. Yes, there is El Celler Can Roca. But most of the others offer a sampling of simple Catalan cuisine. Casa Marieta, on the stylish Plaza Independencia, is well known for hearty dishes such as Catalan sausage butifarra with white beans. We headed to El Bistrot, a spacious cafe decorated with antique posters and mirrors, where we gorged on the set menu of rich onion tart, meaty pork cheeks with flageolet beans and a hazelnut flan. It tasted as if a Catalan grandma was at the stove.

 

To sample the ultimate Spanish mother's cooking, we headed out of the old city to El Restaurant Can Roca. This is where the Roca brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi, of the famed El Celler grew up eating. The cook is their mother, Montserrat Fontoné.

 

This was the place where I was most excited to eat. Spanish newspapers had reported that the three brothers still eat lunch there most days; their modern temple of gastronomy is just down the road. Joan reportedly favors the poached onion and celery; Josep, the kidneys cooked in sherry; and Jordi, the Catalonian meat stew called escudella.

 

I was a bit surprised when we arrived. With the exception of a few smudged mirrors and wood paneling, the restaurant's decor is a series of empty wine bottles and a TV over the bar. And it took about 15 minutes before we were able to lure a waiter to our table.

 

It wasn't that we weren't welcome. The restaurant's focus is its regulars. There is no menu. And the only explanation you'll get of the set menu is in Catalan. On the day we visited, those options included a thick lentil soup with chunks of pork that would have made a meal in itself, chicken and rice, and a delicate grilled squid topped with baby beet greens. Not everything quite lived up to expectation: The flan was flavorless and the waiter readily admitted that the profiteroles were not house-made. But it was as authentic an experience as we had found.

 

Which, of course, is what we came to Girona for in the first place

 

Girona

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Washington Post has a nice article on Girona.

 

But Girona is to Barcelona what Arrezzo is to Florence in Tuscany. It's smaller, quieter and a city that would be a top destination in its own right if it didn't have such a famous neighbor. Day trips don't do it justice, because the best way to appreciate it is slowly: lounging at one of the elegant outdoor cafes, window-shopping at the boutiques housed in historic facades or wandering the circuitous, narrow lanes. There must be almost a dozen ways to wind your way up to the cathedral on the hill, and each one offers a different vantage of the Gothic spires, the Romanesque towers and the stone ramparts that once protected the city.

 

* * *

 

One piece of advice: Take a cab to your hotel.

 

On the hunt for history, I had chosen the aptly named Hotel Historic, which sits in the shadow of the cathedral. What looked like a short, pleasant walk from the train station -- across the river and past Girona's much-photographed, sun-washed ochre and rose-colored houses -- was a haul with a large suitcase in tow. The distance isn't great, but the direction is straight up. Up steep, cobblestone lanes. Up sets of stone stairs. By the time we arrived at our hotel, we were red-faced and out of breath.

 

It was, however, an excellent choice. The thick, stone walls of the family-run hotel date back as far as the 3rd century, but the rooms offer the conveniences necessary to soothe more modern souls: comfortable beds, central heating and a deep bathtub good for an end-of-the-day soak. (The staff also speaks English, something you cannot take for granted in proud Catalonia.)

 

At the top of our sightseeing list was Girona's top historical attraction, the Jewish quarter, or Call. The first Jewish community arrived in the city in the 9th century and formed a settlement that was protected by the crown. (The rulers of medieval Spain appreciated the Jews' medical and financial skills, especially their willingness to lend money.) By the 12th century, the vibrant population numbered 1,000, including Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, also known as Nahmanides, one of the early scholars of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah.

 

(snip)

 

Girona's restaurants also reflect the city's love of tradition. Yes, there is El Celler Can Roca. But most of the others offer a sampling of simple Catalan cuisine. Casa Marieta, on the stylish Plaza Independencia, is well known for hearty dishes such as Catalan sausage butifarra with white beans. We headed to El Bistrot, a spacious cafe decorated with antique posters and mirrors, where we gorged on the set menu of rich onion tart, meaty pork cheeks with flageolet beans and a hazelnut flan. It tasted as if a Catalan grandma was at the stove.

