Restaurants & Bars

Barcelona Report

MarkC | Jan 22, 200611:18 PM

Just spent three days in Barcelona. Here is a quick rundown of restaurant experiences:

1) Espai Sucre - Loads of fun. For those who don't know, this restaurant offers a meal consisting entirely of innovative desserts. My wife and I shared the long and the short dessert menu, which made for a total of eight courses. Some, particularly the fruit desserts, were truly ambrosial. Others didn't succeed quite as well, like a nut cake with beer foam, but in the spirit of invention, one can be forgiving. The tasting came with four tiny glasses of dessert wine. Anyone coming to Barcelona should make this restaurant a part of their experience.

2) Gaige - I had seen this restaurant lavishly praised on other websites, and I must say that I don't believe it lived up to its reviews. The meal was pleasant, but nothing more. My starter consisted of an excessively fatty cut of veal, from the head, I think, paved with a few pieces of pasta, which was oddly underwhelming. My suckling pig was tasty enough, but nothing really interesting. Desserts were forgettable. If you're looking for a high end meal in Barcelona, you can probably do better elsewhere.

3) Quimet i Quimet - you'll have loads of fun also standing at the bar of this tiny eatery, lined with old bottles, and rubbing elbows with Spanish businessmen. They have a limited number of specialities, including pickled seafood, raw fish, and artisan cheeses. And the usual fried croquettes. The atmosphere, as much as the food, makes the experience. Out of the way location.

4) Coure - this is a new restaurant, in the style of the "new bistros" of Paris, offering high end dishes in relaxed surroundings at exceedingly reasonable prices. Not everything was a success. My duck liver starter simply wasn't good enough, and I sent it back. My wife's, though, was fabulous, a bacala with some sort of herbal foam. My main course was a hare which was deeply flavored and delicious. For dessert I took the cheese course, which was also delicious.

We'd had reservations at Abac, but had had so much to eat that day that we weren't at all hungry, so we cancelled, and I couldn't make another reservation. I saw the menu, and it looked fabulous, so I was sorry we missed it. Next time.

Food aside, everybody owes it to themselves to try and make a trip to Barcelona. In my opinion, there is no city in the world, including New York and Paris, that offers such an architectural feast.

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