Last minute reservations in Barcelona
I'm heading to Barcelona next week, and didn't realize how important booking waaayyy in advance was going to be. Am I completely up the creek with regard to places like Alkimia or CincSentits? Any recommendations on what my best bets are likely to be if we wait until we get there?
Give them a call. If you don't mind eating early (by Spanish standards) you may still be able to reserve.
I would give any restaurant that interest you a call rather than waiting until you get to Barcelona. The best time to call is late morning or between 5-7pm Barcelona time. It also help if one is flexible on particular day. I've found that a place might be full on Thursday but not on Wednesday. Also try calling the same day since there might be cancellations and no shows. There are so many great places in Barcelona that one will always find a few that has tables available (maybe not Friday/Saturday nights on short notice).
I would give any restaurant that interest you before leaving for Barcelona. The best times to call are late morning and 5-7pm Barcelona time. It also help if one is flexible on the day. I have found that a restaurant might be full on Thursday but not on Wednesday. I also call on the same day for cancellations and no shows which is frequent in Barcelona. Since there are so many excellent high end restaurants, one should be able to get a reservation for a few of them on short notice.
I would ring as soon as possible.
Barcelona is a "weekend away" place for us and we visit often. Our favourite resto in town is the Windsor and there's normally no trouble getting a reservation at shortish notice so long as you can be a bit flexible about day and/or time.
In spite of its English name, the cuisine is very firmly fixed in the "modern Catalan" style. It's not a casual place and prices reflect that (around 23 Euro for mains).
Never mentioned on Chowhound (except by me), it gets good mention on egullet, Time Out, Trip Advisor and Michelin. Against that, you might want to balance the comment from one Chowhound (last time I mentioned the place) "Windsor is not considered a top restaurant, at least locally. It's rather overpriced and doesn't seem to offer the same quality of ingredients and technique that many other places in the city do."
As mentioned, it is not cheap. I disagree about ingredients and skill (unless it's gone down the pan in very recent months)
Our normal plan is to make a reservation for the Friday night (so we are not messing about looking for somewhere just after we arirve). Often as not it's the Windsor. Saturday we either have made another reservation or find somewhere that looks OK. Sunday lunch in Barcelonetta, then cab to the airport
Thanks for singling me out as the sole person criticizing Windsor. I just went on eGullet (I'm a regular poster there), searched for Windsor and found only one comment on one thread, from January this year, with no positive or negative remarks, just as part of a list of restaurants cooking "new catalan cuisine".
Moreover, I can't find one good review of this place in any local site, blog, newspaper, etc. So to each it's own, but please don't picture it as me vs. the world, please, because I don't think that's a proper representation of this restaurant.
In my humble opinion, there's a very long list of restaurants in this city which are better choices than Windsor, if one is looking for a good price/quality ratio. But as I said, to each its own.
Shame you feel the need to be so defensive. There really is no need - we're only discussing a restaurant - not like it's a "life or death" matter. Lighten up a tad and we'll all have more fun.
I had hoped to show that, apart from my own view and those of posts on other sites (which are generally, but not exclusively, positive) that there was a view on CH that it was NOT a good place. It would seem unfair NOT to have included your view if we are trying to present a balanced opinion.
I think we'll just have to disagree about our relative experiences at Windsor. And, as you say, each to their own.
Chowhounds to the rescue! Thanks for all your advice. I'll definitely try to book for the weekend ASAP. Fortunately, we'll have 7 days and a lot of flexibility. And my hubby hasn't read any guidebooks, so his heart isn't set on anything :) Thanks again!