A very good atmosphere at this fabulous tapas restaurant located in L'Eixample area. It's popular with locals and tourists alike, though it is not located near any major tourist hotspots (thankfully - otherwise you'd never get a seat). We are expats living in Barcelona and came here at the recommendation of a Catalan friend. It's the kind of place where coming with a local would probably enhance the experience considerably, allowing you to perhaps venture out from the more usual tapas choices. We turned up seconds after opening at 1 pm on a Monday and when they asked us for our reservation, we thought they weren't serious - that was until half an hour later when the place was packed like a tin of anchovies and we realised reserving would have been a very good idea.
It is super-clean and decorated in expensive neutrals, high tables and chairs, with attentive waiters who could perhaps explain some of the dishes a little more willingly - especially if you're speaking Spanish to them - but overall no complaints with the service. The tables around the bar area are quite closely packed but there are hooks under them for handbags and as long as you are careful, you won't be knocked into when a waiter zooms past with wonderful-smelling dishes for the table beyond.
So onto the menu. There is a blackboard with daily specials which they rotate (the specials, not the blackboard!) and so you have the pleasure of seeing what's on offer on days and weeks to come and can make your return visit plans accordingly. Today happened to be a pork with mushroom casserole, served with bread, which we chose along with some more standard dishes.
We also enjoyed the pan con tomate, which smelled as good as it tasted, and the patatas bravas with the restaurant's own play on the traditional sauce which happened to be so laden with garlic, I couldn't finish mine. The asparagus was cooked to perfection and we also had two traditional puddings and a sorbet, which were enjoyable but nothing out of the ordinary.
The bill came to 42 euro for us - not the cheapest lunch, considering all the menus del dia in Barcelona, but a meal to be savoured in nice surroundings.
So the conclusion? We would definitely return and are already looking forward to the next time we can tantalise our taste buds. Reserve your table and enjoy excellent tapas a la Paco!
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