Looking for charming restaurants in Barcelona, today I had the great pleasure of visiting, Bodega la Palma, along with my friend, and great Image Advisor, Silvia Uceda, one of those magical places in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, that never leave you indifferent. The truth is, lately proliferate new restaurants with retro or vintage image, which I actually love it, but when you visit a place like Bodega la Palma, original from 1935, which is 100% authentic, with history and roots, to me, at least it reaches my soul.
One of the many good reasons of going to this winery, is to visit the Gothic Quarter, sometimes, those who live in Barcelona, forget the enormous pleasure that is to stroll through this charming neighborhood, and get lost in its narrow streets and dream squares.For me, as I was born in South Spain, when friends or family come to visit me, I always look for a place to take them to leave a mark, and this Winery is one of the, as we say here, a sure bet.
An easy way to get to Bodega La Palma is to take Calle de la ciutat from Plaza de Sant Jaume, right where you see the council and generalitat biulding, till you find calle Bellafila, right ate the end, you will se Bodeha la Palma´s door.
From the moment you arrive in La Palma, you realize that it is a special place. Its decoration is practically the same as it was 100 years ago, wine barrels in bulk,, high ceilings,small ítems from years ago take you to a distant past, and its owners have taken care of every detail, so that you feel at ease.
One of the things I liked a lot, when talking to Judit, one of her owners, is to see the love she has for this unique place, as she told us how important it is for them to choose the product they use to make their dishes , always ecological and seasonal raw material to offer its diners only the best, in addition to taking care of the gastronomic traditions of Catalonia looking for local products, farms and vegetable gardens in the region.
When you go to the palm, I would say that you have several options
- Unforgetable breakfast, with first-class baking-wood oven bread, and local sausages
- A wonderful lunch menu from Monday to Friday of € 12, in which Marisol, her day chef puts all her affection to elaborate dream dishes
- An intimate dinner under a dim and cogent light to taste its succulent menu of traditional dishes of the region and tapas, by its great chef David
- Simply pass and take one of their exquisite wines with amazing tapas like their like croquettes, anchovies in vinegar, smoked cod with truffles, this is what we like the local wines and tapas.
I decides to go for their succulent lunch menu, which was truly spectacular, first, second, dessert and drink with high quality organic products for only € 12
As starter I had “ Xato with Cod and Anchovies“, typically Catalan salad, with romesco sauce, simply delicious, I stayed with the wish to try the Onion Soup.
For main, I doubted between grilled gold fish with vegetables or pork cheek, I opted for a challenge for the Pork cheek with mashed potatoes, I chose this dish, which is the specialty of my mother and my aunts, I am original of a Town of Seville and my mother and my aunts cooks difficult to overcome with stews and traditional cuisine, and I must say, Marisol cheek pork was comparable to my mother or my aunts, and that was very difficult to overcome.
It was time for dessert and Judit, kindly, advise me the cheesecake, it is always good to be advised, especially when you see the love that processes for your local staff, and agrees that the cheese cake is my favorite dessert, I have been lucky to Traveling around the world, I have eaten American, Chinese, English, African, Asian cheese tarts … and the one at Bodega La Palma has been one of the best, taste, texture … they were unbeatable.
At the end i was thinking and the portions were very appropriate, the presentation, unbeatable and the flavor, Oh my God! You better go and try it.
After that, already at the table and with the coffee, I always like a little intimate chat with someone from the restaurant, so Judit, offered to satiate my curiosity, and let me ask her some questions …
I want to share our conversation, as Judit , somehow is one of the front house faces, and she is just adorable
1-When did you take over La Palma and what was the main reason that made you embark on this adventure?
We have been here almost 11 years! My family is from this neighborhood, I lived with my grandfather in the street next door and this is a place I`ve loved my whole life. When I heard that the lifetime owner was due to retirement, I put myself in the long queue of all people who wanted this little business. I was lucky that Mrs. Carme, the previous owner, believed that we would continue with their lifetime style and specially following with their values at her restaurant.They did not want to leave in anyone hands, they where actually looking for the right ones, and they picked up us!
2.-Out of the blue, just tell me 5 people who you would invite to La palma? (Famous, friends, family … of any nationality, friends …)
Breakfast; Pascual Maragall, if we could remember the Barcelona of the 90s and we would chat about the current situation of the city!
Lunch; The Fermi Puig! A great cook, traditional and capable of transmitting recipes of all life, with a style of avant-garde. I hear it often on a radio show, Rac1.
A vinito el Albert, my partner at La Palma and my love for the last 21 years! (This has been my favorite answer)
Dinner; : Vincent Cassel, I’m sure he likes the wine cellar!
3.-Tell me a good reason why we should come to La Palma
Obviously , the place is one of the few in this city, an authentic winery, which is more than 80 years old. The atmosphere of “Bodega” is felt only when you entering the door. In the other hand, our costumer are really impressed by the quality of our gastronomic range of dishes.
4.- Choose from the whole menu, your perfect meal in the palm
With my friends we would ask, for starters, a vermouth of the house with the usual “Gildas”, afterward, octopus- feira style salad with watercress and squid in its ink croquettes, which are the specialty of the house. We would accompany him safely with a good wine White. Then, with this cold weather, we would continue with the chickpeas stew, with ham and cuttlefish, and beef tongue at a low temperature with shrimps. For desert: a brioche toast with hazelnut praline and kefir ice cream.
5.-And finally Judit, what is your dream?
To see my Bodega in 10 years time, exactly how it is now!
At this point I thought…“that was a wonderful last answer, which for me, explains everything, Carmen, the previous owner, would be so proud of your work at La Palma Judit,”
After my talk with Judit, I understood why I had felt warming and at home eating at Bodega La Palma, I understood why I did not know what to choose from the menu, I wanted everything, why I was looking forward to going back, to try their breakfasts of tender wood oven bread and why I could not wait to come back one night to enjoy one of those intimate dinners to taste those delicacies they have on their menu.
And the reason was no other that Bodega La Palma has, as a famous spanish bolero says…
Soul, Heart and Life.
Thanks Judit for the beautiful words you gave me in our talk.
Thanks to all the staff of Bodega La Palma for its excellent service, kindness and sympathy and above all
Thanks Marisol for your dishes, which have taken me to my childhood and adolescence, to the warmth of my mother with the tenderness and the taste of your pork cheek.
Thanks to all of you, it will be my great pleasure to become, from now on, one of your regular customers.