Tucked away in a tiny street in the atmospheric Barri Gòtic, Agut
d'Avignon is the creation of ex-lawyer and pharmacist Ramón Cabau.
Known for his impeccable taste, the restaurant is a haven for writers,
artists and politicians, and has attracted diners such as Miró
and Yves Montand. Rustic yet elegant, employing top-quality produce and
a first-rate wine list, it is evident why. The menu is seasonal, offering
adventurous dishes such as partridge pâté and roast boar
with raspberry sauce.
Carrer de la Trinitat 3/Avinyo 8
Tel: (93) 302 6034. Fax: (93) 302 5318.
Price: Pta6000/EUR36. Wine: Pta1000/EUR6.
Run by the Gironés i Salvó family for over 25 years, Ca
l'Isidre is an intimate restaurant boasting King Juan Carlos among its
regular clientele. Isidre Gironés presides over the excellent wine
list and exquisite food, personally selecting the best ingredients at
the nearby La Boqueria market to conjure up timeless dishes, including
duck liver pâté and figs, stuffed artichokes or saddle of
lamb. The cosy dining room is a charming 'home from home' thanks to his
wife Montse. Daughter Núria is an ace patisera, whose desserts
provide a perfect finale to chef César Pastor's seasonal Catalan
dishes. Booking essential.
Carrer Les Flors 12
Tel: (93) 441 1139 or 442 5720. Fax: (93) 442 5271.
Price: Pta8000/EUR48. Wine: Pta1500/EUR9.
El Racó de Can Fabes
The recipient of three Michelin stars and numerous awards, El Racó
is idyllically situated near Montseny, an area of outstanding natural
beauty about 60km (37 miles) from Barcelona. Proprietor and chef Santi
Santamaria is open, friendly and passionate about Catalan food. His quality-based,
customer-orientated philosophy ensures that a visit to his rustic-style
restaurant is an exceptional experience. Inspired by the fruits from the
Mediterranean to the mountains, dishes range from wood pigeon with spring
onions and cardamom to fish in seaweed sauce; postres (desserts) such
as mango and plum 'lasagne' are deliciously inventive.
Carrer Sant Joan 6, Sant Celoni (A7 from Barcelona, exit 7 for Sant Celoni)
Tel: (93) 867 2851. Fax: (93) 867 3861.
Price: Pta11,000/EUR66 (à la carte); Pta9000-13,500/EUR54-81 (menus).
Gaig started out in the 1800s as a small family tavern specialising in
home cooking in the northern barrio of Horta. More than a century later,
it is one of the city's top restaurants and the recipient of many awards.
Master chef Carles Gaig is at the helm creating brilliant, innovative
versions of old recipes: pheasant with plums, canelones with truffle sauce
and mango ravioli are but a few. The wine list is equally impressive.
Carles' wife, Fina, presides over the light, modern dining room.
Passieg Maragall 402
Tel: (93) 429 1017.
Price: Pta11,000/EUR66. Wine: Pta2000/EUR12
Housed in the former atelier of the fashion designer Balanciaga, the elegant,
classically Catalan surroundings - all polished wood, lamps and tiled
floors - are almost as outstanding as the food. Frenchman Jean-Luc Figueras
creates modern, original dishes, such as fried prawn and ginger pasta
in mustard and mango sauce, without submitting to the demands of fadiness
or egoism. The menu tends to lean towards seafood but meat dishes are
also included. Master patisero Jordi Butrón's sublime puddings
Carrer Santa Teresa 10
Tel: (93) 415 2877.
Price: Pta9000/EUR54. Wine: Pta1500/EUR9.