Monday night in Barcelona- ship leaves at 11:00 p.m.
We are on a cruise in October and have one day and evening in Barcelona. We have to be back on the boat by 10:00 p.m. We'd like to have a great dinner, but lots of "big name" places seem to be closed on Monday nights. Of the ones that are open, I'm worried that the tasting menu type of drill might take too long for us to make it back to the cruise port by 10:00 (since nothing seems to open before 8:00 p.m.). I also thought about Cap Pep as an alternative type of evening, but I don't love the idea of getting in line 45 minutes before they open. Any suggestions?
Why don't you switch by taking your Big Meal at lunch and your little meal at dinner?
Gresca and Alkimia are both open on Mondays. I don't know what you're thinking in terms of "big names" but if you mean Cinc Sentits, I ate there this summer and did not find it hugely better than Alkimia.
Dos Cielos in the ME Hotel is getting very popular; it's probably open on Mondays (but kind of far away from sightseeing).
Tapac24 on Passeig de Gracia will be open all day. You could have an early dinner there and make it to the cruise terminal by 10 pm.
Same as the above poster, take lunch at Alkimia or Gresca. Can't think of any other 'modern' Catalan restaurants that are open Mondays. Since you have to be out of the restaurant by 9:30pm, your choices are limited. 7 Portes and Petit Comite (Fermin Puig of Drolma simpler traditional place) are open throughout the day for a sit down meal. PLA opens at 7:30 would also work. All serve traditional Catalan food. I think PLA is the best of three. Be aware that you might be the only diner at this early in the evening. Some sit down tapas places are also opened throughout the day: the above mentioned Tapac24 is probably your best bet. Bar Mut is very good but it is somewhat expensive for a tapas place. Or the simple standup El Vaco de Oro. And there are always Cerverseria Catalan or Ciudad Condal. I don't believe Cal Pep is open Mondays.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I did get a reservation at Alkimia, but they don't open until 8:30. It seems like one hour isn't going to be enough time for dinner there from what I gather? The reason we aren't doing out "big" meal at lunch is that because we have such limited time in Barcelona, we want to really max out our sightseeing time that day, so we're just planning on a quick bite somewhere.
For most of us, one hour at Alkimia is definitely not enough. It will barely get you through taking in the ambience, friendly intro, browse the menu, the complimentary tapas and first course. I would give up the idea of a multi-course "big name" restaurant that doesn't open early enough for you to have an enjoyable dinner. Go to the above mentioned Tapac24 for sit down tapas or PLA in the Bari Gotic (not their more informal Bar di PLA; think it opens at 7:30pm which will allow you two hours) for sit down traditional food. You will enjoy some very good food. Or the historic 7-Portes for arroz and seafood; a little more expensive than most places in Barceloneta but offers a good experience.
Dinner at Alkimia is really NOT a good idea, given your time constraints. It is almost the furthest point from the cruise terminal. You would have to inhale your food like a vacuum cleaner and then zip across the city to meet your deadline. Traffic will be bad at that time too, since other people will just be starting to get to their dinner destinations. To be realistic, you won't start eating exactly at 8:30 pm. The kitchen team is not going to appreciate you rushing them either. This is not NYC and Alkimia doesn't do pre-theater dinners.
If you plan your sightseeing well, you will avoid wasting any time in lines. Buy tickets in advance. I recently did a food / sightseeing itinerary for a different forum. Here's an example of what can be done:
Sagrada Familia (see article on buying tickets in advance)
Casa Batllo or Casa Mila (ditto)
Taxi down to Barri Gotic for more sightseeing
Dinner: Bar del Pla (very close to the Picasso museum, if you're interested)
Walk past Santa Maria del Mar church to waterfront for taxi to cruise terminal