Senyor Parellada, c/Argenteria 37
A well-known restaurant with Old World charm. Friendly, but quick -- almost hasty -- service, presumably an effort to move out the crazy fronteras who begin their dinners at the unholy hour of 9:00 to make room for the locals who begin lining up at 10:00+. In any case, I had my best plate of the entire trip (which included Languedoc-Roussillon): fresh cod beneath a blanket of garlic mousselline atop a bed of creamed spinach. I would've gone back for a second helping another night but we found:
El Barkito, c/Corcega 225
A kind of neighborhood seafood bistro at the edge of the Eixample, where nary a word of English was spoken nor, apparently, understood. Coming from the Midwest, I'm a sucker for fresh fish at a good value and the series of squid (grilled and fried), shrimp (ditto), and turbot (al maresco) we tried over a series of two nights was stunningly fresh and simply but well prepared. The patron and staff were friendly and steered us in the right direction when it appeared our selections were moving into uncharted, out-of-season regions. (Italian came in handy here.)
Bon Vivant, c/Diputacio 280
A darkhorse that we stumbled upon--I'd seen it recommended nowhere--near Passeig de Gracia. About two years old with simple but elegant decor, it proved to be a wonderful place for an upscale lunch. The menu focuses on seafood with some fusion elements, but we stuck with the regional specialties, splitting potato/cheese timbals (floating on a pool of truffle oil and wild mushrooms), tuna medallions (encrusted with pepper and herbs), and squid (stuffed with black sausage), well-worth the 50 eu tab (bottle of wine and water included). We'll be back for dinner on our next visit.