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Destinations · Europe · spain · Barcelona · Where to eat ·

Cal Pep

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Cal Pep

As soon as you enter the place, you find yourself in front of something that looks very much like a marble kitchen counter: no vacant seats, people line up in two rows (and that's in a room that's approximately a metre and a half wide) and hypnotise the backs of the head of the lucky ones sitting at the bar, hoping to reach the gastronomic Eldorado soon enough. There is room only for twenty people by the counter, and the seats are filled as soon as Cal Pep opens its door, and not by guidebook-wielding tourists, either - but by locals who have come to tickle their taste buds: Cal Pep is the best sea food restaurant in the city.
The waiters literally dance past each other (they also have to make the best of limited space) and amidst skillets and plates. And in the middle of the whole mayhem there is a gentleman with an interesting husky voice (years of chain-smoking?); anyway, you can tell at once that he is the owner. Cal Pep is a culinary legend. The owner and chef Joseph Manubens Figueres (in Catalan "Pep" is a diminutive of "Joseph") is also the proprietor of El Passadis d'En Pep, the most expensive fish restaurant in Barcelona. The culinary language in which he speaks to the inhabitants of the sea is pure magic: Pep has no equals at least in this part of the city. His team visit the Costa Brava fishmongers every morning and pick the best of what they have to offer.
The menu changes daily - or, to be more precise, there is no menu. Everything happens here and now; you have to go with the flow and trust these people.
Further back, behind an inconspicuous door there is a sitting room-size little restaurant with a mere six tables. All of them occupied, natch. You would do well to book a table in advance (it's hopeless otherwise). Officially they only accept reservations for no less than four people but in real life it depends on your skills of persuasion. It is like finding yourself in the master's dining room after the bedlam of a servants' kitchen. The room is nice and cosy, the mirror on the wall is cleverly slanted to catch the reflection of the impressive wine rack. Like many other fine places in Barcelona, Cal Pep is closed on Sundays.

8 Plaça de les Olles
Phone 93-310-7961

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