 

To sample the ultimate Spanish mother's cooking, we headed out of the old city to El Restaurant Can Roca. This is where the Roca brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi, of the famed El Celler grew up eating. The cook is their mother, Montserrat Fontoné.

 

This was the place where I was most excited to eat. Spanish newspapers had reported that the three brothers still eat lunch there most days; their modern temple of gastronomy is just down the road. Joan reportedly favors the poached onion and celery; Josep, the kidneys cooked in sherry; and Jordi, the Catalonian meat stew called escudella.

 

I was a bit surprised when we arrived. With the exception of a few smudged mirrors and wood paneling, the restaurant's decor is a series of empty wine bottles and a TV over the bar. And it took about 15 minutes before we were able to lure a waiter to our table.

 

It wasn't that we weren't welcome. The restaurant's focus is its regulars. There is no menu. And the only explanation you'll get of the set menu is in Catalan. On the day we visited, those options included a thick lentil soup with chunks of pork that would have made a meal in itself, chicken and rice, and a delicate grilled squid topped with baby beet greens. Not everything quite lived up to expectation: The flan was flavorless and the waiter readily admitted that the profiteroles were not house-made. But it was as authentic an experience as we had found.

 

Which, of course, is what we came to Girona for in the first place

 

Girona

 

Thanks for this! We're going to lunch at El Celler Can Roca when we are there next month!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
Guest VictoriaCars

For more information about Barcelona: Visit Spain's official tourism website.

 

 

An open letter to two esteemed members who are making their first trip to this, one of my three favorite cities, later this summer. Veterans might wish to skip the "obvious" section:

 

Obvious things to do:

 

Gaudi. You should set aside half a day just to see Gaudi's works. The Sagrada Familia is the most famous, but I find there's not much to see when you actually get there. It's most striking seen at a distance. La Pedrera, his weird apartment house, is good, and if it's open go up to the roof (also, some other great apartment facades are nearby, including his Casa Battlo). Go inside the Palau Guell in the Barri Xines if it's open and take a look around. But don’t miss, above all, the Parc Guell. It's a subway ride plus a walk, or a short taxi ride, but it's a total Gaudi environment - a park he designed for a wealthy benefactor. Disneyland as conceived by a conservative Catholic mythologian. Spacey.

 

Tibidabo. Do the tram car up to the basilica overlooking the city. The basilica itself is not thrilling, but the view is great. Better still, if you follow the road that runs around the left hand side of the basilica (facing it), a five minute walks brings you to spots from which you can look in the other direction - inland from Barcelona. Lovely views of the countryside. There's a bar with terrace seating in front of the basilica, if you need a bit of black pudding or something.

 

Montjuic. This is the other mountain overlooking the city. Unless you hate Miro, you should spend a couple of hours at the Fundacion Miro. You can also walk around the Olympic stadium area. If you consult a map, there's a pretty easy walk down from the summit which brings you past the old palace, which is now a museum of art (always closed when I've visited - maybe you'll be lucky); again, great views as you descend.

 

The Picasso museum in the old town, but on the far side of the Via Laietana from the more popular part of the Barri Gotic, is essential if you like Picasso.

 

Barceloneta. This is the gritty, social realism bit of the trip, even though a lot of the old seaside bars were torn down before the Olympics. This is a long-ish walk from the center, but gets you to the city's only beach. On the way, you pass plenty of seafood tapas bars. When you get to the beach area, do explore some of the sidestreets to get a glimpse of what ordinary working life in Barclona is like. I've visited some of the bars around here at night, but they are home to simple, drunken fisherfolk, and I was aware I was the only tourist. Fine in the day-time, and the beach is okay for swimming.

