November 29th, 2011
Can Lluis is an 82 year old, Catalan, family run restaurant, which has survived Franco and the civil war. Their style of cuisine has always been home cooking, so it must be good! Previously there had been another restaurant, on the same site, famously known as “The House of Flies”, due to the barrels of salt cod which sat by its door, attracting swarms of flies in the summer.
In 1946 the founder, Lluis Rodriguez was tragically blown up, by a woman throwing a hand grenade at the police, in the then busy restaurant. There’s a plaque with an inscription, over table no. 4, to commemorate Lluis’ life (written by famous Barcelona crime writer, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán). In spite of the tragedy, Lluis Rodriguez’s children maintained the success and reputation of the restaurant.
During the 70’s, Can Lluis was frequented by a large clientele of actors and performers. Under the reins of grandson Ferran Rodriguez, two more restaurants were opened locally, to meet the demand from customers (Els Ocellets and Racó de l’ Agüir).
This is yet another excellent restaurant which does a €10 menu at lunchtime. I ordered Arròs Negre as a starter, one of my favorite Catalan dishes. The Black Rice is generally made with rice, squid, squid ink, garlic, peppers, pimentón and fish stock. This one came with a reasonably large bowl of delicious home made allioli on the side – I could have eaten 3 plates of Arròs Negre and allioli, it was so good!
For pudding I had Crema Catalana, my favorite desert. It is of course very close to Crème Brûlée and Trinity Cream – the Catalans use lots of vanilla and cinnamon plus lemon rind in their’s. Crema Catalana should be caramelised with an iron and not a flame, like the traditional Trinity Cream.
Of course we drank a nice bottle of Rosado with lunch.
Can Lluis is at: C/ de la Cera 49, Barcelona 08001