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Wilfrid

Barcelona Restaurant Recommendations

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I dont mean to be lazy, but i promise i have done some research  :laugh:

Basically, I'll be embarking on a journey to spain, starting in SS(Arzak, mugaritz), on to Roses(bulli), and back to Barcelona

I have one evening and one full day in barcelona, and Ive been checking up on what places are worth visiting. I basically want somewhere somewhat casual and fairly inexpensive after 3 really heavy meals(wallet-wise), something in the 60-ish euro range. restaurants like abac are out of the question

Right now Im leaning towards Comerç 24, or Cinc Sentits. More towards Cinc Sentits because Im not sure if we can stomach more chemicals after el bulli. Are there any other restaurants I should be looking at?

Also, is the sandwich at cafe vienna worth the trip? Or should I just head straight to jamonisimo.

i would also choose cinc everytime over commerc 24, moo are also running a lunch promotion which is good value and you could try routa


Edited by marc at fraiche (log)

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I dont mean to be lazy, but i promise i have done some research  :laugh:

Basically, I'll be embarking on a journey to spain, starting in SS(Arzak, mugaritz), on to Roses(bulli), and back to Barcelona

I have one evening and one full day in barcelona, and Ive been checking up on what places are worth visiting. I basically want somewhere somewhat casual and fairly inexpensive after 3 really heavy meals(wallet-wise), something in the 60-ish euro range. restaurants like abac are out of the question

Right now Im leaning towards Comerç 24, or Cinc Sentits. More towards Cinc Sentits because Im not sure if we can stomach more chemicals after el bulli. Are there any other restaurants I should be looking at?

Also, is the sandwich at cafe vienna worth the trip? Or should I just head straight to jamonisimo.

i would also choose cinc everytime over commerc 24, moo are also running a lunch promotion which is good value and you could try routa

We enjoyed Abac quite a bit for lunch - would highly recommend it.

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The sandwich at Cafe Viena is good if you are starving and on La Rambla and don't know where to go. But Cafe Viena is really more like a fast food/quick service restaurant with a laminated menu in several different languages. I'd go to somewhere where they take the jamon more seriously if you have time.

I loved Cinc Sentits, particularly for the suckling pig. Didn't go to Commerc 24. Went to Tapac 24, it was good, but not as good as Quimet i Quimet or Paco Meralgo or Inopia (the last one being my favorite).

My as-yet-unfinished trip report is on eG, Barcelona starts about here:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1681805


Edited by kathryn (log)

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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I dont mean to be lazy, but i promise i have done some research  :laugh:

Basically, I'll be embarking on a journey to spain, starting in SS(Arzak, mugaritz), on to Roses(bulli), and back to Barcelona

I have one evening and one full day in barcelona, and Ive been checking up on what places are worth visiting. I basically want somewhere somewhat casual and fairly inexpensive after 3 really heavy meals(wallet-wise), something in the 60-ish euro range. restaurants like abac are out of the question

Right now Im leaning towards Comerç 24, or Cinc Sentits. More towards Cinc Sentits because Im not sure if we can stomach more chemicals after el bulli. Are there any other restaurants I should be looking at?

Also, is the sandwich at cafe vienna worth the trip? Or should I just head straight to jamonisimo.

i would also choose cinc everytime over commerc 24, moo are also running a lunch promotion which is good value and you could try routa

We enjoyed Abac quite a bit for lunch - would highly recommend it.

I lied - didn't got to Abac - it was Hisop for lunch.

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I dont mean to be lazy, but i promise i have done some research  :laugh:

Basically, I'll be embarking on a journey to spain, starting in SS(Arzak, mugaritz), on to Roses(bulli), and back to Barcelona

I have one evening and one full day in barcelona, and Ive been checking up on what places are worth visiting. I basically want somewhere somewhat casual and fairly inexpensive after 3 really heavy meals(wallet-wise), something in the 60-ish euro range. restaurants like abac are out of the question

Right now Im leaning towards Comerç 24, or Cinc Sentits. More towards Cinc Sentits because Im not sure if we can stomach more chemicals after el bulli. Are there any other restaurants I should be looking at?

Also, is the sandwich at cafe vienna worth the trip? Or should I just head straight to jamonisimo.

