Els Quatre Gats, on the narrow and modest Carrer de Montsió, was a regular hangout for Picasso and other Barcelonian artists. This was what attracted us to this place. The restaurant is on the ground floor of the Casa Martí, a Modernista building in a neo-gothic style. Open in 1897, it soon became a meeting place for Catalan Intellectuals and artists. The atmosphere in those days must have been similar to that of a Parisian café-concert as they used to hold poetry readings, concerts, Chinese shadow shows and Picasso held his first individual exhibition there in 1900.When we set foot inside, the thing that struck me was how bright and colourful the bar area was, mostly because of the ceramic tiles and bright yellow walls. When we arrived, we were told we had to wait for up to half an hour. We fully expected that and looked forward to spending this time in the bar, soaking up the atmosphere and perhaps a Cava or two. I went to the toilet (worth a visit on their own merit) and hubby sat down. But the Maître d' soon came back and urged us to 'come, come' through to the dinning-room. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't the rather old-fashioned, refined spectacle that awaited. An army of waiters in full black regalia busily serving customers, a pianist and a violinist playing tunes from another era... The place was full, mainly with tourists.
We were shown to our table, on a gallery above the dining-room. Probably a late addition, to maximize space in order to respond to demand. From this perfect vantage point we sat back and took in the scene. The Maître d' then took our order, recommending a local wine. The rest of the service was left to another waiter who was helpful and attentive throughout the meal but without a hint of obsequiousness. The Maître d' remained vigilant all evening to make sure every diner was looked after. The service was never rushed.
The evening menu is by no means cheap, but in my opinion it is worth every penny. From memory, I think I had Fois-gras mi-cuit with figs and something else, a beautiful fillet of salmon, cooked to perfection, and Catalan cream (a kind of crème brulée). I can't remember what my husband had, but I know he enjoyed it very much indeed. I would describe the kind of food served as Catalan post-nouvelle cuisine (post because the portions are pretty decent). The wine that was recommended was beautiful. The food was outstanding, every dish a perfect balance of flavours. So, do I recommend this restaurant? Most definitely! Okay, it might be a little expensive (but not when you compare it to some of the prices in Britain), but it is most definitely value for money. Everything is combined to provide the perfect dinning experience, from the surroundings, to the food, not forgetting the service. If you find yourself in Barcelona, I urge you, go!
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
Argyll & Bute, United Kingdom
November 2, 2006
From journal 10 days in Barcelona
Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium
August 31, 2000
From journal Com está Barca