Despite the wintry weather I’ve fallen in love with Barcelona again. This morning we woke up to vistas of snow-covered hills, a rare event, as it’s only the second time in 9 years that it has snowed here, according to the locals. Yesterday we wore down jackets and gloves while strolling the streets of the Poblenou district where our hotel is located. It’s hard to imagine that last year we wore spring clothes and basked in the sunshine.
We’re so far from the usual tourist mainstream destinations that our hotel’s location is literally off the maps, outside the areas depicted within the fold-out maps that grace most tourist guidebooks. One advantage of staying in a neighborhood away from tourist attractions is that we can get impressions of daily life for people who live in Barcelona.
Treats for Foodies
No matter the weather, the food here is inventive, crafted from seasonally fresh ingredients, treats from the daily market. Last night we dined at a tiny neighborhood restaurant called La Forquilla, a short walk from our hotel in the northeast Poblenou district. Every dish was skillfully prepared; a few were truly memorable (especially for foodies).
This is not an upscale restaurant, and it’s well off the beaten track. We dined there on a Friday night, but only two tables were full — at a restaurant that deserves people waiting in line to get in…
I started with oysters served in a Cava foam lime-zested mayonnaise — one of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever had in my life, despite the fact that I’m not usually enamored with oysters. My entrée was suckling pig, served with with several pear coulis variations that graced a rectangle of slow-cooked pork. Pear + pork + a hint of Szechuan peppercorn. What a symphony of flavors!
The waiter persuaded us to try the “winter dessert,” a typical Catalan bread pudding. His description didn’t do it justice. This pudding was light as air, suffused with cinnamon and other spices that I could enjoy but not name. Next to the pudding there was “a crumble of cinnamon” flavored powered nuts and maybe a hint of cocoa, and a dab of yoghurt ice cream on the side. It may sound odd, but it was delicious.
My husband dined splendidly on the prix fixe menu for 30 €, whereas I had to dine à la carte in order to get the oyster starter.
Tonight we’re heading to Osmosis, another dining destination for foodies. Today we’ll hide from the rain by touring the Fondation Joan Miro, a museum located on Montjuic, near the Olympic stadiums on the other side of the city.
We’ll be bundled up in down jackets and hats. Mucho frio, as they say here.