O’Retorno 2

o’retorno 2

Finally, after 3 cancellations and a couple of time changes, I’m back in Barcelona for some work and gastronomy! I’m staying with my friends Jonas and Alicia and on Friday it was her father’s birthday, so we went for lunch at O’Retorno 2, a fabulous Galician restaurant.

o’retorno 2 bar

Normally we’d sit outside, but it was a dull day and they found us a large table indoors next to the bar and kitchen. I sat opposite Xavi, Alicia’s dad, who was very keen to discuss food with me.

pernil de gla

Xavi took charge of ordering and we started off with two plates of Pernil de Gla (Catalan) also known as Jamón de Bellota – this is the finest acorn fed, air cured ham, which practically melts in the mouth. The fat in Iberian pigs that have been fed a diet of acorns is very high in oleic acid, which is also a major constituent of olive oil.


We drank a few bottles of Sumarroca Nostrat, a delicate white wine produced locally.

pop amb cachelos

The next dish to arrive at our table was the classic Galician Pulpo con Cachelos (pop amb cachelos) also known as pulpo a feira. This is octopus, cooked until tender, served on boiled, sliced potatoes, with pimentón picante sprinkled on top. This was probably the most tender octopus I have ever eaten!

pa amb tomàquet

At roughly the same time our bread arrived – Pa amb Tomàquet (Pan con Tomate), traditional Catalan rustic bread rubbed with garlic and tomato then drizzled with olive oil.

graellada de peix o’retorno

When we were just about finished with the octopus and jamón, our first large plate of fish arrived. Graellada de Peix (parrillada de pescado) – mixed grilled fish containing, salmon, hake, swordfish, tuna, squid, etc., drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parsley. All of it was cooked to perfection!

mariscada o’retorno

Our next platter was Mariscada O’Retorno – mixed shellfish, langostinos (king prawns), gambas (prawns), navajas (razor clams), almejas (clams) y mejillones (mussels).

el grupo

At this point, I thought I’d better take a group portrait, before I got too fat and drunk to move! Left is (according to Xavi) Peruana (Cris), Iron Man (Xavi jr.), Xavi and Nuno (centre). Alicia and Vikingo (Jonas) are on the right. My new name is Normando, as I come from the Norman kingdom of England!


When most of the fish had been demolished (more on that later), three puddings were ordered to share. Above is the excellent Tiramisu.

pastís de formatge casolà

Pastís de Formatge Casolà (cheesecake) is homemade and one of the best I’ve ever tasted!

xavi i pastís de santiago

Xavi received a Pastís de Santiago (Tarta de Santiago) with bonus birthday candles and the customary glass of Pedro Ximénez wine. Tarta de Santiago translates as cake of St. James, synonymous with el Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, but, as testified by Claudia Roden, it’s an adaptation of a Jewish Passover cake!


When pudding was over, we ordered our carajillos of choice – mine being the customary carajillo de cognac.


The bill came in at €200+ and once paid, we were rewarded with shots of hierbas.

O’Retorno 2 is at: C/ Mallorca 132, 08036, Barcelona.

…and then, we walked back down through Eixample, in search of the best Gin and Tonic and I think I found mine in the Galician Nordés gin with Fever Tree tonic. Afterwards we returned home to watch La Grande Bouffe – no kidding!

making stock

So what happened to the leftover fish? I put them in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes at high pressure, with an onion, stick of celery, a few cloves of garlic, a tomato, thyme and pinch of fennel, with a pint of water and a glass of white wine to make stock for a venison gumbo.

About Mad Dog

This entry was posted in Barcelona, Barcelona Bars and Restaurants, Fish, Food, Meat, Restaurants, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to O’Retorno 2

  1. Eha says:

    Oh Mad – you should see the huge smile on my face at the moment – thank you so much for having taken us along for this wonderful birthday celebration !! Knew you were back in Barcelona . . . had almost forgotten that meant sitting on your shoulder for wonderful Catalan lunches and dinners and being able to take a peek into shops and markets . . . especially at a time I am barely allowed to open my front door here !!! LOVE the food you ordered . . . have to look up the wines. The ham looks unreal and I’d give most anything to access that seafood at the moment. The one dish I am trying to taste on my far away palate is that of boiled octopus on boiled potatoes . . . even with the added pimenton am trying to ‘taste’ it ! Also the order of the fish dishes was new to me . . . I would have thought the seafood would precede any cooked fish . . . ! Am so glad for you . . . enjoy . . . and please write again when mood strikes and time allows . . . best . . .

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Eha, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Galician octopus is one of my favourite dishes – I nearly bought one in the Boqueria this week, but at €28 the cost was nearly as much as the one above. There will be many more as I’m being given plenty of food for thought!

  2. Ron says:

    Hi Mad Dog, I’m glad to hear you finally made it back to Spain. I missed your lunch post as I’m sure you’ve missed eating them.
    What a fantastic sounding outing and celebration. I must say it did indeed look as though Xavi had a grand time. Like you, I love octopus in any fashion or form and I know the pulpo con cachelos would likely be a favorite for me.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Ron – I’m really making up for lost time now, as I’d hoped to be here back in late May or June. Pulpo con cachelos was one of the first Spanish dishes I ever tried, about 40 years ago and it’s still one of my favourites today.

  3. Audrey says:

    Normando !!!! Perfect … I love it x

  4. Karen says:

    It must feel like heaven to be back in Spain. What a wonderful celebration and all the food looks fantastic. I think my husband had some of the best octopus ever at the Boqueria for lunch during our visit to Barcelona.

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