On our first night in Barcelona, my family and I happened to stumble across Tast a La Rambla while searching for a place to eat dinner. Tast a La Rambla is a week-long food festival that features the best food and drinks in Barcelona. The festival, celebrating its third year, took place just before the Christopher Columbus statue on La Rambla. Hundreds of tourists and city-dwellers had come out to get a taste of all Barcelona had to offer. The live music and divine scents of the master chefs preparing their samples was enough to stop anyone in their tracks.
Tast a La Rambla is quite the deal! By purchasing a reloadable card and putting a fair bit of euros on it, you are able to walk the event and sample some of the best plates from traditional and gastronomic restaurants of Barcelona. The samples were typically four euros and ranged from Catalonian classics to Italian fare. We sampled quite a few dishes throughout the event and came away with a list of restaurants we felt we had to visit before we left the city. The event was a perfect way for those not familiar with the city to sample and find restaurants they wanted to experience more from.
By the end of the night we had two clear favorites: the gnocchi with summer truffle from Llamber and the Catalan prat chicken with mushroom stuffing and Parmentier puree from Via Veneto. We had the chance to visit both restaurants and Llamber was the clear winner, with more affordable prices and tapas rather than the A La Carte style Via Veneto offered.
*Before I go into what we sampled at Llamber, let me state that I would go back to Spain just to eat at Llamber again. We sampled multiple dishes from the menu and everything we ate was spectacular. *
Llamber is located by the Mercat del Born and is a bit of a walk from La Rambla. While the walk was long, it was worth it. Llamber features both indoor and outdoor seating, and is quaintly designed with antique tables and simple decor that gives it a homey touch. We called the night before and made a reservation, something I would highly recommend because even though we went on a Monday night, the place was packed.
The waitstaff was very attentive and extremely helpful. Our waiter spoke perfect english and had no problem recommending what he thought the best dishes were (and boy, was he right). He also was kind enough to recommend other restaurants to visit in Barcelona, one of which we visited for lunch a few days later.
The restaurant features tapas, so they suggested we order eight dishes for our party of four. We got:
- Pulpo con puree de patatas: This dish was so delicious we had to order two. The octopus was perfectly cooked and honestly the best octopus I have ever had. I have eaten a lot of octopus in my life but the octopus here was tender and flavorful. You cannot go to Llamber and leave without trying this dish. The potato puree was so incredibly smooth and delicious, it was just the perfect dish.
- Pan con tomate: This is a Catalan classic and is survived throughout the city. It was a nice change of pace from the usual dry bread served at all restaurants in Spain. I enjoyed the combination of the lightly toasted ciabatta bread and the tomato spread.
- Fondue de parmesano con esparragos y triguero: This was extremely tasty. The prawns were lightly fried and combined perfectly with the creamy parmesan fonude. The asparagus was perfectly cooked and overall combined to make the dish one of the best we had at the restaurant.
- Ensalada de quinoa real ecologica, algas de porto muiños, cebelloetas encurtidas, shiro misho especiado y caviar de sésamo: My family loved this one more than I did, but it was still delicious. It had a unique flavor, it was rather sweet and vinegary but the pickled onion complemented the quinoa perfectly.
- Revoltijo de setas temporada con huevo de corral: This was also a winning dish. The chef is truly a master of the sauces and the sauce in this dish was outstanding. The squid was a tad chewy but it worked well with the runny egg yolk and tender mushrooms.
Overall, I would highly recommend Llamber and even consider it one of the best restaurants I have experienced. You MUST stop at Llamber while you visit Barcelona.