This may be a strange spring in Barcelona, cloudy and rainy, but the sun always shines on El Villa, as if it had been placed on an imaginary weather map of the Gracia neighborhood, just above Martínez de la Rosa street. In the same way as it does every summer on the weather map of Andalusia.
The history of this local mariner run by Toni and Diana starts on the sunny coast of Almeria. The Villa is not only the bar that you will find in Barcelona, it is also the boat with which the Toni family goes out to fish every day in Almeria. From his great-grandfather to the present, Toni is the only one who has not continued to dedicate himself to fishing, but it is here, 800 kilometers away, where his life can not be closer to theirs. The Villa is a tribute to the family of Toni and his boat – look if not the small altar that has been dedicated to him in a showcase of the room – but it is also a declaration of intentions about the search for the good product of the sea: canned, smoked, salted and other delicious tapas that are far from the fritters that permeate many chiringuitos of the national coast. It was also in Almeria where Toni and Diana met, “making caps in the Fair”, qualify. It has been a matter of time that they went from one side of the bar to the other, to start together a project that combines the Catalan tradition of vermouth with Andalusia and the best fruits of the sea.
Everything here revolves around the sea world: a yellow raincoat and fishing boots receive you at the entrance, the humble and simple fishmonger’s paper is the one that covers the tables of splendid white marble -of Macael, Almeria-, the cork is present in walls and ceiling, and a wall with a huge porthole is responsible for marking the beginning of the bar. Many of these elements are owed to the architectural studio AMOO, which were responsible for carrying out the renovation of the beautiful premises selected to the FAD awards. In El Villa everything tells a story, like one of its dishes: Marraná de pulpo like the one prepared by the fishermen on the Andalusian coast; excellent anchovies in vinegar caught by the brothers of Toni with the same boat El Villa in Almería; delicious ajoblanco that is not tasted in soup format but spreading bread peaks; crispy toast with red pomfret and tomato, with swordfish and salmorejo, with smoked and guacamole, with spicy sardines … History that is difficult to put a final point looking at the menu.
As Diana tells us, it is necessary to break with the usual schedules in the ones used to drink vermouth in Catalonia, because in order to enjoy that sweet drink there are plenty of good times, without being reserved exclusively for the midday fringe. As many moments as possible accompaniments, for that reason in El Villa they extend the range of “typical” products that usually appear next to vermouth. In the menu you will find many kinds of anchovies, cans of first-class from the neighbor Ego Galego, smoked like salmon or red shrimp carpaccio, salted fish such as dried bonito, mojama, dried octopus, and ling roe. , mullet or tuna, being these for more daring palates.
The Villa one arrives to live the complete experience that these two lovers of Andalusia, the sea and flamenco have created. Maybe you get stuck with a live concert of flamenco guitar while you grab a few boquerones that few hours before were still swimming in Almería. And maybe one day you have a fine on your lips while you think, as a client did before, that going to El Villa is “like being on vacation.”
Phone Number: 34 93 833 64 79
Horario: Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM / Friday from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM / Saturday from 12:00 PM to 2:00 AM / Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 PM
Text: Gemma García
Photographs: Anel González