Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Paco Alcalde

Restaurant

Paco Alcalde
Almirall Aixada 12
Barcelona
Spain

Phone 221 50 26

Overview

As noted earlier, Eva and I went to Barcelona last week for a well earned holiday. Despite being on holiday, we managed to continue on our mission to seek out new dining experiences and tried out a number of very enjoyable restaurants and eateries.

One of these being Paco Alcalde, a charming fish restaurant (famed for its fresh seafood) situated near the seafront in the old fishing port.

Ambience

Paco Alcalde was established in 1921, and is still owned and run by the founding family.

It was located just off the seafront in one of the narrow streets of the old fishing village of Barcelona. In case you are worried about walking past it by mistake, don't be! Standing outside, day and night, is one on the staff who greeted us warmly when we arrived and ensured that we had a nice table.

The restaurant is bright, cheerful and charming; it is decorated with cool tiled walls, and numerous ornaments related to fishing and the sea.

It is famed for its seafood, which is selected and prepared fresh every day.

The restaurant has a smoking and non smoking section, as well as a private function room for larger parties.

Menu

The menu offered an excellent selection of freshly caught local seafood, as well as steak and chicken.

Service

The service was very friendly and efficient, the menu was in English and the staff spoke English to varying degrees. They also offered to help us with our three or four words of Spanish.

We were made to feel very welcome. Indeed when it came time for the cointreaus, at the end of meal, we were poured two rather magnificent measures (enough to swim a goldfish in!).

When we left we were offered warm and hearty handshakes by the staff and a friendly adios!.

Food

I have to confess that I am not that fond of fish, so I stuck to the meat dishes; and started with a cannelloni.

This was rather good, unlike the Italian version it contained no tomatoes but instead was very meaty and was smothered in an unctuous bechamel sauce. I was more than happy with this as a starter.

Eva decided to save herself for her main course which was a paella. This was a simple (by British Spanish restaurant standards) dish, containing langoustines, clams and squid served in a bed of rice which had been cooked in a dark fish stock (squid I would say). Note were you order this dish in the UK, it would be stuffed with all manner of seafood, peas and peppers.

That being said, less is more; the dish was well balanced and not overpowering, and the fish were very fresh. Eva was happy with the "simple" version.

I had an entrecote steak for my main course. This was a good thick cut of meat, rich, thick and with just the right amount of fat to add flavour. The steak was cooked just right, and was very tender. It was served with french fries and a grilled tomato.

The meal, which included a bottle of good bottle of Torres Vina Sol and two very large cointreaus, came to 52Euro before service.

Overall Opinion

A superb restaurant, which we most certainly will visit again when we return to Barcelona.

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