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Jul 4, 2006 06:54 PM

1 Night in Madrid & 1 Night in Barcelona: Best Pics?

We are looking for restaurant suggestion for one night in Madrid and one night in BArcelona this week...

We're in our mid-40s, looking for a contemporary, "hot" restaurant that is great, but not overly formal and not necessarily over the top in price. I'd say 50-75 Euros/person for appetizer, entree, and maybe a shared desert. Contemporary, world cuisine. Distinctive, sublime tastes. Upbeat atmosphere. Appreciate your suggestions!

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      Waterfront, seafood

      great tapas

      excellent Med. cuisine, trendy

      1. These spots are tapas style, lots of smaller dishes rather than three-course. Nice places, excellent service, basic fresh catalan food, not cutting edge, but two of our best meals in Spain. PM is a bit fancier. The big meal is supposed to be lunch, we had quite a large meal at PM one evening, at tapas time rather than dinner (8:30pm). Cal Pep is a classic, Pep the gravely-voiced owner/chef is a character and his food is amazing.

        CAL PEP, placa de les olles 8, Barcelona (walk straight down C/Montcada from Picasso Museum, Barri Gotic). Get there at 1:30 to get a seat. FANTASTIC fried sardines; cigarillas/escamarlans (ocean crayfish); xipirones (baby squid) with garbanzos; small clams with diced ham; solomillo (pieces of steak) with potatoes; always get pimientos de padron in Spain; we had beer with this meal but next time I would drink white wine, about 90 euros for 2.

        If in the new part of town, try PACO MERALGO ALTA TABERNA, Muntaner 171 (a block or two south of Diagonal), Barcelona. Similar counter/tapas style, about 120 euros for two: bottle white wine, pajaritos (small green onions, fried); pimientos de padron; large cigarillas and clams; Galician oysters (just one each, they are 3.45 euros, but worth splurging for more, they are unlike our oysters, so briny and delicious); seafood croqueta; tuna steak; solomillo x2 (it was so good we ordered a second helping, with garlic and then with peppercorns); a couple glasses each Rioja tinto when we got to the steak; crema catalan (similar to creme brulee) and a delicious creamy bowl of soft sheep cheese with honey for dessert, coffee.