December 1st, 2015
I had to do some work for Adrian today, over in Poblenou (New Village) – this was once a village outside of Barcelona, which became the industrial zone (full of factories) during the Nineteenth Century. Since the Barcelona Olympics of 1992, the region has regenerated and empty factories have been turned into studios for artists, design companies, TV stations, theater companies, etc. We were over in this district a couple of nights ago, visiting a new micro brewery.
We stat down at a table by the window and before ordering, were presented with a little square of tortilla español as an amuse-bouche. This, IMHO, was a slice of perfect tortilla and came included in our €12 menú.
As a starter, I ordered a delicious risoto de gambas – prawn risotto
and Adrian had cogollos de todela – a salad of lettuce hearts.
Both of us chose cazuela de merluza – hake casserole, as the main course. This contained a generous portion of hake, cooked with potato and tomatoes in a spicy pimentón sauce. I love hake, a neglected fish in England, but something that’s very popular in Barcelona and here it was done to perfection.
I had a sliver of pastel de fresa – strawberry tart, for pudding. This was just the right amount for me. As usual I drank rosado with my lunch.
To finish I had my usual pick up of a carajillo, but they’d run out of brandy, so I settled for whisky, which did the trick!
I was somewhat surprised at how spacious El Setanta-Vuit is – in the heart of Barcelona tables are pushed up quite close together – I suppose this is a reflection of lower building costs in Poblenou. The staff here were quite attentive (I noticed that all of them were youthful and definitely under 30) and the food was excellent! El Setanta-Vuit is in a shady street (you wouldn’t know that the sun was shining from the photo of the exterior), in the height of summer this is a great asset when eating outside.