If you are interested in jamon iberico, head straight to Jamonisimo. Go to Cafe Viena only if you are hungry and on the Rambla. There is no comparison.

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Thanks, I think I'll be skipping cafe viena. How much is the standard jamon tasting? I cant find any price info on the place

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My notes say that in 2007:

jamon iberico bellota seleccion de Salamanca, Andalucia, and Extremadura - 24 EUR each region

jamon iberico bellota seleccion en texturas (three different parts of the leg) - 27 EUR

So I'd ball park it around 30 Euros.


Edited by kathryn (log)

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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On a recent trip to Barcelona we visited many places to eat, the highs and lows are recorded here for you to enjoy or avoid.

Origen 99.9% - i believe we visited the branch on C / Rosselló, 154

A small but popular bar / restaurant serving a range of dishes including open sandwiches and seasonal regional dishes. A great spot for lunch, the menu features dishes slightly larger than tapas and just enough for one as a lunch. Very fresh ingredients prepared very simply but very well. A veal and olive dish and an extremely fresh salad. The creme catalan was the finest i tasted during my visit. Friendly staff and great pan tomaquet - the catalan special. Highly recommended for a small simple lunch.

Senyor Parellada - 37 c/ Argenteria

We visited this on the basis of several reviews read on other food / travel websites, many had said it offered great food at reasonable prices and we were eager to try it. This restaurant is busy - if you do visit make a reservation, we waited 20 minutes for a table (without being offered a drink). Menus are available in most European languages and offers Spanish cusine with some French influence. The wine list is imopressive ordering wines by D.O.C so as we were in Catalnuya we chose a local red at around 20€ which was really quite good.

The bread and olives arrived - trussed up in colored paper like giant amaretti, the olives were passable but the bread was past its best.

Starters were uninspiring, my 'meat croquettes from the stockpot' were filled with a bland grey slurry of underseasoned meat and could have used a touch of sauce or stock to counter the dryness. My partner's squid rings were tough and accompanied by a romesco which seriously lacked any flavour.

I was excited by the veal fricasse with wild mushrooms and when did it arrive was not too disappointed, the veal was tender and tasty in a rich thick gravy. The wild mushrooms howver were scarce and there were no other vegetables. I had expected a small serving of veg with the main as there were no sides listed on the menu. I would consider myself to be extremely carnivorous but this was an unrelenting plate of nothing but meat even to me.

Desserts came and went - an obligatory creme catalan as i was in the region and although nothing special i could not particularly fault it either.

Service was stuffy, pretentious and incompetent. The wine waiter fumbled with the bottle unable to open it, waiters repeatedly knocked my chair, desserts arrived ten minutes apart and obtaining the bill was almost impossible.

This is a restaurant to avoid.

Vinateria del call - Carrer Sant Doménec del Call

A small softly lit bar in the old city, full of character and one of my favourite places in the city. There is only a Spanish menu outside but English available inside, this means it is filled with locals not tourists. The wine list is superb and we ordered a Clos Mostardo (Priorat) at a very reasonable €15. The menu is largely local meats and cheeses with small dishes or large platters available of each. The plate of black and white bull meat, a local catalan goats cheese and stuffed spicy mussels were amongst the highlights. Perfect for a lingering relaxed meal with many plates. Well worth a visit! Service is friendly and relaxed and you can see the open kitchen with its display of meat and cheeses.

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eGullet fans of Formatgeria La Seu in Barcelona, of which I know there are quite a few, might like to know that they have opened a small bar next door to the shop, specialising in small plates of their wonderful cheeses, speciality embutidos and local wines. It's a great stop on a tapas crawl in the evenings and a nice place to have lunch. I believe Jordi Artal of Cinc Sentits has recently taken some journalists there so expect to see it mentioned in the American food press soon.

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Via someone on Chowhound, who emailed them, Jamonissimo's hours are:

Restaurant open from 8am to 10pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturday from 8am to 3pm, and 5pm to 9.30pm.

In June 24 is closed (San Juan).


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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When I was in Barcelona last month I went to Jamonissimo during what were supposedly "open hours" (i.e., 3pm on a Monday) and they were closed, no sign or note on door. Kind of annoying.

