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Barcelona/Madrid Honeymoon in May

I've been to Barcelona and can't wait to introduce my husband to the pinxtos style of dining.

I also have extensive experience with Michelin-starred restaurants in other parts of the world (U.K., San Francisco, New York, Paris), but we want to splurge on just one blow-out meal - Madrid or Barcelona?

We will be doing five days in each city so I'm looking forward to more easy-going, locals eats than too much haute cuisine. Looking forward to perusing this board over the next few months for thoughts and suggestions!

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  1. Only been to Barcelona once (on our Honeymoon a year and a half ago), but it was one of the most amazing food experiences of our young lives. Dying to go back as soon as possible. Here's our trip report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869235

    Highly, highly, highly recommend Sant Pau for your blow out meal for lunch. A truly wonderful experience.

    17 Replies
    1. re: foodcoupleSF

      Just got the email from Sant Pau that they can't accommodate us during our visit (I gave them a five-day window more than two months in advance!)

      Any other suggestions?

      1. re: CarrieWas218

        I know last year they closed for about 2 weeks in May, so perhaps you hit their vacation period?

        1. re: willyum

          Ah... How depressing for me!

          Any back-up suggestions?

            1. re: foodcoupleSF

              This is getting very depressing...

              41 Degrees is booked. Tickets is booked. Sant Pau is booked...

              I started more than three months in advance and now with five weeks to go, can't seem to find any special restaurants with availability in either Barcelona or Madrid!

              1. re: CarrieWas218

                Hi Carrie, I've really enjoyed your SF Bay Area posts so was happy to see you on this board :)

                My husband & are spending a week in Barcelona at the end of Sept and hope to visit 41 Degrees also. I checked availability for May last night - and I can't believe how fast the dates have booked up! Those same tables for two that were available last night, are now booked tonight! I know it is very difficult to get a reservation... Let us know where you end up. Good luck!

                  1. re: foodcoupleSF

                    These 2 places are also on my list for our upcoming trip in Sept. Great trip report on your honeymoon BTW!

                    1. re: SanJoseHound

                      Also just got back from BCN for 25th anniv.; can't speak highly enough about Cinc Sentis, Hisop, Montiel, and Alkimi. Sadly disappointed in Bohemic.

                    2. re: foodcoupleSF

                      Its been a while since i was in BCN but we had a wonderful meal at cinc sentis as well.....

                      And although not a super special blowout meal for the OP Paco Meralgo was so wonderful we went for dinner twice in the ten days we were there

                    3. re: CarrieWas218

                      LaSarte in Barcelona. I ate there and Sant Pau (my third visit) in the same week and was quite impressed with the food at LaSarte. The setting is nice, but doesn't have the water view (well almost none do). When I go back I think I'll go back to LaSarte in preference to SP ;)

                      1. re: estnet

                        Ate at Lasarte a few months ago. Ambiance, service, and food were all excellent. Highly recommend.

                      2. re: CarrieWas218

                        Forgot in my other post Club Allard in Madrid - also amazing food and some of the most creative presentations! They have online booking and a variety of dates available in May (don't know if any of them fit your needs).

                        1. re: estnet

                          I checked for Club Allard and there are no dates available for the days we are there and I've submitted a request for LaSarte.

                          I did get a reservation for La Terraza del Casino de Madrid, but that's my only Madrid spot.

                          In Barcelona, I've got Passadis del Pep reserved so far but nothing else lined up.

                          1. re: CarrieWas218

                            Another option is to sign up for the Spanish Trails gourmet tapas crawl. We just did it and it was extremely memorable. We had one other couple with us but they can also do it as a private tour.

                            Regarding Club Allard in Madrid, maybe a phone call would have better results. We went there as well and it was wonderful.

                            1. re: CarrieWas218

                              would you consider lunch instead of dinner? I've found that I often can get reservations for lunch when dinner is all booked up.

                              1. re: estnet

                                Here is what I have ended up with:

                                Madrid - La Terraza del Casino de Madrid
                                Barcelona - Torre d’Alta Mar for lunch (partly for the view) and the next day, Passadis del Pep for dinner.

                                Those are the only three reservations I've made for a nine-day trip. I'm going to show my DH the link to Spanish Trails but may just end up leaving the rest of our dining to serendipity.

                                I seem to have a lot more suggestions for Barcelona than Madrid and may contact our concierge for suggestions (although in some countries, the hotels get kick-backs for sending customers to restaurants and don't know if this is prevalent in Spain or not).

                1. screw the blow-out meal as it will almost all be be good.

                  between Madrid and Barcelona is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monaster.... it's a bit remote but comfy mattresses, good water sounds, lots of balconies. perfect for snoozing in June and all in in an old monastery. the food was sorta standard Spanish which is more than fine by me.

                  but the language translation does require a moment of puzzlement.

                  the setting of a 12th c. refectory did probably have an influence.

                  1. i hate to say this, but I was kind of disappointed with my recent meal at Sant Pau (I had been on the wait list for a while and was thrilled to get a last minute call) particularly with the wines. It was good, but I expected much better.
                    About a month ago we ate at ABaC and it was great, with a great wine pairings and a super sommelier

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: KMERC

                      We had a similar reaction last October, "good, but I expected much better". Almost like they are coasting a bit now, compared to earlier write-ups I had read. The wines were inexpensive but all seemed to be young Catalan wines without much complexity, taking the Kilometer Zero movement a bit too far.

                      Though with the train ride, the service and the lovely setting it's still overall a pleasant 'dining experience'.

                      1. re: willyum

                        Exactly my experience/thoughts. When I tried to upgrade to a better wine experience the sommelier was unable to suggest anything or guide me.
                        It's a nice town, I spent a lovely day at the beach, and had a nice dinner, but that's not what I expected to be memorable about eating there.

                    2. Have you thought about DiverXO in Madrid? David Muñoz is pretty impressive! I would highly recommend...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SpanishSabores

                        Yes - DiverXO is booked out until September. Someone else suggested it is moving?

                        1. re: CarrieWas218

                          Too bad! Yes, he is moving into a 300 square meter space in the hotel NH Collection Eurobuilding. Last I heard, he expects to be there by July! Make sure to call while here to see if there are any last minute cancelations. Not sure if they have a waiting list, but I do know that I've seen him post on Twitter about cancelations in the past. Good luck!

                      2. If you're going to be in Barcelona on 5/27 , you can use my extra reservation for 2 ppl to Tickets. I accidentally booked Tickets on back to back days -.-" and haven't gotten around to canceling the extra res. Send me a pm if interested.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: nomnomchicago

                          nomnomchicago, there is no private message system on Chowhound. If you want someone to get in touch with you, add an email address to your profile page.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            Oh thanks for letting me know snack happy! (I'm new to Chowhound). I've edited my profile...

                          2. re: nomnomchicago

                            Ok CH-ers- my extra reservation has been handed over to a lucky couple :)