Paco Meralgo, Barcelona, 11/13/16

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exterior

Paco Meralgo is a reasonably large place with two rooms of small tables, bar seating on two sides of the kitchen and bar seating around some of the walls. We could not get a reservation so we showed up when they first opened hoping to get one of  the unreserved seats at the bar.  It turned out they did have a table available which does give you a bit more room, but everywhere here seating is tight.  Service is friendly and efficient but it doesn’t have the feel of a place to sit and linger over your meal.  Nevertheless, it does serve some tasty food with a large selection to chose from.   Continue reading

Can Solé, Barcelona, 11/13/16

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Exterior

Can Solé is a good sized place with two dining rooms downstairs and additional dining upstairs.  I didn’t go up to see the size of the room upstairs but a lot of people headed up there. In fact the place was full; I overheard several walk-ins get turned away – so do get a reservation.  This place dates back to 1903 and still has the feel of a family run operation-which a wall of photos attests to.  Not all the staff were fluent in English but we had no trouble communicating and their enthusiasm for the dishes made it easy to make selections. Continue reading

La Taverna del Clinic, Barcelona, 11/12/16

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exterior

La Taverna del Clinic is a medium sized place with a modern feel and decorations consisting mostly of wine, liquor and champagne bottles. There is a long counter opposite a series of tightly packed tables.  Nice personalized linens and clothes set a more formal tone. It is a good sized menu with plates to share or small portions and a tasting menu. With a 10:00 pm reservation we thought it might be winding down but it serves the late crowd with the tables and bar filling up soon after we arrived. Our server was friendly and helpful and spoke good English.  We didn’t want a lot but did want to sample some of their best items.   Continue reading

Sense Pressa, Barcelona, 11/11/16

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Exterior

Sense Pressa is a small place with walls lined with wine and spirits.  There are only about 6 tables so reservations are a must and well worth the effort to get one.  Owner José Díaz keeps a close eye on the dining room and seemed to know many of the customers.  The menu is available in Spanish, Catalan and English and luckily he and his son Victor are there to help you pick just the right selections, however Victor speaks much better English.  In addition to the menu listings there may be specials of the day. Victor also is the wine buyer and was most helpful in that department. It was a thoroughly delightful evening in their house.   Continue reading

Bar Cañete, Barcelona, 11/11/16

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Exterior

Bar Cañete is primarily counter seating, some facing the open kitchen, and a couple tables in front and back.  They offer a menu of plates to share and a couple of specials for the day. The staff were helpful in choosing what to try, if we only wanted to try a few plates.  They also helped pick one of the many wines by the glass to go with the food.  Everything was good but not as spectacular as the reviews had made me think it would be. Nevertheless it was a nice experience and the chef was observant enough to note that we had already ordered shrimp and so she left it out of the sweetbreads order, so as to not duplicate.   Continue reading

Gresca, Barcelona, 11/11/16

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Exterior

Gresca has about a dozen tables with a open kitchen in the back of the house. They offer longer tastings but at lunch they have a nicely priced lunch tasting menu with 2 choices for each of three courses. The friendly staff spoke good English but the majority of talk I heard was in Spanish.  One large mirror adorns one wall and otherwise it’s just ecru colored paint. Lunch had a full house of patrons.   Continue reading

Alkimia, Barcelona, 11/10/16

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Entrance

Alkimia is a little hard to find, marked only by a discreet sign by the door and dark interior. We ventured in and up the stairs to find no reception desk or person but obviously tables.  They have only been in this location since June, after taking a year off for a move from their previous location of 13 years.  There are two rooms upstairs, along with private party rooms, one of which serves a more limited menu. Everything is very stylized including the uniforms of the personnel, the dishes and the modern decor in the rooms, but the ornate ceiling shows the building’s age. In the main dining room with the open kitchen, there are 6 tables and you have a choice of two tasting menus or a la carte dining.   Continue reading