Can Fabes or not?
Hello we have a reservation here for four of on for Sunday lunch in June. I was quite excited at the prospect until I read Andy Hayler's review recently. As two of my friends are not as big foodies as we are I am slightly worried about making them do the round trip from Barcelona and pay what could end up being £200 a head for a disappointing meal, when there are so many good places to try in Barcelona itself.
Has anyone else been recently? And what was your experience?
I had a very good meal at Can Fabes, but it could not match the superlative dinners I had at Can Pineda (Sant Joan de Malta, 55). It is a small, unpretentious neighborhood "market restaurant" (cuina de mercat - which places great importance on using the best and freshest products). Many Barcelonans go there to celebrate special occasions, and it was recently rated one of the 1,000 best retaurants in Spain. Be sure to call ahead (93 308 30 81) because it is very difficult to just drop in and get seated.
My advice is to pay no attention to the reviews. This is an excellent restaurant (world-class in every respect) and I cannot imagine that you will not be satisfied. As to other good places, Barcelona does offer many fine restaurants, but you will not go wrong with Can Fabes. And on the questio of authenticity, Can Fabes is flawless.
I agree with most of what PBSF says, but I think a trip to Can Fabes is something not to be missed. Our dinner there last September was one of the best we have ever had, and we have been to numerous Michelin 3-stars. I consider the cooking modern, but based on traditional dishes. We did not have a tasting menu, but in addition to our 3 courses, we were given numerous extra plates before, after, and in-between, so we got to try many things, aside from sharing tastes of the dishes we ordered. The total bill for the 2 of us was less than 400 euros, including a bottle of wine, and glasses of sherry with dessert. I think the cava they gave us beforehand was included. All in all, a very good value for exceptional food.
There are many positive posts on Can Fabes on this board and as any great restaurant, detractors. The lunch I had last November was good as ever and I have eaten there numerous times. As most great restaurants, it has it's own personality. Chef Santi Santimaria has developed a very personal style of cooking, away from the molecular that is so popular in Spain. It is the most traditional of all the three star restaurants in Spain though the cooking has many modern touches. The tasting menu will consists 5 or 6 well thought out plates using the best seasonal ingredients, then some excellent cheeses, ice creams/sorbets, a dessert and all the end of the meal goodies. There will NOT be lots of small tastings. Some say it is the most "French" of the great Spanish restaurant though I find the cooking is thoroughly Spanish. Maybe it is the service that is more 'French'...more formal though very friendly and there is some sense of 'serious' rather than 'playfulness' of say El Bulli or Can Roca. From reading your various posts, it might not be the restaurant for everyone in your party. Since there is so many choices in Barcelona, it might be better to spend the day in Barcelona, especially if your stay is short and you are watching your budget.