Restaurants & Bars

BCN review - Alkimia, Berri Taktika, Sagardi, Taller de Tapas, Bar Lobo, etc.

windycity | Aug 24, 201107:23 PM     12

These restaurants were the highlight of my trip in Barcelona. I just ate at these places, so the menus should be current.

ALKIMIA - an intimate restaurant that has a 6 course lunch menu for 38 euro where you can pick betwen 2 options for the apps and main (the menu makes it look like it is only 3 courses. Do not be fooled, this place ia an excellent value.) It is ideally situated a few blocks from Sagrada Familia and has a nice wine menu. The meal started with a shooter of tomato water with chorizo, then progressed to an amuse bouche of octopus with sour cream. Then a choice of two salads with fresh greens, small flowers, and a choice of dried tuna or sardines.

For the 1st main, you get a choice of very very tender octopus that is somewhat barbequed with this incredibly slightly sweet, smoky flavor or an almondine chicken roll. Then it is on to a choice of flaky John Dory with baby corn or spicy steak tartare.

For dessert, there is coconut ice cream with rich chocolate cake with dried coconut on top, and then as a final surprise, the restaurant brings out a petit fours tray. There is a hazelnut dome, an almond tart with fig, a lovely refresher of ginger, lemon verbena and melon, and finally, the perfect last bite - an explosion of passion fruit ice cream that's vibrantly tangy and sweet with a good touch of sour. I ate two of these. The restaurant is very accommodating of nut allergies but if you have really really severe nut allergies, you should know that the sourdough bread and the frutos secos (dried fruit and nut) bread are on the same bread platter that goes around. Their bread is delicious, btw. And most of the petit fours have nuts of some sort except the refresher.

My apologies if the descriptions of the food are crude, the menu doesn't list the dishes for the lunch special so all descriptions are mine. So far, this is my favorite place - not a note out of place.

BAR LOBO - a tapas bar by Le Meridian hotel, it has straight-forward and tasty food. The best was the fried artichoke and their lime granita.

SAGARDI - This is a Basque pinxtos place and it's slightly confusing if you haven't been to the tapas places where you grab a plate and load up your plate with bites of food on bread, then the waitstaff counts the toothpicks to tally up your total. We had a bite of sardine on some purple mash, the tuna filled red pepper, a large ham croquette, and a fried fish fritter plus a coke and a cider for 12 euro. A good price for what we got, but my partner was unimpressed.

So we went to TALLER DE LAS TAPAS (2nd night in a row). Over the two visits, highlights included the sauteed spinach with chickpeas and iberian pork cheeks, the bacalao (salt cod)) fritters, the minty salad, and the gazpacho. Avoid the sardines - too salty.

BERRI TAKTIKA - This is supposed to be the finest example of Basque cuisine in Barcelona. Per PBSF, we went to the rear room. Well, it is delicious and hearty. The star was the long bean and white bean soup. It comes in a tureen, and I didn't realize how much I missed warm soup until we had it. Honestly I could have just had a whole tureen myself. We also had an omelette of mushrooms and cheese, which was tasty but nothing special. Then it was onto the main courses of fried pork with red peppers (yes, my partner really picked this) and a duck confit, which I was kinda hoping would be small since duck confit in the US usually is and I was pretty full by then. Nopes, a very generous portion of fall off the bone duck confit with a quince jelly and what I'm pretty sure was Thai sweet chili sauce. Interesting combo that worked. The duck skin could have been crispier but as full as I was, my partner and i ate every last bit.

BOPON - this bakery is really delicious. They have great chocolate croissants, and in addition to having chocolate on the inside, they dip the two horns in chocolate as well. Also had a very refreshing cold honeydew melon soup.

LA FONDA DE PORT OLIMPIC - this is a terrible and overpriced restaurant on the waterfront. The hake with clams was mildly edible, though the clams were disgusting. Like overly fishy and metallic. And the fisherman's paella had way overcooked seafood (dry to the point of stringy) as well as rice that seemed to be liberally doused with ketchup. Lesson here folks: don't ask hotel concierge for a romantic dinner, and plan out your meals well in advance using chowhounder advice. This was a ripoff and not romantic at all, though it was Sunday and most places are closed, and we didn't have internet.

So much more that I wanted to see and eat, and not enough time. Main wish was to go back to Boqueria while the stalls were open (we went on a Monday at 6.) But i did pick up some delicious jellies and jamon iberico.

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