October 4th, 2013
I went to Manning Lobby Bar for lunch today, but when I got there it seemed to have undergone a name change…
Well the menu looked good (click the image above to view) and the location is special, so I thought I’d eat there regardless.
Fifteen Raval is situated at the top of El Raval in a beautiful courtyard behind the Iglesia Sta. Maria Montalegre, it’s opposite the Facuilat de Geografía e Historia and adjacent to the Centre de Cultura Contemprània de Barcelona. All the references help, believe me, there’s just a little blackboard outside the huge doorway of a historic building, with Casa Provincial de Caribao carved in stone above it – it doesn’t look like the entrance to a restaurant. Once you get through the doorway however, you enter a beautiful courtyard with tables and chairs on one side and it becomes apparent that you’ve found the restaurant. I must have walked past the place hundreds of times without ever realising what was inside!
I started out with something light, a Carpaccio de Carbassó al Pesto – a carpaccio of courgette with pesto. Unusual I thought, because I don’t remember eating raw courgettes before – I’ll be doing it again!
My main course was a delicious Suprema de Lluc a les Fines Herbes – hake fillet cooked with herbs on slices of onion and potatoes, with chopped mixed vegetables. Oddly hake isn’t popular in northern Europe and therefore most of it is exported to Spain where it is revered and I think quite rightly so.
I have to mention the bread – it came as individual little rolls which were obviously made with love and affection. It was perfectly crusty with a light fluffy interior.
For pudding I had Pera Pochada – a pear poached in red wine and spices, served chilled with cream. I’ve made these myself, they are very simple, but require 3 hours or so of slow cooking and very careful handling.
The menu del dia at Fifteen Raval was excellent and cost 12€. The staff are friendly and the courtyard setting is fantastic.