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Tag Archives: Barcelona

Vermouth in Barcelona: The past and present of a delicious aperetivo culture

What is vermouth? Well, let’s start with what vermouth is not. Vermouth is not only a supporting role to classic cocktails, nor is it the dry, bitter stuff that languished away in Mom and Dad’s liquor cabinet, only to be drunk in secret by soon-to-be rueful teens when left alone at home for the weekend. Yes Mom, your Martini Extra Dry met the same stomach-turning fate as the Jose Cuervo Margarita mix, the suspiciously-watered-down Gosling’s rum and that sticky bottle of Manischewitz kosher wine. So, let’s move on. Vermouth is—by definition—an aromatized, fortified wine flavored with botanicals such as herbs, spices, roots, barks, flowers, or seeds. The key to crafting vermouth is that the wine is aromatized and fortified (anywhere from 13% […]

Interview with Barcelona Food Journalist and Author: Tara Stevens

Editor’s Note: Tara Stevens is a well known name in the Barcelona food world, both by expatriate readers of the popular English-language magazine Barcelona Metropolitan, as well as by locals who hound her incessantly for a review of their new joint. Knowing Tara personally, it’s funny to me when she comes up in conversation. Everyone claims to know her. Tara says that she’s used to people using her name, but what most readers in the city don’t realize is that the width and breadth of her knowledge, experience, and skill goes way beyond the pages of our beloved local publication. “Has she cooked for you yet?” a friend of Tara’s asked me at a recent restaurant opening, a sly smile on her face. “Wait until […]

Friday Feature Photo: Montjuic, Barcelona

Photographer: Ryan Opaz Capture Date: September 9, 2011 Location: Barcelona, Spain About: Montjuïc is a steep hill just outside of the Barcelona city center, featuring a number of attractions including: Font Màgica (Magic Fountain), Poble Espanyol, Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring from the 1992 Olympics), Castell de Montjuïc (18th century castle) and Palau Nacional (National Palace) and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), one of the city’s most important museums. Worth a visit if you’ve never been! Desktop Wallpaper: To download this image, simply right-click on the image and select “save link as” or “save target as”, then select the preferred location on your computer to save the photo. Purchase: Please contact us directly if you’re keen to purchase any of Catavino Friday Photo images. Note that the images […]

Restaurant Cañete: Fun Fine Dining in Barcelona

To find Bar Cañete, head down a bleak street branching off the Ramblas of Barcelona into the heart of the lower Raval. Among Russian import markets, used cell phone stores and corner groceries, Bar Cañete and Cañete Mantel (the fine dining side of the same kitchen) stand strong as bright spots for people in search of excellent, honest food and a convivial atmosphere in these less-than-vibrant economic times. On a personal note, it was the ‘historic’ location of my first fine dining experience upon moving to Barcelona, and since then, it has only continued to impress. A meal at Cañete is lively, entertaining, and—most importantly—satisfying in the way dinner at the countryside farmhouse of a retired three-star chef would be […]

A Luxurious Day of Food, Wine and Romance in Barcelona

Barcelona is an international, cosmopolitan city that blurs the lines between quaint Mediterranean port and modern, bustling metropolis. The life style of a vacation by the sea in Barcelona is sublime, with the important things coming first—food, fun, and relaxation. Find pleasure and balance between the constant stimuli of the urban landscape and the delight of discovering ancient secrets around every cobble-stoned corner. The heart of the city is small and best seen on foot, and as you walk hand in hand along avenues that have seen over two millennia of romance—among flower stalls and medieval archways—you too will surely carve your own, lasting moment into the history of Barcelona. Fore this is a city that vibrates with countless love […]

Hidden Factory: The Clandestine Restaurant Movement in Barcelona

Chef Javier Morón and business partner Sergi Salguero have joined the slowly growing cadre of gourmands and entrepreneurs who bring their passion for food and service directly to the public of Barcelona in the form of underground—“clandestine”— restaurants. “Clandestine restaurants are exciting,” says Javier. “They are ephemeral events; a space, an ambiance, a menu, and a note of theatricality all in one. They are born from the inspiration of the moment, or the actual physical space that the restaurante clandestino inhabits. To me, what we are doing is completely different than cooking in a restaurant. In a restaurant, things are always the same, while at Hidden Factory and other places like us, every day is something magical; something unrepeatable.” Javier […]

Top 20 Gastronomic Gems In Barcelona

The idea of creating a list of ‘the best’ of anything can often incite passionate debate bordering on fanaticism, so lets view this a list of ‘things not to be missed”—a list of my 20 food and drink treasures in Barcelona, and where to look for them! ¡Buen provecho! Patatas Bravas —Elsa y Fred A warm, welcoming ‘“gastro bar” run by friendly Argentine owners, Elsa y Fred (named after an Argentine film, not the owners) makes excellent Patatas Bravas; the ever-present tapa of crispy fried potatoes, aioli, and tangy red “brava” sauce with just the hint of spice. The food at Elsa y Fred is very well-made and well-presented, and their Bravas—as well as their coffee and their ‘menu of the day’—should […]

Malvasia de Sitges: A grape born from mercenaries and knights

Hundreds of years before Catalunya became part of Spain, the land was under the control of the Crown of Aragon; a kingdom that stretched from the Iberian peninsula through southern France, modern-day Italy, and as even as far as Greece. Without a standing army, conquests and vengeance were exacted in the name of The Crown (our whoever had the gold) by troops of ruthless, long-haired, fast-moving Catalan mercenaries called almogavars. In 1303, led by the infamous Roger de Flor—an Italian-born Templar Knight, commander of the feared “Catalan Company”, and namesake of my first (temporary) address here in Barcelona—a troop of almogavar foot soldiers set sail for Constantinople to protect the city from the invading Ottoman Turks. They were under the pay of the Byzantine […]

El Pecat: A Sinfully Good Restaurant in Barcelona

The slogan of new Barcelona restaurant El Pecat is ‘Art and Cuisine’; an honest motto that is upheld by reserved yet delicious food. El Pecat is sinfully good (hence the name; ‘The Sin’ in Catalan), with a passionate team of dynamic partners and a young chef who is poised to become the next big name. Having risen up through the ranks of the the world’s best restaurant (El Cellar de Can Roca) over the last five years, Javi Moreno now has the rare opportunity head his own kitchen for the first time, at the age of 22. Javi brought his best friend and fellow Can Roca veteran Daniel Delgado along with him as his righthand man; the two of them […]

History of Jazz in Catalunya, Spain

Welcome to the Vi Jazz festival in Vilafranca del Penedés: balmy summer nights, free Jazz concerts galore, and abundant local wine in the historic center of this modest Catalán city of around 40,000 inhabitants. Dating back to the 12th century, Vilafranca is the economic engine and heart of the Penedés wine industry. While Penedés garners most of its international prestige from the crisp, bubbly cava that flows like rivers through the daily lives of the people of Catalonia, the region also produces whites, reds, and rosés of admirable quality. Interestingly, though wine takes center stage all year round in Vilafranca, on every first weekend of July, Jazz music from around the globe shares, if not dominates, the spot light. The […]