Celebrated my birthday today with a lovely lunch at Restaurant L’Olivé in the heart of L’Eixample. The restaurant is, in the words of Google, sleek and modern, serving up traditional Catalan fare with flair.
We shared five dishes, each of them superb examples of their kind. Starting out with traditional croquetas of bacalao (salted cod) and jamón ibérico bellota. While both were excellent, I preferred the bellota, and Brian the cod. They were fried perfectly and served piping hot from the fryer. With soft, creamy centers, the cod was subtle and delicate, while the ham was bolder.
Next up was a steak tartare topped with a raw quail egg and served with crispy toast points and Tabasco on the side. We were asked how spicy we wanted it and elected for the medium, though I spiced up my bites with a few more drops of Tabasco. The flavors were amazing.
Then the baked baby scallops. Stuffed with bacon (or jamón not sure), crunchy bread crumbs, oil and garlic, six small delightful bites (three for each of us as we shared all dishes.)
Last course before dessert was a grilled fresh deboned hake with steamed vegetables. Super moist and flakey, with a nicely crisped skin.
After sharing a slice of cheese cake with a compote of red fruits paired with a glass of PX sherry, we poured ourselves into a cab for the ride home.
Highly recommended; will go again.