2016 05/08

El Principal del Eixample

If you’re looking for somewhere a little special to eat this summer then you could do a lot worse than El Principal del Eixample. In particular their beautiful interior courtyard.

El Principal del Eixample terazza

El Principal del Eixample interior courtyard

This stunning location in Eixample is run by former Grupo Tragaluz stalwart Joan Ferré who after 25 years with the company finally had the opportunity to run his own restaurant. Read the rest of this article…

2016 27/02

Matís Bar from Michelin-starred Artur Martínez

UPDATE: Matís Bar is sadly no longer open.

Matís Bar Barcelona

Bombón de queso y tomate – The art of sphericalisation

As I’ve said before, I’m not normally invited to restaurants, Suzy and Steve are the English-language foodie experts in Barcelona so I leave it to them. But I’m not one to turn down a restaurant invite when it happens. So that’s how I found myself at Matís Bar. A restaurant in the basement of the Architects College in the cathedral square.

The Collegi D’Arquitects de Barcelona is the building in one corner of the square that has friezes on the exterior walls based on drawings by Picasso. It’s not a place where you’d expect to find a restaurant of any note. Even walking past you have to look for the sign directing you to the restaurant downstairs. Read the rest of this article…

2015 16/09

Manolete Barcelona: Tapeo Relajao

UPDATE: Unfortunately the excellent Manolete is no more. It is now the Aperol Spritz Bar. A nice bar, with a covered terrace, in a good location, that thankfully serves more than Aperol.

photo outside Manolete

Manolete, Passeig d’Isabel II, Barcelona

Located slap-bang next to Port Vell underneath the beautiful arches that line parts of Passeig d’Isabel II, Manolete is a charming little restaurant serving some equally charming tapas.

Now I want to be up front here. I don’t normally do restaurant posts. I’m not normally invited to restaurants. To review them I mean – I have friends. But Manolete kindly invited me and for once with these sort of things they were kind enough to invite my wife too. So it was brownie points all round.

We arrived on a warm August evening. You can see Manolete from across the street thanks to the string of bright bulbs out front that remind me of a stage actresses dressing room mirror. They have a small terrace outside with cute red and white polka-dot tablecloths. Inside is similarly charming. It has some nice touches. Distressed-look cupboards filled with glasses and wine, modern black and white photography perched on a shelf half way up the back wall, and pretty embroidered cushions along the wooden but perfectly comfortable benches. Even as I write this it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. The lighting was just right too. And the music playing in the background was loud enough to notice but quiet enough not to be intrusive. I have to admit, I sat down, arranged my cushions behind me, looked around, listened, and then smiled. Even though the restaurant was pretty empty at this point it was an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Read the rest of this article…

2012 14/09

El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim de la Boqueria

Quim at the bar of El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim de la Boqueria is a tapas bar in the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona. Most places in the Boqueria are good to eat. But El Quim de la Boqueria and Bar Pinotxo I’d heard were the stand outs.

I was reminded of Quim’s place by Rachel. She did a stint there as a chef and it sounded like hard work. And you see why. All of the eateries in the Boqueria are small cramped affairs for the staff. They comprise a central area where all the staff work and serve the customers sitting at the bar around the outside. You’re separated by the counter which houses all the good things to eat in cabinets. Read the rest of this article…

2011 07/02

The Best Pincho Bar in Barcelona

Pictures of Maitea Taberna

Maitea Taberna, c/ Casanova, 157

For people from the UK the idea of tapas can sometimes be of slight concern. All the food laid out under or on top of bar-top cabinets. Especially in the summer. It’s never been a problem for me. But I have heard it mentioned.

The same can be said for pincho bars. Bread, especially, doesn’t do well being out for very long. That’s why you have to find a pincho bar that is busy. And serves lots of pinchos that are hardly on the plate long enough for you to spy them and grab one. This is the case in the Maitea Taberna. Read the rest of this article…

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