 

Barri Gotic. Most of your time should be spent simply exploring the Barri Gotic, the largest preserved mediaevel city zone in Europe (forget Venice). Walk endlessly down tiny alleyways, looking at antique shops, bars, and food stores. Inexhaustible. There are a couple of streets where the kids get a bit lively at night, but personally I think you can walk the Barri Gotic twenty four hours. Barri Xines on the other side of the Ramblas - I suggest taking a walk around in the day-time to get your bearings. The sidestreets can be dark and creepy at night, and there were still a lot of stray drug users around last time I looked. On C/de Escudellers, near Los Caracoles restaurant (you can't miss it - there are chickens roasting on a spit outside), look out for a big store selling really good ceramics and houseware from various regions of Spain. Once inside, look out for windows in the floor. They reveal a cellar downstairs which is a wine bar - good list by the glass, and plenty of hams and cheeses to sample. Late hours around the Barri Gotic, you'll find countless small spaces which you wouldn't notice shuttered during the day are actually modernistic cocktail lounges, each with its own idiosyncratic design - these are spaces for drinking rather than eating tapas.

 

Placa Reial, a square just off the Ramblas, is worth looking at - Gaudi designed some of the lampposts, and there's usually some street entertainment going on - but avoid the bars and restaurants. Over-priced and touristy.

 

One more thought. A side-trip to Monserrat is a good way to spend half a day. It's an easy train ride, followed by a spectacular cable car ascent. The alleged point of it all is the basilica dedicated to the "black Virgin", and associated souvenirs. What makes it worth while is climbing up beyond the church to higher parts of the mountain, where you get wonderful air, amazing views, and some peace and quiet.

 

 

Less obvious things to do:

 

In other words, I worked these out without much help from guidebooks.

The Museo Federic Mares, near the Cathedral, boasts an endless collection of religious statuary. Everyone knows that. Less obvious is the little Museum of Everyday Life which is upstairs from the Virgins and angels. Odd opening hours, so check, but this is a terrific collection of everyday objects from Barcelona's belle epoque. Children's toys, timepieces, snuff-boxes, shaving kits, household items - you name it - an endless display of good taste. Nearby, look out for the Salo de Tinell, once a royal chamber - it's the most beautiful example of an arched gothic room (oh, I'm no good at describing architecture - it's a lovely space to take a peek at).

 

Boqueria Market. You won’t miss this - the main food market on the Ramblas - but in addition to drifting around the stalls, remember that this is a great place for breakfast or a snack. There are a number of tapas bars in the middle of the market, among the stalls. Choose one which has a view of something interesting - like the fish stalls, where experts gut and serve vast quantities and varieties of seafood - get up on a stool, order a beer and a slice of tortilla, and you can watch the market at work at your leisure. I could do this for hours.

 

Once you've explored the main part of the Barri Gotic, centred around the Cathedral, and stretching essentially from the big square, Plaza de Catalunya down to the waterside, consider crossing Via Laietana - going towards the Picasso museum. Wander around the backstreets here. It's an old part of town which is definitely not touristy. There are some great little bars here where you can drink for almost nothing, and eat good seafood tapas. I could take you to them, but addresses I don't have. But it's not a large area, so it's worth a look. I don't believe it's dangerous, but it's a working class neighborhood, so I'd dress down (generally, I have never found Barcelona dangerous, but petty crime is everywhere - pickpockets and bag snatchers - so arrange your valuables accordingly; and particularly beware being surrounded by "gypsies" giving you flowers - I just yell at them and walk into the street).

 

Drinking:

 

El Xampanyet. Most guidebooks mention this little cava bar a few doors from the Picasso Museum, but you need to know how to make the best of it. It opens for a brief time, early in the evening. My book says 6.30, which sounds about right. You should get there right away and belly up to the bar. They bring out tray after tray of delicious morsels - anchovies, butifarra catalana (white sausage), ham, etc - served on small slices of bread . You can point and order. I find the artisanal cava a little sweet (think Babycham), but the cider's not bad. Friendly service from people who've been working there many, many years. Obviously combines well with a trip to see Picasso's blue period.

