January 9, 2012

Barcelona. November, 2010

Instead of spending upwards of $350 on a tasting dinner for two (with water and wine) at Comerç, 24, an early pioneer in the molecular gastronomy phenomenon, why not just shell out only a tenth of that amount and still have a great meal by the same great chef? Tapas, 24 is Michelin-starred Carles Abellan’s bow to the wave of gastrobars that are popping up all over Spain and serving up modern takes on the tapas classics. Located just off the fashionable Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona’s fashionable Eixample neighborhood, Tapas, 24 is an entertaining, noisy, rambunctiously popular spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. We were lucky to get a table on our arrival around 8pm (early for Barcelona) and soon were agonizing over which (and how many) of the tapas del día to share. Seen here, the first three to arrive: a wonderful spin on the tortilla española (potato/onion omelette) topped with cheese and sectioned for sharing; ham and cheese croquetas, plus the ubiquitous and always welcome pa amb tomàquet (grilled bread rubbed with a ripe and artfully squeezed tomato, then drizzled with fine olive oil.) Oh, sure, we enjoyed our pricey din-din at Comerç, 24. But we also loved our casual cheapie at Tapas, 24 just as much.

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