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My SO and I were in Barcelona and Girona for a week in early June and I've listed some highlights and observations below.

As a general observation, we found the standard of service to vary between average and downright frosty..even in some of the high end places we visited. This seemed to permiate all elements of the service industry from restaurants and hotels to coffee shops and bars. We have a small amount of Spanish to get by with and always made an effort to engage staff but more often than not we hit a brick wall.

Service issues aside, we enjoyed some amazing food and wine. We started out with the tasting at Masanna in Girona. Some excellent cooking and wine pairings with foie gras and espresso reduction stealing the show.

We followed this with El Cellar de Can Roca and the cooking stepped up a notch. From the 11 course tasing menu we could not fault a single dish. The signature prawn was every bit as good as we had hoped as were all of the seafood dishes particularly. FOH left a lot to be desired for a 3* though.

Moving on to Barcelona, the best meal we ate was a superb lunch at Lasarte, Martin Berasategui's 2* which was in the hotel where we were staying. We hadn't heard much about this restaurant but are big fans of MB's restaurants in San Sebastian so we decided to try it. Service was easily the best we encountered on the whole trip and the food was superb. Highlights were squab pigeon and veal sweetbreads.

The only other starred reservation we had was Commerc24but unfortunately we had to leave before our starters as I was not feeling well ( hardly surprising in hindsight given the amount I'd eaten in the previous few days!!). It looked fantastic ( if a little pretentious) so we will definitely go back next time.

The rest of the time we ate tapas which were generally very good. We made the obligatory pilgrimage to Cal Pepone evening. Food was just ok but I guess it's the atmosphere people go there for and we certainly enjoyed our night. A decent tuna tartare was the highlight food wise.

I can also recommend grabbing a stool at the counter of the fish stand in the Boqueria getting some grilled fresh sardines or whatever else they have on the day. Grilled fresh fish with a squeeze of lemon and a cold beer are hard to beat on a hot day.

Overall we were really impressed with the standard of food and even though the service wasn't always up to scratch, it didn't take too much away from our enjoyment. We're already planning a return visit.

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I'll have more to say about this in a future post, but anyone who is a "foodie," or is traveling to Barcelona and wants to eat great food at a wonderful value, or even anyone who just loves great food and service should be going to Restaurant Gelonch. My wife (Significant Eater) and I just enjoyed a 9-course tasting menu (oh, by the way, it's 45 euros for the tasting menu) that was, indeed the equal, if not the better, than many meals costing much, much more. Food prepared and served with love. Go.

Comp disclosure: 1 extra dessert, as if we needed it.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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If anyone's in the vicinity of la Sagrada Familia and wants to eat somewhere decent that ISN'T Alkimia, then Caldeni could be what you're looking for. One of Barcelona's bistronomic restaurants, it offers a set lunch for €21. Its chef/owner Dani Lechuga is the author of "La Cocina de la Carne" so its no surprise that the restaurant specialises in meat.

My full review can be found here http://foodbarcelona.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/caldeni/

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After spending almost a week in Barcelona, looking back to our favorite meal...there were plenty of wonderful tapas (more about them soon) and some great traditional meals as well. But as far as Significant Eater and I were concerned, the most amazing meal we had was at Restaurant Gelonch. Here Chef Robert Gelonch blew us away with dish after dish of near-flawless food - something like 9 courses for the set price of 45 euros...that's not a typo...45 euros.

So, what did we eat? After starting with a pair of oysters topped with a passion fruit and gin and tonic gelee, there was "Wagyu beef carpaccio on a cracker with grilled artichoke and rucola," tasting as fantastic as it looked...

Gelonch 3_1.jpg

Followed by "Cuttlefish taglierini with deconstructed pesto," with the tenderest cuttlefish imaginable...

Gelonch 2_1.jpg

Then the "smoke bell..."

Gelonch 4_1.jpg

Hiding "8 vegetables mini cream with grilled vegetable and baked tomato broth..."

Gelonch 5_1.jpg

Next up: "octopus and Iberian pork shoulder “Mil Feulle” with baked garlic smoothie and sautéed Chinese garlic..."

Gelonch 4.5_1.jpg

After which came "Confited codfish with pistaccio sand, griottines (Morello cherries) and confited quail sauce..."

