Mimolet in Girona
The clear goal of Mimolet is to please and satisfy the people that eat there. It's not about breaking new culinary ground, it's not about see-and-be-seen, it's about creating a lovely experience, and they do it really well. The service is warm and attentive, the interior is modern, creative, and comfortable (if a bit overly designy for my taste) and the food is excellent. You can tell that the chef adores his ingredients, and is confident and happy in the kitchen.
We ordered (vague translations from my rusty memory of the Catalan menu): Baby Vegetable Salad, Paella with Small Lobsterthings, Salt Cod Carpaccio, and Veal with Foie Gras (first prize for Tastiest Ethically Questionable Dish). The meal began with three (complementary) amuses bouche: a shot glass of carrot soup, a bite of eggplant topped with caviar, and tuna tartare on melba toast. All excellent. And the paella, veal, and carpaccio were also impeccably made, but the dish that told me we were in a really fine restaurant was the vegetable salad. Whole baby vegetables, each flawless and perfectly blanched or baked or fried: leeks, fresh baby corncobs, carrots, zuchinni with the flower still attached, eggplant, and a few heirloomy-looking tomatoes. They were casually plated and simply dressed with a subtly flavorful blend of oils I couldn't identify (pumpkinseed and...?), and some sea salt. It's the best thing I've ever eaten. Each vegetable was so exquisite, I imagine the chef sleeping in his garden so he could pick them all at exactly the right moment.
We shared a ginger gelato for dessert, and with our coffees they brought a little stone tray with an assortment of chocolate/peanut concoctions. Perfect.
The wine list is really reasonable (we got a delicious 15-euro Raimat chardonnay), and the bill came to around a hundred euros, which seemed like a great deal for the exceptional food and charming service. The tasting menu (8 small courses) was 40 euros a head.
When we left, the whole waitstaff (3 guys) and the chef saw us off very kindly (on a rainy wednesday-- not exactly a busy night).
The only drawback I can think of is that the menu is only available in Catalan, but our waiter was happy to answer questions in adequate English or perfect Spanish, and we got along fine. It might have been tricky if we wanted more specific information in English.
Mimolet is in the old city of Girona, near the cathedral.