 

El Portalon. I regard this as the essential Barcelona bar. It used to be a typical bodega, but now it's about the only one left. Like El Xampanyet, quirky opening hours - evenings only - and it's hard to find. But if you follow the curve of C. Banys Nous, looking for number 20, you'll track it down amidst the expensive antique stores. It looks like the inside of a barrel. Excellent tapas (try the deep fried artichokes and the snails), dirt cheap wines drawn from the cask, and some real atmosphere. For a sit down meal, the specialty is fideu - essentially a paella, with vermicelli instead of rice.

 

If you've any interest in twentieth century art, don't miss having a drink in Els Quatre Gats, down a little street called c/Montsio. It was the nightclub at which the Barcelona avant garde gathered around the turn of the century, including the young Pable Picasso, who illustrated the bar's newsletter and made many drawings there. It's a true landmark (http://www.tamu.edu/mocl/picasso/photos/quatref1.jpg). There's a dining room, but I;ve only ever dropped in for a glass of wine or acav to admire the art work. (Website: www.4gats.com)

 

Bar Pastis is Barcelona's version of the French House. Take C/Santa Monica, a turning off the Ramblas a little down from the Barri Xines. After dark, unless they've been moved on at last, you'll find a cluster of cross-dressing hookers at the entrance to the street. They won't bother you, and you'll be irresistibly reminded of British wrestling greats like Jackie Pallo and Adrian Street in full regalia. You'll see the lighted sign above Bar Pastis on the right. It's a dark, smoky little boite, with perpetual Edith Piaf and Charles Trenet playing, and the obvious drink is absinthe. Open very late.

 

Another bar which is a personal favorite is Padam! Padam! It's a tiny place at c/Raurig 9, just off c/Ferran, and you have to be buzzed in. It's small, friednly, and a bit of an Edith Piaf theme bar, but usually has interesting art exhibits. I suppose the clientele tends to be "mixed".

 

Non-alcoholically speaking, you should start at least one day with hot chocolate and churros. My favorite is a bar in one corner of Placa San Jaume. This is the square which has the local government building on one side, and the regional parliament on the other - you're bound to pass through it a lot. Walking away from the Ramblas, this hot chocolate joint is in the far left hand corner, on the square. Beyond it, a narrow pedestrian street leads uphill, along which you'll find a couple of good wine stores and groceries, and two cute hole-in-the-wall bars which are good places to take a morning coffee.

 

 

Tapas bars:

 

All over town, of course, but you'll find a concentration of popular ones along C/Avinyo, which runs from C/Ferran down towards the water, and especially along C./Ample and C/Merce which are parallel streets near the bottom of Avinyo. Also, if Scott gets homesick, there's a pub on Avinyo (or possibly the parallel c/del Regomir)which shows soccer and serves Guinness. In fact, if La Barca are playing, the streets are deserted, and everyone goes to a bar to watch the game.

 

Anyway, you'll want to walk up and down all these streets. El Tropezon on Regomir is a good place to order chunks of octopus, cut fresh from a whole, huge beast. You'll also see bars advertising chorizo al diablo - bits of spicy sausage flamed with local liquor. Don't miss Bar Celta la Pulperia on c/de la Merce, a popular but spacious bar specialising in fried seafood tapas. Nearby is a small tapas bar which specilaises in cooked ham from the Canaries, served with little boiled potatoes. Unusual. Also in the area, you'll find several Asturian-style bars - you can't miss them, they have lots of heavy wooden beams, and specialise in cider, strong blue cheeses and an alcoholic milkshake (essentially) called leche de pantera, or panther's milk.

 

Restaurants:

 

I'm not the best person to ask about the new wave of Barcelona restaurants. You've probably read plenty about them, and if you have specific questions, other members can probably help more than I. I was going to Barcelona a long time before this trend happened. Indeed, I would caution you that, until recently, Barcelona was not a great restaurant city. The best eating has always been in bars, and from the market, and some of the old-time restaurants you see in every guide book can be big let downs. I really would avoid some heavily promoted places like Quo Vadis (if it still exists), Los Caracoles, Agut D'Avinyon and Amaya (the tapas bar is fine, I'd give the restaurant a miss). Set Portes, down by the water on Passeig d'Isabel - go if you have time; it's like Rules without the game, and it attracts many Americans and Japanese, but it's a lovely old room and the food's okay. In fact, if you're going to eat paella, eat it here. The roast kid is another option.