Gelonch Cod_1.jpg

Of course, another pig course, namely "Iberian piglet 24H – 70º C without bone, served with croissant, tupinambour (Jerusalem artichoke) and cajou nuts..."

Gelonch 6_1.jpg

I love pig two ways. Significant Eater does too, but I don't know if she liked it more than this course: "Assorted cheese with bananas and honey cream, coffee crumble, sweet baked endives and eggplant ice cream..."

Gelonch Cheese_1.jpg

And then, "Catalan cream custard foam with apple sorbée, lemon soft jello, caramelized apple and confited lemon peel," which was really good, but I don't have a picture. I think chef might've know I forgot to take a picture, so he also sent this out as a gift of the house, in case we were still hungry...

Gelonch Dessert_1.jpg

Even though I took notes throughout the meal, I needn't have bothered. It was all delicious...there was nothing that I wouldn't eat again (including the eggplant ice cream), and there was some which I'm dying to eat again (hello Iberian piglet, and as good as Great NY Noodltown's piglet is, it isn't Iberian piglet), all cooked by a passionate chef with a small brigade and served by a wonderful waiter who knew each dish backwards and forwards and graciously answered all of our questions.

Restaurant Gelonch? Yes, indeed.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Thanks for this, Mitch. What part of the piglet is that? And was the skin crisped somehow?

I think it was belly. The skin was shatteringly crisp, but I'll have to do some research on how it became so.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Following Weinoo’s recommendation, we booked a table at Gelonch for last Saturday during a 5 day trip to Barcelona. I must say we are glad we did! Except for the suckling pig, we had a completely different, but equally impressive 9 course menu.

After speaking with our waiter, I can confirm that these guys are true food passionate and thrive for excellence; the chef is particularly successful with flavor combinations and efficient use of some modernist techniques. I was impressed as to how they could manage such an elaborate menu and flawless service in such a small space and with a limited staff.

Something else I appreciated was the reasonable price of all extras (glass of Cava, bottle of water…) and wine. These kinds of details help me appreciate the whole experience much better.

Without doubt one of the best (value) meals I had.

Ohh, and don't get put away by the rudimentary aspect of the website, they are working on something better and at least it doesn't feature music or video intros.

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hello!

i am taking my first trip to Spain over Thanksgiving, and we will be staying the entire time (5 days) in Barcelona. we rented an apartment in Born.

i'm thinking one or two "fancy" meals during that time, with the rest tapas and casual/rustic/etc.

i tried to get a reservation for ANY day during our stay at Sant Pau, but were advised they are booked.

aside from Gelonch's place, i'm interested to hear other recommendations.

my particular personal interests are:

-seafood, especially octopus and shellfish (will definitely take the tip to sit down at the fish market in the Boqueria and eat whatever grilled freshness is offered - i do adore sardines!)

- all variety of pork and all kinds of braised meat

- regional specialties

-cheese and the Spanish dessert cheese-with-honey

- desserts in general

- sweets made by cloistered nuns

- good coffee (the monster must be fed)

my companion would very much love to find some excellent churros.

i am not super interested in:

liquor (i don't drink, but my companion will have wine with dinner, etc)

jamon iberico (i know it's a travesty to admit it - what i've tried at Boqueria in NYC hasn't made me loose my mind. i prefer speck, to be honest)

bread and pasta (touch of trouble with gluten)

thank you very much for your recommendations.

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Hi mig,

We're just back from a trip to Spain, and spent a few days in BCN. Others here have far more broad experience, but my suggestions would be as follows. First, definitely, definitely go to Gelonch. He is an exceptionally talented young chef and gave us one of the best meals of our trip, and relative to other stops at Can Roca, Mugaritz and Etxebarri, it was astonishingly great value. Front of house was really strong too - and spoke excellent English if that is an issue for you.

Definitely go to Quimet y Quimet. If I tell you it is a canned fish tapas bar, you probably won't go ;-), so check out Weinoo's and others comments in the separate thread on it. It is a cab ride from the Born, but absolutely worth it. I promise you, you will enjoy it. I would strongly recommend skipping the much hyped Cal Pep, which is in the Born and likely close to your hotel. It gets a lot of hype as a great tapas experience, but fell completely flat for us. The food was good, but nothing special, unlike the prices, which have clearly been set to reflect the reputation this place has earned on chowhound and other tourist web sites. I suspect much of the attraction must be the personality of Pep himself, but at least the day we were there, he was working the restaurant at the back, and the guys behind the bar were not remotely engaging. Add to this about a 45 minute wait for a seat at the bar and it was a disappointing waste of time.

