Tag Archives: Spain

Bar Mut – Barcelona, Spain

Garrett Ziegle-above photo © Garrett Ziegler

Bar Mut

(34) 93 – 217 4338
Calle Pau Claris, 192,
Eixample District
08037 Barcelona, Spain

www.barmut.com

Open Hours:
12:30 – 24:00  Monday – Friday
11:30 – 24:00  Saturday – Sunday

We found and fell in love with Barmut over our kitchen table in New York City.  Chef Albert Mendiola’s anti-promo video on the website is more like a Jim Jarmousch’s  Vampire film “Only Lovers left Alive“, then an enticing view of his moody and delectable establishment.

In life, thankfully, the service is very warm and accommodating; as we were not familiar with most of the extensive local wine list, we received a very fun crash curse and tasting from the sommelier – without any attitude or up-sell.

The food was heavenly.   In a city known for seaside taps, Barmut had he softest, most delicious octopus we found in Barcelona.  Seriously.  It was grilled to perfection with just enough fire flavor to enhance, not overwhelm.  The paprika potatoes on the side are the perfect companion.  My mouth is watering a little just remembering the dish!

If you are in Barcelona, we highly recommend Barmut!

Some other quick notes on the menu:

Scallops with aioli -> perfect 🙂
The Pan con tomato was the 3rd best for us in Barcelona  (we became a bit aficionado in our pursuit of the perfect Pan con Tomate !)
The gambas a la brasa, were pretty good, if you are a fan of the dish.
The Egg yolk carpaccio, with fried potato and shrimp we found a bit heavy.

A reservation is recommended, we found the best place to sit is one of the tall table.  There is also outdoor siting for those lovely Barcelona nights 🙂

Bar-Mut_005top octopus
Bar-Mut_006Scallops with aioli – a must order!!
Bar-Mut_008Egg yolk carpaccio, with fried potato and shrimp
Bar-Mut_009Torrija
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Coure – Barcelona, Spain

coure-bcn-004above photo © Coure

Coure

(34) 93 – 200 7532
PJ Marimon 20,
08001 Barcelona, Spain

www.restaurantcoure.es

Open Hours:
13:00 – 16:00     Lunch  Tuesday – Saturday
20:00 – 24:30    Dinner  Tuesday – Saturday

With its discreet entrance and residential location, Coure is there for those that who are looking for it; it is not the grand tourist attraction that it should be! Chef Albert Ventura and pastry chef Joan Grimal have conceived a wonderful station for the modern creative delights of Catalan cuisine.

We had lunch in the lower level of the restaurant, which is smaller and more formal.  Later we learned that the ground level has a small bar and its own spirited menu.  Next to our table was a book shelf, filled with amazing cook books; there to entertain and prompt the palate, while the kitchen prepared your marvelous meal.

Our lunch began with clams and Escopinyes (cockles), which are always fun. Next up was a tasty Cantabrian Anchovy salad – each sided with an incredibly delicious warm bread.

Something new to us was the Mojama, who’s name is derived from the Arabic word musama, meaning dry.  Mojama is a sea salt cured tuna, and is considered a Mediterranean delicacy; with origins dating from the time of the Phoenician settlements on the Catalan coast.  The best approximation is the tuna version of a thinly sliced, dry jamon serrano.

Also new to us were the Santiaguiños  –  (scyllarus arctus); a Klingon-esque creature in both looks and flavour – we just had to try it!  However, like everything at Coure, it is refined and delicious.

The Amanida de verat (Mackerel salad), was not only exquisite, but beautifully plated as well.  We followed the salad with the Sea Bas a la sous vide – perfect and delicate in every way.

We finished with a moist excellent Torrija (think French Toast, but instead of egg, custard). This quickly became our go-to Spanish dessert; and a barometer of our love for the restaurant.  The Torrija at Coure was the second favorite in our Barcelona food adventure!

Coure_008amanida de verat (mackerel salad)
Coure_010mojama  (salt cured tuna)
Coure_011mojama  (salt cured tuna)
Coure_007Cantabrian anchovies salad
Coure_012sous vide sea bass
Coure_001Santiaguiños  –  (scyllarus arctus)
Coure_003cescopinyes (cockles)
Coure_014torrija
coure-bcn-003above photo © Coure
coure-bcn-015above photo © Coure

 

Les Cols Pavellons – Olot, Spain

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Les Cols Pavellons

(34) 69 – 981 3817
Avinguda de les Cols, 2
17800 Olot, Girona, Spain

www.lescolspavellons.com

About an hour and a half north of Barcelona is the Garrotxa, an area full of small volcanoes, nature reserves, and picturesque little towns.  One of these is Olot, and nestled towards the back of a 13th century farm house is the anachronistic Le Cols Pavellons hotel.

This science-fiction like hotel was designed by RCR Architects;  Who are also responsible for the superb restaurant next door, the two Michelin star “Les Cols

In the Pavellons, all rooms are built out of glass; floating over petrified lava.  The ceiling is metal and glass, and the rooms are separated from each other by front and back zen gardens.  Each is isolated in vision and sound – and it is hard  imagine where you are in the world whilst inside your private world.

Miquel-Guifreabove photo ©  Miquel Guifré

As noted, the rooms, or pavellons, are very private being made out of several layers of opaque / translucent green glasses. Blackout shades, the same color tone as the glass, are remote-controlled via a minimalist panel that also controls ambient lighting.

The bathroom has a a floor level plunge tub that fills with soothing volcanic thermal spring water.  The amenities are likewise enjoyable – including the lovely, and very warm, slippers.

Breakfast is planed a day ahead and is left outside your door.  A tray of bread, orange juice,  yogurt, fruits, hard boiled eggs, honey and preserves, butter and tomatoes along with thermoses filled with hot coffee and cold milk.  This is such a lovely way to start the day; my words are just failing to describe the happiness this breakfast brings.

At checkout time, we were given a picnic bag with bread, olive oil, sausage, a round of cheese, salad, mineral water and a lovely bottle of wine.  A loving touch was a collection of postcards depicting watercolors of local attractions – and on the backs were hand drawn road maps of how to get to each one.  We took up the conceit and enjoyed a lovely day of site seeing and picnics!

The Pavellons at Les Cols is not the hotel for everyone;  we recommend reading other reviews before booking.   For us it was a dream location, painful to leave and first in our hearts to return!

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Les_colsabove photo © Les Cols Pavellons