 

My top recommendation, which is missed by most guidebooks, is the closest thing Barcelona has to a St John's. It's the Ateneu Gastronomic (www.ateneu.com). Just off C/Ferran, about five minutes from the Ramblas, it's a plainly decorated restaurant (with wine bar attached), at which the husband and wife proprietors offer dishes researched from the city's history and ingredients carefully sourced from the Catalunyan countryside. They also have a wine list which focusses on local co-operatives. Since it's a very reasonably priced restaurant, I strongly recommended a full blow out. First, choose from the "para picar" (for picking at) menu - artisanal sausages and cheeses, good foie gras, and various hams with toast. Then appetizers - look out for local wild mushrooms, or even a thistle salad. Meat or fish (specials often involve re-creations of mediaeval dishes). Cheese with honey is a good dessert. This is the place I go to for horse tartare! The wine list is such that you will probably be able to order the most expensive bottle on the menu without a second thought. I've never had trouble getting a table in the restaurant without a reservation.

 

A more conservative recommendation is Ca D'Isidre, down a little sidestreet, C/les Flors, off C/de Sant Pau which runs straight through the Barri Xines. This is a small, smart dining room, offering quite sophisticated Catalunyan cooking. This doesn't mean lots of ingredients on a plate, but quite conservative, well-executed dishes - sauteed baby eels, followed by a simply roast or braised piece of meat or fish. Excellent cheese tray. Popular with diplomats and well-heeled visitors. I managed to walk in, but it may be wise to reserve.

 

I also quite like Can Culleretes, up an alleyway in the Barri Gotic - the oldest restaurant in the city. It reminds me of traditional restaurants in Rome - a simple dining room with paper tablecloths and matter-of-fact service. But some of the dishes, like the braised partridge with spinach and pinenuts, are pretty good. This is not a fancy place, and it is old-fashioned.

 

That'll do for now. I hope other members will add to, or indeed criticize, these recommendations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Our fourth dinner was at Paco Meralgo, and while I agree that it's a good Sunday option I think we weren't as taken with the place as most of the mouthfuls opinion leaders seem to be.

 

We liked many of the greatest hits items listed above at Tapac 24.

 

I loved everything about Quimet & Quimet;

 

And we both thought Bar Mut was a great find.

 

Speaking of Gaudi, in the nearly 11 years since we last visited Barcelona the Casa Batllo opened up to visitors, and boy is it worth a visit!

 

Just got back from a 5 day trip and I agree with all of this - except I didn't visit Bar Mut (which out apt rental host recomended above all), which makes me wish I did.

 

We purposefully ate nowhere "fancy", so for us (and I am pretty price insensitive when it comes to food) Paco Meralgo was a bit pricey by comparison.

 

On the other extreme was Quimet & Quimet. We got there at noon (when they open) and had the place and their attention to ourselves for a good 15-30 minutes before the place was flooded. Wonderful conception, one of the most unique dining/cultural experiences and restaurant setups of my life. Left stuffed and paid less than 1/3rd of what we paid at Paco Meralgo. (of course we got to sit at Paco Meralgo...)

 

I'd also give a shout out to the juices at Tapac24. We sampled all of them, and they were all incredible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Monvinic is a new wine bar that has been getting some serious hype -- e.g. "the best wine bar in the world". I won't go that far but but is a nice place to have a glass of wine and some charcuterie, cheese etc. It combines a wine library, restaurant etc.

Some good wines by the glass but nothing really exotic. I had a Verdejo, an excellent young Priorat and a Ribera del Duero.

I chatted to one of the waiters for a bit and he said he would give me some recommendations for Rioja with a really good QPR. He went off and came back with a bit of paper with "CUNE and Rioja Alta" written on it.

 

Paco Meralgo is good -- I got taken there for dinner by my host when the first two places we tried were full -- I went back later for lunch. One of the people sitting next to me did a runner without paying the bill, after ordering the really nice red prawns from Paloma. #asshole.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...