Such a well orchestrated and theatrical staff with an exceptional journey for your palate.
Typically, I am not one for taking recommendations from a hotel concierge for a restaurant. However, on this occasion, when I reached out to the talented team at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona on advice it turned out to be, well as expected, SPECTACULAR.
Bar Carñete (do not let the bar fool you), is a gourmet experience without making you feel as though your every move is being watched. It is fun, full of life and entertaining.
In all honesty, the place is in a somewhat dark alley where the taxi barely fits.
On my first visit, I looked at the taxi driver and said, "this is it... there has to be a mistake.” The concierge team had told me it is a gourmet restaurant with top local cuisine. Well, I said to myself, ‘what do I have to lose?’ Hesitant, I stepped out of the taxi and proceeded inside the restaurant.
Upon entering, I was greeted by the charming hostess who, after giving my name, says "Rome we've been expecting you." (*UT). I was offered some Cava or a local wine as I waited for my seat(*UT)
Looking around I noticed that everyone was smiling, laughing and genuinely enjoying themselves; staff included.
I was seated at the bar which has an open kitchen concept; I am approached by a waiter behind the bar that introduces himself (sorry, I forgot his name) asks me if I have any allergies, food preferences and so forth. (*UT) As I explained to him, I am here to experience a Catalonian journey for my palate, in a sincere voice he says, "we will do just that and possibly exceed your expectations." (*UT)
Plate after plate I am astonished by the sheer perfection of every presentation. (*UT) The flavors, freshness, colors, the scent of the herbs and spices textures, just amazing. (*UT) From what I understand all the fish and seafood comes from Catalan fish markets, the vegetables are grown locally and in season. (*UT) The wine pairing was in full control from the respected people behind the bar that have ample knowledge to create an adventure.
The night was in a lively atmosphere, and before you know it, it was past the closing time of the restaurant. Before I had the chance to get off my stool, the staff says to me "you must have dessert, and then we can all go home." (*UT)
Goodbyes are never easy unless you reply with; "see you soon."
Upon returning to Barcelona for New Year's Eve, a few months later I had to pay a visit to one of my favorite restaurants. To my surprise, the whole crew remembered me and each individually greeted me back. (*UT) As for my respected waiter, he was off on holiday. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of meeting his colleague (Laura) who did everything to make this evening just as memorable. (*UT) Good fun, humor, outstanding food, perfect atmosphere and knowledgeable interactive staff.
Uniquely Bar Canete touched me wholeheartedly numerous times and received 10 UNIQUE TOUCH stars * from Rome H Geragonis - LOVE IT!
Bar Cañete is a show stopper, and a must experience for all foodies.