La Ciudadela

hotel restaurant la ciudadela

It was bright and sunny this week, so I had lunch at Hotel Restaurant la Ciudadela with Nookie. You may remember a previous visit to La Ciudadela a few years ago. The restaurant is on the hotel ground floor and named after Parc de la Cuitadella, which is just across the road. Philip V Spain laid siege to Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession in 1714 – when the city fell, he built a Citadel on the site of the park to house a garrison and prevent any further rebellion. The Citadel was universally hated by the Catalans and by 1872 it was turned into a contemporary park. Parc de la Cuitadella contains (among other things) the Palau del Parlament de Catalunya, the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona and Barcelona Zoo.


I arrived first and ordered a Vermut de la Casa, which turned out to be Vermut Lacuesta a brand made in Madrid (perhaps Philip V is looking down on the park…), but regardless, it’s a decent vermouth!


Nookie’s often un poco tarde, so I sat and watched the clouds cross the sky and soaked up vitamin D from the sunshine.

fórmula diaria

When Nookie arrived we looked through the menu and realised that they no longer do a Menú del Día, however, the Fórmula Diaria (daily specials menu) looked quite reasonable with a lot of dishes that would make us both happy.

arroz del senyoret

La Ciudadela specialises in arroces (rice dishes) so I chose Arroz del Senyoret (gentleman’s rice) with monkfish, squid, prawns and mussels. It is said that Arroz del Senyoret was created in the Valencian rice restaurant La Pepica, when the painter Joaquín Sorolla asked for peeled langostinos in his arroz, so that he wouldn’t get his hands messy (there’s a very similar story about the origin coming from Alicante, too). The chefs took this a stage further and removed all the skins and shells. In Valencia it is said that a good rice doesn’t need lemon, but I’m not in Valencia and the Arroz del Senyoret tasted fantastic regardless!

revuelto de setas

Nookie ordered Revuelto de Setas-Rossinyols, Trompetas de la Muerte y Rovellons – scrambled eggs with mushrooms – Chanterelles, Death Trumpets (Black Chantarelles) and Bloody Milk Caps, as her starter and main courses.

vi rosat

I drank Martínez Alesanco vino rosado from the Rioja wine region.

caballa fresca a la plancha

My segundo plato was Caballa Fresca a la Plancha – fresh mackerel cooked on a griddle. Again, this was excellent.

crema catalana

I had a superior Crema Catalana for my pudding, this is one of my favourite desserts.

la cuenta

Considering this wasn’t a Menú del Día it sill represents very good value and La Ciudadela is always a very good place to eat. You will notice that I skipped the carajillo – it was getting close to 5pm and Nookie had to go off and meet another friend. We walked up through el Born together and I got my coffee with brandy closer to home, at Bar Principal.

Hotel Restaurant la Ciudadela is at: Passeig de Lluís Companys, 2, 08018 Barcelona.

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Barcelona Bars and Restaurants, Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Restaurants, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to La Ciudadela

  1. Janet Mendel says:

    I’m delighted to hear that Sorolla might have had a hand in how this rice dish was invented. I had only heard of the Barcelona “boneless paella,” requested by a finicky Sr. Parrellada.

  2. Ron says:

    Should I ever visit your home away from home, I think the Hotel la Ciudadela would be a great centrally located place to stay. The room rates seemed reasonable and the restaurant looks to be my kind of dining place. Thanks for the links, I really enjoyed learning about Parc de la Ciutadella.

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