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Mar 12, 2008 09:19 PM

recs for 10 days in Barcelona, Seville, Granada?


My girlfriend and I will be traveling in Spain for 10 days at the beginning of April. We'll be spending 3 days in Barcelona, 3 days in Seville, 3 days in Granada, one day in Malaga, and one day in Madrid. We are 30 year old foodies who live in San Francisco, and have eaten a lot of Spanish food and tapas in SF, so we're really excited to be eating in Spain.

what are we looking for? The big thing we need help with is, we'll be celebrating my birthday in Seville (3 weeks from now, on Thursday). Any recs? Something a little bit on the nicer side, that's a little hip and interesting/contemporary with great food.

Other than that, any other "can't misses" for the various areas we will be traveling to? Any range of prices works for us (including the great, cheap places!).

thanks in advance!

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  1. Here's a good Sevilla tapas blog

    I'm in BCN now - have enjoyed the following restaurants

    Quim at Boqueria - fried artichokes are delicious
    Pinoxto at Boqueria - Squid with beans; Foie with Balsamic vinegar
    Paco Merlago - Carrer Mundander (Eixample) - some lump it with Cal Pep for seafood
    Can Majo - Barceloneta - excellent cod, anchovies
    Kaiku - Barceloneta - superb tuna carpaccio and smoked rice paella
    Nou Tellar - on Princessa very near Picasso Museum - good sausage/beans, vegetable tapas, fish paella
    Bar Pi - in Plaza Pi - our local bar - great table for 2 upstairs with view over the bar and out to the Plaza - friendly staff

    On my list but haven't visited yet

    Senyor Paraledda - near Santa Maria Cathedral - traditional Catalan
    Cing Sentis - chef from El Bulli
    Commerc24/Tapas24 - expensive - not sure we'll go
    Cal Pep - near Santa Maria Cathedral - only 7 seats and we're starting to tire of tapas
    Inopia - tapas bar owned by Ferran Adria's brother
    Quimet y Quimet - tapas from jars and tins - gotta try it!
    Alkimia - another Adria chef

    Here's a link to our blog - photos from above restaurants going up in the next couple of days

    10 Replies
    1. re: ElizabethS

      Just remembered another

      Mam i Teca - c/Lluna 4 , Ravel
      We had a delightful lunch for 5 people here - ordered virtually everything on the menu that day - confit, fried hake, peppers - the co-owner Robin is Dutch serving traditional Catalan cuisine!

      1. re: ElizabethS

        Just saw a typo - it's Paco Meralgo at 171 Muntaner.....

        1. re: ElizabethS

          Just a couple of clarifications: Chef Jordi Artal of Cinc Sentis is self taught and has never work at El Bulli. Also Cal Pep's counter has at least 15 seats but that doesn't lessen the wait.

          1. re: PBSF

            While we are at it, did Jordi Vila from Alkimia ever worked at El Bulli?

            1. re: SillyDisciple

              I don't think Jordi Vila ever worked at El Bulli either. Seems like every chef who is cooking modern Spanish cooking gets linked with Adria and El Bulli.

              1. re: PBSF

                As far as I can tell, from the original list posted by ElizabthS only Carles Abella from Comerç 24 is an El Bulli alumni.

                1. re: SillyDisciple

                  You are correct on that fact. Was in Barcelona last November for just a few days; was never near the Boqueria in the afternoon to check out your stall, Pazzta 920. Hopefully later this year.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    Sorry to hear about missing your visit. You know where we are within the Boqueria :), so anytime.
                    We're also open during the morning, by the way.

                    1. re: SillyDisciple

                      Where is your stall? What do you serve? I am visiting Barcelona for the first time next Wednesday and hope to check out the market

                      1. re: fishermb

                        Our stall is in the Boqueria Market, stall 920, and we sell and serve fresh pasta made with market ingredients. We have several types of pasta and serve a daily menu 11:30am to 4:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

        2. We spent 3 days in Barcelona several months ago and had some wonderful meals. Cinq Sentits is a very contemporary, creative place. We had an 8-course tasting menu with wine pairings, so it was expensive, but very good. Alkimia is even more cutting-edge, and even better. It has a Michelin star. We had a 6-course tasting (very substantial portions) and just a bottle of wine, so did not spend as much. For an entirely different experience, La Dama is a traditional Catalan restaurant in an art nouveau building. It also has a Michelin star. The food was amazing. The stuffed pig's feet were superb, as was the lobster paella. Langoustine salad was light and fresh and canneloni filled with chicken in a cream sauce were surprisingly light and delicious. It's quite expensive but IMO well worth it. This is the sort of place where well-heeled locals go for Sunday lunch, somewhat off the tourist radar. For a simple dinner, we went to Senyor Parellada, which is in the hotel Banys Orientals (where we stayed). It is traditional, with a very extensive menu, and inexpensive. It's not haute cuisine but is very tasty. The atmosphere is very charming, and it is lively and bustling. A real fun place. The street where it is located, Carrer Argenteria, also has a number of good tapas bars and restaurants.

          1. Barcelona is a "long weekend" sort of place for us that we visit regularly. By far the best place we've come across is the Windsor in the Eixample district.

            In spite of its English name, it serves non-touristy upscale creative "modern Catalan" food. Why it never gets mentioned on this board beats me.



            2 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              Does anyone know what a meal at El Bulli is running nowadays?

              1. re: fishermb

                the fixed menu is about 160 EUR. With wine etc, expect to spend 250 upwards.

            2. Hi, thanks for the linkage. The Sevilla Tapas site has undergone some recent changes that I hope will make it even more useful and informative (and also prettier!).

              I have also started a website which is my personal take on Sevilla after having lived here for 16 years ... that one is still a bit "under construction".


              1. Where in Sevilla are you staying?

                I highly recommend Bar Yebra for a dinner, it was my favorite place there. A fun and popular resto in the Macarena neighborhood of Sevilla, we would walk there from our apts in Barrio Santa Cruz in about 15 mins. Ask for Oscar and have him order for you, however, make sure you get the Tapa del Dia and ask for the Sampler of Meats in diff sauces also.

                I would also recommend doing a tapas crawl through the street leading up from the cathedral. Make sure you stop at Las Columnas on that crawl for some traditional tapas and beer, and a very local scene. Order a Tortilla Rellena and Flamenquines, or just order what everyone else is ordering!

                A couple of other rec's in the area include Las Coloniales (a couple dif locations); and try La Cava Del Europa on Calle Santa Maria la Blanca for some 'gourmet tapas' (get the Braised Beef Cheek in pedro jimenez sauce and the Quesadilla Los Balanchares gratinado w/ apple and a glass of... Cava).

                A few doors down from La Cava is La Freitadura (SP?) where they freshly fry to perfection all the traditional treats (various mariscos, croquetas, alinas de pollo, etc) and have a very nice marinated tomato salad.

                About a 10 mins walk from there is Becerrita, which is a nice resto with a tapas bar in the front, so you may take it more casual. My favorites there included oxtail croquettas and the Iberian 'presa' with caramelized mustard.

                I didn't get to eat there, but Hacienda Benazuza is 15 mins outside of Sevilla and is a Ferran Adria outpost and may be something to consider for your birthday, if that is the type of thing you are going for.

                Hope this helps.