Just returned from a week in Barca, Begur and Madrid. Would like to re-pay the favor of all who have contributed.
(Alas, we never made it off wait list for Cellar de Can Roca and had to cancel reservations at Hisop, which I’d picked after much consultation on this site. We were too long at Sagrada Familia, which was magical in its own way. Ours was mostly a “small plate” tour.)
In Barcelona - made it to both Pinotxo and Cal Pep - both were great shows and yummy food. Highlight at Pinotxo (where we were lucky and snagged seats toward end of lunch at 2:00) was cod with garlic. At Cap Pep, had to wait out the first seating (with some wine) after arriving at 7:45. The staff was very welcoming; they will assemble a menu of tapas based on your desires (and restrictions). Both places had super fresh ingredients, cooked well – but nothing terribly artful.
Based on previous threads here we made it to Paco Meralgo and I must admit to being disappointed. We arrived early and found seats at the window counter. The staff did not seem happy to have us there. Most of the food was under-seasoned. Did not feel like a “destination” meal.
If anyone is heading to the Costa Brava we had two very nice meals: Sa Rascassa (Aiguafreda)– very fresh fish cooked wonderfully in an ocean side setting and then at our hotel at Galena Mas Comangau (Begur). There was a beachside restaurant at Aiguablava that looked hopping and delicious but that closed 5:00 just as we were ready to eat something.
Back in Madrid for a night we had a highlight night at Juanlaloca. They served delicious and, yes, artful tapas in a very comfortable setting (where we were also able to watch the World Cup finals). Outstanding torta espana and a dish of boletus (porcini) and truffles with egg over charred bread that was darn near a perfect dish. Excellent tuna carpaccio with saffron puffed rice and almond oil. Also in Madrid, I’d highly recommend a visit to Mercado San Miquel – totally fun concept where each vendor sells bites of her/his wares. Real fun if you have kids since variety is a plenty and don’t need to commit to much. Also had some lovely pinchos on C. Cava Baja. There are a number of appealing places along this hopping street.
Hope this is helpful and happy eating to any who are on their way.