I just came back from a fantabulous, food-filled, fun-filled, awe-inspiring, thrill-evoking trip to Barcelona! Four full days in the city meant 8-12 meals that can be planned and enjoyed. So… what are we waiting for?!
It is hard to find bad food in Barcelona. With the Mediterranean edging right along the city, the seafood was addictively fresh, luscious and delicious. The markets were oozing with fresh fruits and vegetables. Tapas bars adorned practically every street in all their glory. My senses were on an all-time high level of excitement.
Just walk into the La Boqueria market on Las Ramblas and you may never ever want to leave. Why? Because everything you may need is right there. Fresh seafood of incredible variety, meats, cheese, fruits, spices, chocolates, candy and so much more…. To top it all, there are a few tapas bars within the market – they are cooking the fresh ingredients sold by their fellow vendors – made to order, and serving it to eager foodies like myself. Pure heaven! If you visit, you must try Pinotxo Tapas bar. I LOVED it!
My first bite of food came from a place we just randomly chose, as we were killing some time until our hotel room was ready for us to check-in. Situated on “Ferran” street in the old city this somewhat obscure place turned out to be a culinary hit! Orio BCN Gotic serves up some killer blood sausage and other dishes primarily from the Basque region!
Dinner at Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany’s Petite Comite was a neat exploration of Catalan cuisine with a contemporary twist. Here each vegetable held its flavor integrity and the seafood was treated like it was a precious painting – gently and delicately.
I wasn’t going to book my trip to Barcelona unless I had a reservation at Ferran Adria’s Tickets Tapas Bar. True that! This was my first experience of food by Ferran Adria and his brother Alberto Adria. All I knew about them was the legend of El Bulli which offered a sophisticated dining experience that would cost one a pretty penny. Tickets, in contrast, was whimsical, fun, casual, affordable dining experience. Here you are not to limited to expensive fixed price tasting menu – although in addition to a la carte dining, they do offer a tasting menu to suit your appetite and you wallet. This is the option we picked. Our server kept bringing us tapas until we told him to stop. This way the chefs got to send out dishes which followed a nice progression of flavor intensities. And some bites were incredibly memorable. Like the olives. LOVE!
It was so cool to be escorted to secret room for the dessert courses. A magical experience and setting. Although, I have to say that the deserts that night were the weakest part of our entire meal.
Artichokes were in-season these days… and I enjoyed so many wonderful preparations of it. Seafood, of course, is always in season! And there is SO MUCH OF IT!
We HAD to have Paella in Barcelona, right? We had some at 7 Portes Restaurant which boasts quite a history and long list of legendary visitors. On another occasion, for Paella we chose a homey looking place near Segrada Familia. Paella in Barcelona was good but it not match up to the calibre I am used to in Fairfield county CT! Can you believe it? Some locals did tell me that for awesome Paella- one needs to head over to nearby town of Valencia. Oh, well! Next time!