Monday, June 4, 2018

Bar Cañete: The Best Tapas in Barcelona

Our favourite restaurant in Barcelona, Bar Caňete embodies the essence of a true Spanish tapas bar: it's always packed, has great energy, and everything happens at the bar. Like so many of Barcelona’s best restaurants, this traditional yet trendy tapas destination entered the world as a small family-run affair, but over the years has garnered a strong reputation among local gourmands and in-the-know travellers in search of top quality Spanish cuisine. The focus is on classic Catalan dishes spruced up with creative pizzazz and poetic license. The chefs aren’t afraid to play around with ingredients, although they never stay too far from the core of what makes this food so great, such as Lobster Croquettes, Artichoke Omelette, Grilled Scallops with Iberian Jamón, Wild Tuna Tartare with mascarpone and wild trout caviar, Ca'Sento Salt Cod Fritters, Veal Sweetbreads with Prawns and local chanterelles, and Boneless Iberian Suckling Pig with truffle mashed potato. As it says on the menu: “Fuck your diet”.

There are two very separate dining spaces: the long narrow bar overlooks the kitchen where chefs jostle flaming frying pans and slice buttery slithers of jamón off the bone, and the more formal dining room is all dark wood and leather with moody lighting and sultry jazz tones. Behind the bar, a brigade of cooks bustle away at their steaming pots, pans and grills, as waiters run around hurriedly and elegantly in their smart white jackets, all thriving off the buzz and the pressure of service, providing attentive service in a fun and informal style that adds an air of theatre to the whole experience. Arriving for a late dinner on our first evening in Barcelona, the whole place was jam-packed and abuzz with energy, passionate cooking and big flavours. A shrine to the simple joy of eating great food, we savoured every moment and every dish, wishing the night would never end.

Located in the El Raval district of Barcelona, a neighborhood that until recently, 
was known as the city's "wild child"

Looking through the window of Bar Cañete with its perpetual lineup every night;
thankfully we had made reservations and were given seats at the bar straight away

Perusing the Carta de Vinos at the long narrow bar which overlooks the kitchen 

2016 Santiago Ruiz Albariño set on ice behind the bar

A delicious wine perfect with grilled fish, shellfish, and cold tapas dishes

My favourite Spanish wine, Albariño is a native Galacian grape that was pioneered and championed by Santiago Ruiz, a visionary known as The Grandfather of Albariño

All of the staff at Bar Cañete are full of character, enormously efficient and wonderfully friendly,
 and don't shy away from having their photo taken

Mossèn Cinto de Folgueroles flatbread with tomato

Anchovies in Jerez Vinegar

Grilled Razor Clams

Ca'Sento Salt Cod Fritter

Lobster Croquettes pre-made in Bar Cañete's off-site prep kitchen just around the corner

Our gorgeous grilled prawns grilling on a bed of salt before our eyes in the bustling open kitchen

Cañete-style Grilled Red Prawns 

Aged Beef Steak Tartare with raw egg yolk

Green Bean, Asparagus and Parmesan Salad with Pine Nuts

Artichoke Omelette topped with egg yolk

After serving our omelette, Albert folded it over and allowed the runny yolk 
to create a sauce for the dish

Boneless Suckling Iberian Pig with mashed potato and jus

Fresh bread to soak up the delicious clam sauce

Almejas a la Marinera: Galician Sailor Clams in a tomato, onion and garlic sauce

Absolutely delicious

Veal Sweetbreads with Prawns, Chanterelles and Gravy

Bar Cañete Dessert menu

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