Surely you’ve heard of the famous confectionery and cocktail bar in the Sant Antoni neighborhood. Then you’ll know where to go when we introduce you to El Maravillas, a gastronomic off-road located in the emblematic neighborhood of Les Corts.
“A 21st century bar where you can hang out with friends”, is how Lito defines it, one of the two partners at the head of the group. And the bar is just that. Also, in less than a month they will open their new restaurant, a renovated Muy Buenas Migas converted into a Catalan restaurant that we long to meet.
El Maravillas serves up the drinks of a lifetime, modernized with retro style and a menu made for sharing. The name is a nod to Wonder Boy, Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona player in past seasons; and consequence of the proximity of the restaurant to the great azulgrana temple. Without having to look on the wine list, all of them national, their Sommelier Montse Roca enlivens the evening with a tailor-made pairing. A wine for each bite, as if it were a musical thread, our palate dances to the beat of the dishes. A total connection of all the senses where the diner is the protagonist.
Ricardo Tapia, manager of the restaurant and our personal guide during our visit, provides us a tour of his kitchen starting our dinner with a salad of lentils, dried tomato, onion and anchovy, minced with mustard and honey. Followed by a tuna tartar macerated with soy Dashi, saturated in a Bolivian sauce and accompanied with soy pearls, banana and lime mayonnaise.
Second, we are surprised with the star dish, chicken dumplings with Iberian jowl and cuttlefish. To continue our culinary journey we try the gall of a calf cooked in its own juice, served with a reduction of Port and accompanied with a roasted eggplant puree. And for dessert, a cheese board accompanied by a frozen apple-based cider, the star recommendation of Montse.
To end this trip we turn to Miriam Campa, cocktail champion in Catalonia and expert mixologist at El Maravillas. “Dry or sweet?” With a simple question he is able to surprise us with one of his creations. We are pleased with an artistic variation of a Mai Tai based on Cuban rum, violets and perfume of mint, orange and nutmeg. He also presents a refreshing cocktail with lime, lemon, green apple and gin and finishes it with ginger beer.
A restaurant that rewards the nearby service and quality products is accompanied by an exquisite menu of tapas and dishes where you can spend all day. Vermouth, dinner and drinks in the same room that opens its doors everyday to love even the coldest hearts. A usual bar in a modern format .
Hours: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 12h to 00h / Wednesday from 12h to 1h / Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12h to 3h
Average price: € 25 per person
Text: Alejandro Moneva
Photos: Anel González