Likewise, I was disappointed by Comerc 24. It may have been palate fatigue, as we did it on the last night of a 9 day food extravaganza, but I was not blown away by many dishes. Many were good, but at this price point, you need most to be great. Given the palate fatigue I know we were both experiencing, take my comments on the food with a grain of salt. But what you can take to the banks is that the front of house was just a mess. I booked a 9:00 reservation 6 weeks in advance, and was told to reconfirm it that afternoon. My email to try to reconfirm 2 days before was met with the same request. So I was sure to have the hotel concierge reconfirm, and when we got back from our day of touristing,sure enough I had a note saying they had reconfirmed for us, at noon, and that we had a 9:45 reservation. However, during the afternoon, well after the time on the hotels note that we had reconfirmed, I got a phone message left for me saying that I had not reconfirmed. I phoned back immediately and was told our reservation was cancelled because we had not reconfirmed. Then I was told they had my reservation for 10 pm. In the end, we went at 9, and got in just fine - but what a run around! The service during our meal, other than a superb sommelier, was equally disjointed. I would give it a miss, but defer to others here in case our experience was not representative.

On to more positive comments. One thing you should definitely consider is taking the train out to Girona for a meal at El Celler Can Roca. Currently number 2 on San Pelligrino's list of top 50 restaurants in the world, it is indeed a fabulous experience. I do not know if they do a lunch sitting, but if they do, and if you can still get a reservation, it would be well worth it.

We also really enjoyed a meal at Fonda Gaig in BCN - a supposedly traditional Catalan restaurant. I would describe it as traditional fine dining in Catalonia - but certainly not Catalan home cooking. Very good indeed, and clearly a very popular spot for businesses lunches, but not home cooking enough to be traditional, and not special enough to warrant the price point if others here have better suggestions.

Also, when at La Boqueria, a stop at El Quim de la Boqueria is well worth it. Like Cal Pep, their prices seem to reflect their popularity with gastro tourists, but is was fun and tasty. My advice would be to stick to the lower priced dishes on the menu rather than the full menu items.

Even a bit of research will turn up Tickets, the Adria brothers tapas restaurant, as THE hot spot in town. However, you will find it fully booked up, three months in advance. It is only 4 blocks from Quimet y Quimet, so we strolled by after our meal at Quimet and looked longingly in the window. Next time......

P.S. your NYC experience notwithstanding, before writing off jamon iberico entirely, make sure to at least try jamon iberico de belota (the highest grade), if that is not what you had before. While individual tastes are what makes food so fascinating, it is hard for me to conceive of someone not loving it. It may not change your mind, but when in Spain....


Edited by WillinTO (log)

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Yet another vote for Gelonch - it's nothing to look at from the outside, but the food and service (and prices) are great.

And I firmly second WillinTO's suggestion of a trip to El Celler de Can Roca. Yes, they are open for lunch, and our visit just on a month ago (how time flies!) was THE culinary highlight for me of our month in Europe. They absolutely justify the 'worth a trip' aspect of three-stardom. We arrived around 1.15 and left about 6ish, having had our 15 or so courses with wine matches and a visit to the kitchens and cellar. Just one thing to watch: our three bottles of water cost us 30 euros, which was a bit of a shock. Not sure what the alternative is - other than drinking less water - as they were reluctant (surprise!) to give us the stuff out of the tap, and I suppose 30 euros isn't that much in relation to what the rest of the meal cost, but still ...

And a surprise we found while wandering the gardens on Montjuic - El Fond del Gats. You might have some fun finding it, buried deeply in a nice shady park, but the quality of the food was far better than we expected. Nothing fancy - lamb chops for me, I think - but really well cooked.

Enjoy your trip. I wanna go back!


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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Thanks for all the responses. I did email Gelonch to inquire about reservations - I wonder if they will respond. I couldn't find an English version of their site at http://www.gelonch.es/.

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